Urbanpod plans 800 pods at 7 locations in next 2 yrs
The country’s first capsule hotel firm Urbanpod is planning 800 pods at 6-7 locations in next two years, a senior company executive has said.
“Currently, we are operational in one location that is Mumbai, which has 140 pods. We are getting a lot of enquiries and are exploring strategic-partnerships with property-owners who can take up franchise. We are expecting to be working at 6-7 locations with 800 pods,” Urbanpod co-founder and Director Hiren Gandhi told PTI here.
Urbanpod — next generation smart hotels — provides lodging made up of small pod rooms that fit only necessary amenities. Each Pod comes with a bed, personal locker with secure key card access, TV with headphone, personal reading light, power socket, hangers, a dresser, free Wi-Fi, adjustable air-conditioning facility, air-purifier and sliding door with locking-facility for added privacy. There are no individual bathrooms and on an average there is a shared facility for every 8 pods.
Gandhi said the company is scouting for opportunities in metros cities, other tier I and II cities across India. “We are also exploring opportunities with the Indian Railways and airports as well as religious places,” he added.
Under the expansion the company will take care of the negative cash flow of new franchise partners till the business becomes cash positive, Gandhi said.
“It means that there are certain fixed costs, which Urbanpod will help the franchise partner till they achieve breakeven,” he added. For this purpose the company is planning to raise Rs 20 crore at corporate level, he noted.
The first Urbanpod in the country (Mumbai), which completed a year, enjoyed around 50 per cent occupancy, Gandhi said, adding that this concept is slowly catching up. “The concept is gradually catching up and we are targeting transit travellers, back packers, students, job seekers, among others, who prefer affordable options with a certain standards,” the director of the firm said.
The Urbanpod Mumbai has served visitors from over 40 countries across the globe, including the US, the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific region countries, he added.