The Stay to Remember- Satya Mehta
Opportunity does not knock your always; at times you need to find your trails to it. A lesson from the suffering turned out to be one of the biggest successful start-ups of the COVID-19 times. Here is a story of a Gujpreneur that bought the revolution in the idea of hostel accommodation, thereby making it more comfortable for students to live their life out of their comfort zones. A better dream of co living in the times of COVID-19 came true.
An Idea that changed his life- Satya Mehta
We all have, someday, experienced the life of a hostel. Doing chores all alone, uncleaned cutlery, the lump of clothes, and the once-a-week cleaned bathrooms; all this has an amazing aroma that always makes us miss home more. Mr. Satya Mehta, who has his native rooted in Vadodara city of Gujarat, stayed in a hostel/PG for 12 long years. To his experience, spending 12-16K for a month of hostel stay was unreasonable. It was in the time of Covid-19 when Satya decided to hit the iron when it was hot. He used this as an opportunity and gave birth to RoomPe; A facility with CART (Community, Amenities, Residence, and Technology).
“None of us were from Property or Technology, that was the main reason for our motivation. A clean slate writes better” He said.
40% of his life, 12 years away from home, Satya got into the roots of the feeling of being away from home. He thinks that every person leaving home for making life better deserves facilities that support his wellbeing. Hence, he and his best friend, also the co-founder of RoomPe Mr. Deval Patel, started working on real estate and got their first co-living space where they rented 60-bed property for boys at Vaishnodevi, a place in the suburbs of Ahmedabad. Doing all this while the country was amidst its Lockdown was something that required guts and strong determination, that both had at an enormous level.
The first Baby Steps
There is not a single existing business there, which has not faced any struggles. So did RoomPe. One of them was the time where the question was about the future of the budding minds. The Company was Launched in the times of COVID-19, and the first property was a student hostel. As academics is the last sector to open, the investment and rents piled up. As they say, time heals everything, this issue also got its way out as the country started to open. Mr. Satya believes that government still needs to work on this sector. It takes a lot of effort for a person, especially students who are said to be the future of the country, to leave their homes and try to live in a new atmosphere.
“Western India’s real estate market is unreasonably inflated” he believes.
Good things happen to those who wait. After all the hustle, Satya is happy that he was successful in establishing RoomPe, the credits of which he dedicates to his 14 years long friend, the co-founder of RoomPe, Deval Patel. With his support and encouragement, RoomPe got its first deck with the cheque, by HNI Family.
Likes, Dislikes, and the Future of the Business
All it takes is that one thought of determination, to work upon your dreams. Most of the businesses that face failure have one common reason behind their failure: lack of support. Satya feels that there are lots of things that can be done by the government to boost this market. What he loves about it is that he is not alone who feels like this. Some seeds are ready to sprout for this one big ideology.
Talking about seeds turning into a big tree, Satya believes that there is a lot of scope in academics and its development. Every year with more than 3 crore students migrating for higher studies, and more than 5 crore professionals for their jobs, there is now a place like home to accommodate anyone who wishes to live outside their homes. For now, not jumping high, their focus is only on expanding till 2 to 3 cities, including 3000 beds without raising equity by 2024. The other minor plans include going for a small/ mid-cap IPO.
For the Country, by the Country!
…this is what Satya and his team believe in. “We are bootstrapped. Having only 3 hardware essentials from any foreign country, our team is now determined to only work for Indian brands. The use of pronunciation “PE” (read: pay) in RoomPe is a remarkable example of this.
A successful innovation always is led by an enthusiastic leader and a great team. RoomPe consists of a team of 2 Co-founders, and other 10 people with individually assigned tasks, thereby complementing each other’s deficit, making a complete circle of success. According to Satya, curing the root cause of a problem leads to a solution. “Solve basic problems” is the principle that he follows!
The credit for this successful set up of RoomPe goes to Satya and his Co-founder Deval Patel, who belongs to the capital of the state, Gandhinagar. The most important part of building an empire is to choose the correct association. Satya believes that choosing a correct co-founder with substitute skills helps in making a lot of big important decisions. “While Deval takes care of Finance and operations. Business Development, Outreach, Strategy, and Technology is my baby” he said.
A winner never tells his move. Satya believes that staying focused and busy can save one from lots of destruction. When asked, Satya gave the following simple ideas which if followed, can break many cliched norms that the society has set, thereby helping one to grow.
1. It is not compulsory to have IIM – IIT Tag to start up something.
2. It is not necessary to be a tech guy, to start up something in tech.
3. It is not necessary to raise equity to have a start-up.
4. It is not necessary to burn cash to acquire customers.
5. Focus on Profitability rather than Valuation.
Now given that our students have a comfortable place to live in, we congratulate Satya Mehta and Deval Patel for their great efforts and wish them all the luck and fortune they deserve.