We are publishing an interview of Mr. Ankush Arora, Chief Business Officer (Co-Founder & Director), Placio.
Please tell us about the founders
The founders of Placio are Rohit Pateria, Ankush Arora (myself) and Atul Kumar. While Rohit and myself have acquaintances for more than a decade, Atul Kumar Singh was brought onboard when Placio took over his venture CLICKAHOME.in Services.
Rohit Pateria is CA by qualification, having 16 years of working experience in companies like Standard Chartered and Edelwiess at leadership positions. At Placio, he is designated as CEO and responsible for corporate strategy and finance.
I am a Post Graduate in hospitality, having 15 years of working experience in companies like Angel Broking, Master Trust and Century 21 Real Estate LLC as a core team member. At Placio, I am is designated as CBO and responsible for Product and Business strategy.
Atul Kumar Singh is IIT alumni from Roorkee and PGDM from IIM Ahemedabad, having 10 Years of corporate experience. Atul had on Startup exit as well. At Placio, he is designated as COO and responsible for Operations.
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
I always wanted to set up a business that is technology oriented. While there are many companies working towards housing accommodation needs for professionals and family, there’s are very few solving student housing needs. Placio offers fully furnished private and shared accommodation for students. The platform is built on the belief of community-based living and entails co-living in an environment where the user’s experience is more important than simple living.
As per available data there are 50 million students studying in Colleges and Universities and 60-65% students are from outside their home town. Placio offers branded properties with assurances and professional management. These are purpose built Student housing properties, built around University campuses.
What is the uniqueness about your Startup?
The platform offers carefully curated places of living, which are not only comfortable but also affordable for college-going students. Placio caters to all kind of accommodation requirements, from basic budget to high-end luxury accommodation with pool/TT tables, play station, book exchange counters and other facilities. The first launch included a 1,000-bed capacity around Amity University, Noida.
What is the revenue model? Explain your thought process.
We believe in working towards our goal and achieving all little milestones in the journey. At present, for the next 2 years, Placio will operate 25,000 beds with expected revenue of Rs 300-400 crore. Likewise, in next 5 years, Placio will operate 1,00,000 beds with expected revenue of Rs 1200-1500 crore.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
Our target audience is students pursuing higher education in colleges and universities. Rental-e-commerce market is big in India and while online marketplaces is helping millennials find their perfect fit, no one is concentrating exclusively on students. So Placio offers curated housing solutions to student at large.
What is the big picture of your startup? Will it lead to something bigger? If so, how?
Placio has used kaleidoscope approach and tested the business model at varied angels before freezing on to what we are doing today. By offering curated and algorithms based accommodations to students, we plan to solve student housing problems at large. With 50 million students pursuing higher studies outside their hometown and 30 percent increase in college enrollments every year, student housing is a USD 50 billion market. That’s a big picture and solving and meeting their needs is a big task. And indeed, Placio is one stop solution for students to lead a relaxed life and concentrate on their studies, while we take care of the rest.
What is the success story of your startup in your own words?
A LOT of market research, consistency and commitment makes Placio successful in startup world; also rather than a startup, we would best like ourselves to be recognized as a successful and a profitable business. Right strategy, go to market approach and a zeal to deliver the best keeps Placio going strong.
Any other information about your startup that you would like to share with us.
In next 3 month, we are expecting Placio to operate our current capacity of 1200 beds with full potential. For next 12 months our milestone is to reach 10000 beds in Delhi NCR.