BENGALURU is the startup hub of the country, and while the idea of a startup may seem glamorous, it’s never an easy ride. Funds are hard to come by, and if you are new to the city, with no place to stay, the idea of a bedroom on the streets of the IT capital may not be the most appealing prospect. That’s where Construkt Startup Hostels comes in. The brainchild of Shashikiran Rao, founder of Construkt Media — an entrepreneur platform in Bengaluru — and Karan Bahadur, co-founder and head of operations, Construkt Startup Hostels is a first-of-its- kind, community-curated, business-friendly hostel accommodation designed to cater to the travelling startup and creative community. It also aims to provide an environment where like-minded people can interact and exchange ideas. “We’ve coined a term for a hacker + backpacker: ‘hackpacker’,” says Rao. “We provide these hackpackers with a clean, safe and inspiring place to stay, highspeed internet, the ability to cook a healthy meal, services such as laundry, access to information such as where to set up an office, who to meet, what industry events to attend and more.”
Rao began his stint as an entrepreneur at 19, testing his skill in various ventures. Bahadur, a 3rd generation Bengaluru-settled Nepali, worked in various sectors, like retail, hospitality and media. In 2012, Rao and Bahadur, along with a few friends, began working towards setting up Construkt Festival, a startup festival, which slowly moved onto becoming a community space for like-minded entrepreneurs.
So how did the idea of a hostel for start-ups come about? The idea had been brewing over the past few years; Rao had experienced a typical backpacker’s hostel in Europe and found the energy and vibe to be great. On his return to India, Construkt conducted a survey of 2,000 tech startups in 2015. They found that there were close to 18,000 room requirements, per year. Armed with these numbers, Rao and Bahadur set about creating a “Home for the Hackpacker in you”, as the hostel’s tagline says, and Construkt Hostels was launched in May this year.
Shashikiran Rao and Karan Bahadur
Located in Indiranagar, which is close to the major IT hubs in the city, Construkt Hostels is a three-storied independent bungalow, 3500 sq ft in size, with 4 bedrooms, shared bathrooms, a living room, a dining area, balconies, library area, Wi-Fi, a laundry area, a space for small events and a fully equipped self-catering kitchen. Around 20 people can be accommodated at a time, and there is a liberal use of bright colours and multi-hued funky upholstery. “The design elements are all handpicked, and we have used a lot of upcycled furniture,” says Elizabeth Riya Roy, community manager. “Any place that we visit, be it a café or office, needs to be welcoming and spread the right energy. And that’s exactly what we envisioned while doing the interiors of the space. We wanted the space to be clean, bright and simple.”
Construkt charges Rs 850 per bed per night and Rs 15,000 per month, but can customise packages for people who want to stay longer. “We are completely bootstrapped and earn revenue through the guests who check in,” says Rao. The hostel’s target customer includes outstation entrepreneurs travelling to Bengaluru, city-based startups with offices outside Bengaluru who would want to bring their teams to the city for short periods, entrepreneurs coming to accelerator/incubator programmes in the city and delegations and interns coming for entrepreneurship programmes organised by trade bodies and foreign offices.
Construkt is now looking to expand to other startup hubs like Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Delhi-NCR by the end of this year.