From Corporate to Entrepreneur The exclusive tale of GoStops by Pallavi Agarwal

1. Hi Pallavi, welcome to the interview session of Anamitra’s Blog. To start with, we would request you to tell us a few lines about yourself.

I am the Co-Founder and CEO of goStops; one of India’s largest premium chain of youth hostels. With an intense passion for making social spaces for the youth, I opened the first goStops hostel in Varanasi. Since then, goStops has enlarged its presence to thirteen hostels all across India.  In 2003, I graduated in economics from Kamla Nehru college Delhi University and In 2004 I began my career as a consultant with ‘The Smart Cube’, learning Industrial and monetary services.

I did my Master’s program from an International Management Institute in 2007. I had worked with many reputed companies like Tata Capital as a sales manager in Rural Financial Marketing, Millward Brown as an account manager and Quantum Consumer Solutions as a senior manager.

After having years of wealthy expertise in MNCs, I founded goStops in 2014 with the vision of making social areas for the youth. Since then I am managing goStops like my child. Besides being the boss-lady, I am a mommy to 3 dogs and 4 cats. I am also fond of music and have a special place in my heart for old-Hindi songs.

2. What motivated you to start your company?

The idea of goStops took form when I along with my husband was backpacking across Europe, back in 2012. I was fascinated by the hostel culture there and wondered why a similar model didn’t exist in India for travelers who were looking for premium quality social accommodations at an affordable price.

In the Indian short-stay accommodation market, there was a void in quality-assured stays in the budget range of INR 400-800 per night. Such accommodations were mostly poorly maintained and were unpredictable in terms of quality and experience. In addition to this, there was no accommodation brand that was youth-friendly and which exclusively catered to their needs and aspirations in terms of quality, design, experience and budget. This youth population is 370 million strong. It is growing fast and is very aspirational in terms of lifestyle. We saw a clear white-space in the market. We spotted this problem and have been trying to solve this ever since the inception of the first goStops hostel in Varanasi.

3. Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?

We don’t see anyone as our direct competitor as our business model is quite unique. goStops is a full-stack youth hostel company. We lease, manage, franchise real estate assets, which we design, transform, market, sell, and operate as youth hostels in locations where the youth travels for business or leisure. 

4. What is your USP?

Our hostels are designed exclusively for the young population, who are looking for quality stays at affordable prices, especially youngsters in the 18-30 years age group.  We want to cater to the aspirational lifestyle needs of the youth and keeping this in mind. We have designed the entire hostel experience around it. Hostels are hubs for socializing with travelers from all parts of the country and the world. One gets exposed to new nationalities, cultures, languages, and lifestyles. New bonds and friendships are born and one can meet people from all walks of life. Hence, one is bound to connect with like-minded individuals at a hostel. This is an experience that most young Indians aspire for and this is where goStops comes into picture, as a youth desired hotel brand that focuses on their aspirations, where travelers could be co-living and co-working.

We have CCTV cameras installed in all the alleys, common spaces and outdoor area of the hostels. There is a 24×7 security guard on-duty at all our hostels that ensure the safety of all our guests. Every guest has a spacious locker available (included in basic facilities) to keep his or her valuables safely.

5. As a woman entrepreneur, you must have had to overcome challenges. Please tell us about them?

The most difficult challenge was to maintain the quality, design and experience of the properties while scaling up to new locations. We overcame this challenge by using technological and creative solutions, with the help of a team that understood our vision and was involved with us since the inception. 

We also didn’t pay much attention to branding/marketing due to which we might have lost some growth opportunities, which could have been utilized to the advantage of the brand to make it popular among our target audience. In order to overcome this, we have created a strong team of   talented individuals who can push the brand forward.

6. Narrate some of your success stories.

Our ability to run goStops profitably as a bootstrapped organization for 5 years is the most interesting success story for us. These 5 years taught us how to run a business effectively without needing any external sources of funding and turned us into thoughtful and mindful investors of our limited funds. 

7. What plans do you have to scale your business operations?

We are planning to expand our presence across the country by doubling our bed capacity within the next 12 months. We are also planning to utilize recently raised funds to enhance our product offerings through investments in technology & training, add new revenue streams, strengthen our marketing and build a team to handle the next phase of growth. goStops is planning to cover all the metro cities in the next 12 months along with expanding our presence in North and West India including Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Goa, and Jammu & Kashmir.

8. Your advice to those who wish to be an entrepreneur?

Strive on diligently. Consistent focus and dedication can overpower everything else even talent.


Luxury Resort in Wayanad with a Swimming Pool

If Kerala is God’s Own Country, then Wayanad is the focal point of all the beauty and natural splendor the state has to offer. With amazing and marvelous backdrop of the Western Ghats sprawling and fragrant plantations of spices and coffee, rivulets, streams and waterfalls that pass across the Luxury resorts in Wayanad and offer a wonderful visual feast to the tourists – Wayanad is more than anything you have ever captured as a beautiful memory in your life and will stay as one of the highly prized ones for your whole life. While destination matters a lot in deciding the experience, the accommodation and cuisine play an extremely crucial role as well. The following post will be thus, about one of the best Luxury resorts in Wayanad that have every element and every facility a tourist wishes for and still lies in the affordable range.

The Raindrops Resort are nestled in the hills and fragrant plantations of pepper and coffee have vast spreads of green paddy fields that make it one of the most majestic Luxury resorts in Wayanad. The Raindrops Resort is one of the few Resorts to stay in Wayanad with swimming pool that satisfies the standards of luxury.

The Raindrops Resort is spanned over the area of 3 acres and have 13 exquisite cottages that are uniquely designed planned with perfection and a unique mix of traditional Kerala style architecture with modern facilities. With the amazing backdrop of the scintillating hills, vines and vegetation, The Raindrops Resort will take you into a bygone era with its amazingly beautiful furnishings and settings that are down to earth, rustic and immaculately well planned. Wall light and wall lamps that reflect the local flora and fauna and are made of paddy stem respectively, cottages built around the trees, bamboo blinds influx of the natural forest sounds such as chirping birds and crickets – you will be able to enjoy the nature in its most pure form without having to compromise on the quality of your stays, facilities and services.

Raindrops Cottage – What makes it one of the best Luxury resorts in Wayanad?

  • Every cottage comes with a unique design,tasteful furnishings,modern amenities, elegant decor and abundant natural beauty.
  • The accommodation standards in the Raindrops Resorts are one of their own kinds with amazing patios and small private balconies that open into the vast green escapades blessed with nature’s wonders.
  • Sleep in the soft and sturdy four poster beds and delve deep into a classic novel with a steaming cup of coffee brewed from the freshly ground coffee beans grown in the nearby plantations.
  • The quaint and cosy rooms will bring a sense of warmth to your minds and senses. The lush green scenery outside will rejuvenate your city-life tired beings.
  • What makes the Raindrops Resorts as one of the best Luxury resorts in Wayanad is the fact that luxury comes in perfect combination with the natural splendor and at highly affordable costs.

Wellness at the Raindrops Resorts:

  • Apart from the above-mentioned factors, there is one unique feature that makes the Raindrops Resorts different from all the other Luxury resorts in Wayanad – The traditional Kerala Ayurvedic Wellness Services.
  • The resort has a dedicated fully-functional and well-equipped wellness centre for all its tourists that offers the Traditional Kerala Wellness services called Svasti. Raindrops Resort is one of the very few Luxury resorts in Wayanad that offer authentic Kerala Ayurvedic Wellness Treatments and Services.
  • The Svasti is a luxury Ayurvedic and Spa Resort in Wayanad that offers the following services:
  • Abhyanga – Full Body Massage done with special herbal oils and formulations to relieve the body joints, aches and muscles and lubricates all the layers of the skin.
  • Pizhichil – A warm and continuous stream of the medicated oils and herbal formulations are poured over a particular area of the body along with gentle hand movements to stimulate the body areas and reduce pain and stress. The Pizhichil is one of the best Ayurvedic treatments for the Rheumatic diseases, Joint Pains, Muscular Pains and overall body rejuvenation.
  • Shirodhara – The warm oil is poured in a continuous stream on the centre of the forehead while the temperature and the speed of the stream are perfectly regulated. Shirodhara is perfect for relieving stress, head related problems and insomnia.
  • Potli – Small fabric bags or Potlis are filled with certain herbal powders and formulations to provide heat therapies and gentle body massages.
  • The Raindrops Resorts is also one of the best Resorts to stay in Wayanad with swimming pool.

Packages at the Raindrops Resorts:

  • To promote the tourism The Raindrops Resort has numerous packages with various attractive features and in affordable ranges.
  • The following packages are offered at the Raindrops Resorts for the tourists:

Diwali Special , Exotic Honeymoon,Wayanad Escapade and Corporate.

  • Exotic Honeymoon package comes with a rose petal bath, special cake or assorted chocolate platter,floral arrangement in the rooms and romantic candle lit table setup.
  • Diwali Special Package comes with exquisite Wayanadian Tribal Cuisine, spa, dinner Offers, special Wildlife and Natural Tours.
  • Wayanad Escapade comes with amazing nature walks among the fields, plantations and forests as well as the cycling tours on the beautiful winding roads of Wayanad.
  • Corporate Package is especially designed for the corporate travelers that are in groups and are looking forward to relaxing stays that are affordable and wonderful.

Other Perks at the Raindrops Resorts:

  • Apart from all the other above-mentioned attractions and features that make the Raindrops Resorts one of the most amazing Luxury resorts in Wayanad, there are even more perks that await you there.
  • There is an in-house restaurant that offers delicious food items prepared from the home-grown ingredients and vegetables; rich and tasty filter coffee prepared with freshly ground beans that are home-grown; natural and fresh juices and various other delicacies.

Here is all the motivation that you need to pack your bags and land at the most amazing Luxury resorts in Wayanad and get that much-awaited relaxing trip of the year. If you are going to Kerala then you should go to Wayanad and visit this place Happy Vacations.