Sumit Anand and Karan Mago is the founders of Luvstay, India’s first budgeted couple-friendly platform.
Sumit started his career as a business development executive at Modi Mundi Pharmaceuticals in the year 2009.Sumit went on to assume the position of Marketing Partner at Gateway Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd where he handled the strategic management, marketing and sales operations and business development aspects. Karan is an experienced marketing professional with a demonstrated history of working across various sectors and possesses the entrepreneurial drive and to identify white spaces for leveraging untapped business opportunities.Karan started his career as a business analyst with Evalueserve in the year 2008 where his work spanned across areas such as providing business insights to recommendations to senior personnel on performance and potential areas for action.
The idea of LuvStay started due to Sumit’s own personal experience. He then set out researching on the concept in India where it was difficult to find to get safe and secured rooms for unmarried couples at affordable rates without any hassle as the concept of a ‘love’ hotel is still new in India. Inspired by the Love Hotels of Japan, LuvStay is the ‘celebration-of-love’ destination for couples and secret lovers who wish to keep things discrete, and travellers who need a place to crash. The company also offers special short-stay rates where rooms are charged based on 12-hourly tariffs.
The company has only grown since inception with more than 500 partner hotels onboard and a wide presence in over 40 cities. LuvStay has been positioned not as a business but as a social movement to bring about a change in the mindset of people, especially in a country where moral policing is common and where unmarried couples and casual flings are still frowned upon. As per the founder, India is ready to explore into this avenue. The concept of love hotels is set to outgrow that of conventional hotels in the next 4 to 5 years. The initial demand only shows that India is more than ready for Love Hotels as there are many takers for the idea.
For this innovative bootstrapped startup, funding is not a challenged in feeding its voracious growth. What started off with just 3 people has now grown to a team of 8 in a matter of 24 months. The company now has its own developing team and is expected to achieve an in-house strength of 25 in the coming year. The startup has grown by leaps and bounds to touch the USD10million mark in the last financial year. The website boasts of 4000 to 5000page views per day, and more than 1000 daily hits. LuvStay served more than 10,000 couples last year and is settoextend its unique service to more than 50,000 couples this year. The company is also targeting at expanding its presencein all major Indian cities (including Tier2 and Tier3) by the end of this year. Deriving from the fancy outward appearance of their Japanese counterparts, LuvStay wants to foray into commercial ownership to facilitate infrastructure development based on special love themes.
Pricing being an important factor in a developing country like India, LuvStay aims to service only the budgeted hotel niche and not the luxury hotel segment, such that their service can be availed by the common working class as well. The competition in this segment is intensifying but LuvStay has already captured the market. While how conservative India is about the concept of Love-stays remains debatable, LuvStay is definitely here to stay as there is a huge consumer base for this business.