PAJASA Apartments: Specially Designed Serviced Apartments for the Corporates

Business tourism is booming in India. The corporate sector is expanding and many need to travel to different places for meetings, conferences and exhibitions. India is "projected to become the fifth fastest growing business travel destination from 2010-2019," according to reports by TRIFAC, an Indian government-affiliated state agency. With this increasing number of business tourists, demand for quality accommodation is also increasing. To cater to this rising demand, PAJASA apartments is offering beautiful and comfortable serviced apartments in top locations of the country.

StartupTalky interviewed PAJASA Apartments co-founder Arpit Awasthi to know more about the offerings and operations of the company.

Startup Name PAJASA Apartments
Headquarter Mumbai
Sector Hospitality
Co-founders Paras Sangwan, Arpit Awasthi
Founded 2014
Parent Organization PAJASA Stay Solution Pvt. Ltd.
Website pajasaapartments.com

About PAJASA Apartments and How it Works
PAJASA Apartments - Founders & Team
How was PAJASA Apartments Started
PAJASA Apartments - Name, Tagline and Logo
PAJASA Apartments - Business Model and Revenue Model
PAJASA Apartments - User Acquisition
PAJASA Apartments - Startup Challenges
PAJASA Apartments - Awards & Recognitions
PAJASA Apartments - Competitors
PAJASA Apartments - Future Plans

About PAJASA Apartments and How it Works

PAJASA Apartments is a Mumbai based startup that provides world-class serviced apartments (with Working Kitchen) on a daily weekly or monthly basis to corporates. The service apartments are offered on a pay as per usage basis, which costs 40-50% less than hotels. Besides, the apartments are located near to the work location across all metro cities in India (max 5 Km distance) to assure the corporate employees complete their projects within their time limit with no traffic/time hassles.

PAJASA envisions to be alternatives to guest houses that the company takes on a monthly rental basis, which invariably increases their fix cost. Hence, PAJASA works to reduce companies fixed cost to variable cost by providing pay as per usage facility. By facilitating such a shift, it helps in cutting down the hotel cost by around 40% to firms/organizations.

PAJASA follows a step by step process to ensure smooth functioning and an hassle free experience to its clients. First the PAJASA team surveys a property at a given location and signs a contract  with the owner. The pictures of the property along with the details are then put on their application and website. Once the company  administration requests a booking for their guest through mail or the  application, the team checks the best accommodation available near the  work location (a maximum of 5 km in metros); and checks availability.  The system then generates a booking. A confirmation voucher is sent to  the guest and the company administration. The guest can check all the  details and the location through Google Maps. They also have a 24x7 support number which is available for any escalations.

PAJASA Apartments are currently available in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Gurugram and Noida.

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PAJASA Apartments - Founders and Team

Paras Sangwan and Arpit Awasthi co-founded PAJASA Apartments in 2014.

Paras Sangwan is  currently the CEO of PAJASA Apartments. He looks after the Business (sales) division of the company. Paras did his MBA from Pune University. Passionate about starting his own business, Paras participated in inter-college B-Plan competition and secured 2 nd position there. He came to Mumbai to find an idea to fulfill his dream. Before starting his own venture, Paras worked in a serviced apartment company, where he got to learn a lot about the functioning of the sector and the gaps exiting in the sector.

Arpit Awasthi is the CTO at PAJASA apartments and handles the technology  domain of the startup.

Paras met Arpit in a PG in Mumbai; then, Arpit was working in Accenture and have been working on web technologies. Arpit already created a company at his engineering days, keen to do something new. Paras shared his idea to him and asked him to be the co-founder of PAJASA Apartments as CTO. Paras, after that, left his job in March 2014 and opened a small three sitting office at Powai Plaza. As Arpit was working in a company, they had only weekends to work to develop the technology.

Currently, PAJASA Apartments has a dedicated team of eight members, including a core developer, digital expert, accounting professional, content writer, sales manager, and photographer.

How was PAJASA Apartments Started

As a General Manager in the hospitality sector, Paras realized that most of the clients looked for service apartments instead of hotels for long stays as these were cost-effective. However, in the absence of a one-point contact for service apartment owners and corporate clients, company administrations either had to book apartments through several vendors or ended up booking hotels.

This left Paras thinking about ways of decreasing hotel costs for companies and removing their fixed cost by eliminating the guest house concept.

Most service apartment owners generally have properties in one or two areas. So for every location, the administration of a company has to find many service apartment vendors, which is a tedious task

Paras shared the concept with Arpit, his flatmate, who worked with Accenture as a team leader and had a good knowledge of web technologies. With an investment of 5 lakh and two employees, they founded PAJASA Apartments (PAJAS in Sanskrit means growth) in 2014.

The day we deployed our first cloud application, we had breakfast (Idli) at 4:30 am Monday morning near IIT Powai (Maddu Mess) - says Arpit recalling the early days of the startup.

PAJASA came from Sanskrit word PAJAS that refers to goddess Laxmi, which resembles growth.

PAJASA Logo
PAJASA Logo

Relevant Read: How to Come up with a Creative Business Name

PAJASA Apartments - Business Model and Revenue Model

PAJASA Apartments is the only exclusive serviced apartment aggregator company of India, working exclusively with corporates to maintain the high-class standard of corporate stay. None of the OTAs (Online Travel Agency) have created filters for the apartment category like 1 BHK/2 BHK to date on their website.

PAJASA Apartments have a B2B simple yet effective business. They work on a margin basis from apartment owners to corporate. They fix tariffs with apartment owners as well as corporate for the contracted period in the beginning. This tariff remains the same throughout the contracted period and does not vary with season or stay duration, unlike other stay formats. Once a contract is signed with PAJASA Apartments, a company sends PAJASA a booking request for their guest with details either from mail or PAJASAs' application. PAJASA technology later creates a ticket for the request and checks apartment availability. There is a manual check system in place, and the same ensures the best apartment is provided to the guest. Then the system creates a booking and sends a booking voucher and SMS to guests and admin.

PAJASA Apartments has a mechanism in place that shows monthly invoices, and similarly, they provide their clients with one invoice for a month that creates value addition to the clients.

PAJASA Apartments - User Acquisition

PAJASA Apartments has worked on SEO and their first 300+ clients came through SEO.

PAJASA Apartments - Startup Challenges

Serviced Apartment is a very new concept in India, and each city has its own rule for serviced apartments. While in Mumbai, all serviced apartments add electricity bills in their regular tariff while in Delhi, apartment owners charge extra for electricity consumed. To manage this hassles, the company created  its own set of rules, and based on it, it  signs contracts with serviced apartment owners across India.

Generally, serviced Apartments are considered between BnB and Hotels in stay classification, so most cities have their own format. The PAJASA team is trying to achieve a balanced standard for its corporate clients to enjoy their stay with all world-class amenities in their budget. PAJASA Apartments team ensures that all amenities and services are made available irrespective of location. Another challenge for PAJASA was to organize apartments starting from stay inquiry from corporate to bookings, guest stay, billings, and feedback flow to enable apartment owners to manage their apartment without any hassle. To overcome such a challenge, they have created a full online web application from onboard a corporate or a serviced apartment inventory to create bookings/Invoices/Reports fully automated. They make booking management easy for corporate as well as apartment owners.

Serviced apartments are very different than hotels, so it is not possible to seek any inspiration from any hotel application to manage bookings. PAJASA has, therefore, have created its own web application from scratch and regularly updates it on a scenario basis and new use cases, which are very different from the Hotel Industry.

PAJASA Apartments - Awards & Recognitions

Recognitions received by the company are

  • Appointed panelist in “Food and Hospitality Trade Show”
  • Won “Innovative Software platform for service Apartment” in India International Hospitality Expo in Technology category

PAJASA Apartments - Competitors

PAJASA Apartments do not have any direct competitor. Though there are many indirect competitors working in this area, but no one is working specifically on serviced apartments for corporates.  As said by Paras, even none of the OTAs (Online Travel Agency) have created filters for apartment category like 1 BHK/2 BHK till date on their website.

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PAJASA Apartments - Future Plans

As of now, PAJASA Apartments has achieved and RMV (Room Booking Value) of INR 7Cr till Nov 2019.

  • Total room night boked till date is 25,000 appx
  • Yearly growth > 200%
  • Corporate Client added is 300+
  • 200+ locations added in top 10 cities in India
  • 5000 room keys listed in website

By 2020, they are targeting a listing of 50,000 rooms on their website, with more than 2,000 corporates registered with them.

There is also a plan to increase the team size to 50 and make the booking process fully automated. However,as said by Arpit, the company prefers organic growth and is not looking for investors just yet. Though the company is currently working exclusively with corporates, in future the team wants to establish PAJASA Apartments as a pre-eminent global service apartment company - the first choice of guests, team members, and corporates.

As short term corporate projects/assignments are increasing day by day and company resources need a homely stay for their short duration to stay with family, the services provided by PAJASA Apartments has immense potential to grow and accrue profits.

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