Due to facing an inability while looking for accommodations as an engineering aspirant in Kota, 18-year-old Devandra Sharma met with a medical emergency. This led him to start an online marketplace for renting flats, paying guest houses and hostels at low prices – Rs199 per day. Starting in 2018, this Jaipur-based OLE Rooms lets people discover, list and book accommodations on a shared or individual basis for a wishful period (for a day or more than a year at ground touching rates without brokerage).
A fresh motivated graduate of the Poornima College of Engineering, Jaipur, Devendra, now 21, was searching for a home in Kota back in the year 2017.
“I and my father kept looking for rooms all day long,” says Devendra. “But my father, who had blood pressure and diabetes, collapsed and I had to rush him to a hospital in Kota.”
The incident made him think about the problems other students must be facing as well in finding suitable accommodation.
He spoke about how he empathizes with millions of young people who would be searching for a room every day and wasting time on it.
“I thought, why not make such a platform where people can see the room and book it with ease?” He started working on the plan and chose Sitapura in Jaipur as his initial focal point because it has several engineering colleges and a sizeable student population.
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He mentioned that he started with 1 hostel and now the company has more than 3,000 hostels, PG rooms, and flats on its platform. The selling point is that the platform is built in a way that it is easy for anybody to look for accommodation location-wise and do the on-boarding on the platform itself.
He adds that every listing on the platform is verified. Devendra heads a team of 10 employees, who take care of more than 3,000 listings across places such as Kota, Bharatpur, Jaipur, Bikaner, Ajmer and Sikar.
Devendra also says that OLE’s low prices, along with meals available for a per day range of only Rs 100, and are its USP against competitors such as Zolostays, Zostel, Hostelworld and OYO.
OLE runs on both B2B as well as B2C models. For B2B, it has joined hands with various companies that use OLE for their clients and employees. In terms of B2C, the startup charges a commission from an accommodation provider on a listing.