There has been a great conservation in case of the unmarried couples being sighted together whether it is some kind of private place or a hotel room in India. People are always been rapid judgmental over what they see rather than thinking and analysing the situation. Young people’s who are looking for a privacy are often being vulnerable to some kinds of physical attacks by the police or the self-appointed guardians of the “Indian Culture”.
Vigilant groups have assaulted the lovers being found engaging in some sort of public display of affection in parks, beaches and even the pubs. The results for this adults which are unmarried are often struggling for finding hotel rooms for spending some private time with each other. An entrepreneur has come up with a newer initiative for rescuing the unmarried couples by initiating StayUncle.
StayUncle: A Boon for Unmarried Couples
A new start up being named StayUncle, has tied up with various hotels where the unmarried couples will be provided rooms for a shorter duration of about 8-10 hours. The main idea is to provide them with affordable rooms without feeling uncomfortable or even unsafe. Sanchit Sethi who is a founder of year old start up commenting over the same says that there is no law in India which is prohibiting the couples from renting rooms, as long as you are having a valid government identity card. It’s not 1950s anymore and we need to change the mindset of the hoteliers.
When they had started the hotel initially as a means for short duration for the travelers, about 99 percent of the inquires which they received were by the unmarried couples, says Sethi, a BITS (Birla Institute of Technology and Science) Pilani Graduate. This has made them to rethink over the business model again. The main problematic task they faced was to make hotels agree upon the same.
Scaling up the start-up
Ace Residency was being the first partnering with the StayUncle, which is being a budget hotel in the New Delhi’s upmarket Greater Kailash neighbourhood. Continuing with that the company has partnered with 34 other hotels in the capital and 10 others in Mumbai. Over the next few months it is also going to start offering surprise parties or travel to the young people. According to Sethi while talking to 10 hotels about the project only two or three sign up for the same thinking that this trend is going against the Indian Culture and are always fearing about the moral policing.
In the pas three months of this project, the company has already catered to about 200 such couples. Many of the hoteliers are being reluctant to join the same fearing unnecessary hassles from the cops. Police is often threatening the young consenting adults, threatening them with the charges of public indecency. Though it is not changing completely but it is slowly and gradually bringing the change in the mindset of the people. Yet many of the hotels are not yet ready for announcing that they are open for unmarried couples, fearing of resistance from the staff. But the real fact is it is not illegal.
Risky yet a sustainable business
Currently StayUncle is being working over commission basis. They are wanting to scale up by giving heavy discounts as it will be creating problems over a longer run. They are growing slowly and steadily. Many of the India’s e-commerce hoteliers are relying over the huge discounts being offered to scale up their business model. But the model eventually comes under heavy criticism which leads to the bleeding of the investor’s wealth.
At the StayUncle the staying of 8 hours is costing between Rs. 1,400 to Rs. 5,000. The average rate is however around Rs. 2000 for a stay of 8 hours. There are even chances of the hidden cameras being used in such hotels. Commenting over the same Sethi says that they are partnering with such hotels which are quite reputed and will not do that which is going to affect their reputation. Though the problem can not be completely eliminated but he is quite sure that the hotels which whom they have tied up will never ever do that.