Ekostay- Providing Extravagant Yet Affordable Homestay

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The hospitality sector has been hit hard during Covid. Despite the negative impacts, Indian tourism and hospitality are expected to earn US$ 50.9 billion by 2028. The demands for good service hotels are high and their charges are equally sky touching. People in India wants good service quality at an affordable rate. Value for money is highly important for citizens in India. In hospitality industry, quality service and customer satisfaction play irreplaceable roles. Ekostay is a vacation homestay venture based out of Mumbai. It offers the widest range of Homestay options and provides an extravagant yet affordable experience across India.

Read to know the success story of Ekostay, its founders, the startup idea, business model, and growth.

Ekostay - Company Highlights

  • Startup Name-Ekostay
  • Headquarters-Mumbai
  • Sector-Hospitality
  • Founders-Varun Arora, Husain Khatumdi, Sohail Mirchandani, Zishan Khan
  • Founded-2018

Ekostay - About

EKOSTAY provides the best alternate homestay accommodation service to their cliental pan India.

Their mission is to empower guests through the provision of luxurious quality homes at an affordable price. Ekostay aims to achieve this by providing a customer-centric approach in design and marketing of properties. They are committed to achieving excellence in all that they do and continue to go beyond the expectations of stakeholders and work with homeowners to take away the hassle of hosting, improve the management of their property, and give an additional source of revenue and give the best experience to their clients.

The team hopes to make Ekostay, the dominant firm in the alternative housing industry by changing the way homes are hosted in India. To provide guests the finest of local experiences to compliment vast variety of services and make their stay in India genuinely unforgettable. The team continues to focus on creating a large and devoted homeowner consumer base and providing them with an experience that is far superior to a standard homestay.

Ekostay - Industry

EKOSTAY belongs to the Alternative Accommodation Industry and Ekostay cater to mass economical market. With dynamic strategy they target Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities studying the demographics and purchase behaviour of the consumers. By analysing the predicted trends against the historic data compiled by analysts, consumer preferences, and choices they provide a range of Homestay experiences, from premium designer villas to affordable luxury properties. They provide homestay experiences that are personalised to the needs of the customers, and they work with the homestay providers to redesign their properties with a customer-centric approach. The alternative accommodation industry is booming. This means that there are more homestays available than ever before, providing a cost-effective and unique holiday experience. But finding the right homestay can be a challenge. There are so many choices, each with their own unique style, theme, offering, and EKOSTAY strives to provide the very best to every individual customer by handpicking properties in the best locations.

Ekostay - Founders and Team

Founded in 2018 by the Entrepreneurial Fantastic Four- Varun Arora , Husain Khatumdi, Sohail Mirchandani & Zishan Khan, with a vision to tailor the needs of the holiday goers on experiencing a cozy & private stay of a home away from home.

Varun Arora 

Varun Arora the Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder thrives on exploring new avenues that can help elevate his organisation to the next level. A graduate in Mass Media from Mumbai University, he started his career in the marketing field, where he learnt the skills of strategizing and implementing online & offline creative marketing strategies as he leads the Social media and Business Development team at EKOSTAY.

Husain Khatumdi 

Husain Khatumdi the Managing Director & Co-Founder, A graduate from Cass Business School, London with an entrepreneurship diploma from Queensland University of Technology, Australia, Designing, crunching numbers, strategizing, and putting plans into action are some of skills that define him. As the leader of EKOSTAY's sales team, Husain's experience rests in defining, measuring, and delivering key performance indicators (KPIs) across all verticals.

Sohail Mirchandani 

Sohail Mirchandani the Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder while heading the Finance department at EKOSTAY defines and manages the brand's vision, ensuring that the company sticks to its core of having a great backend strategy and team, mastering the art of budgeting and analytical competence, and acing interpersonal relations to ensure that every client at Ekostay receives a personal touch and has the best homestay experience possible.

Zishan Khan the Chief Acquisition Officer & Co-Founder A pharmacy graduate with a strong desire to remodel and transform run-down properties. Staying loyal to the brand's goal, he takes a genuine interest in exploring new places, seeking and acquiring holiday properties.

Ekostay - Idea and Startup Story

Founded in 2018 by Husain Khatumdi, Sohail Mirchandani, Varun Arora, and Zishan Khan, the Entrepreneurial Fantastic Four, with a mission to cater the needs of vacation seekers on experiencing a pleasant and private stay of a vacation home. EKOSTAY currently has over 125+ properties spread over 15 cities to choose from. There is a lack of inexpensive hotel rooms in India, according to surveys. While the demand for such hotels is growing, developing hotels requires a large upfront investment that most consumers cannot afford. Homestays allow people to become micro-entrepreneurs by utilising already-existing houses. This enables local residents to generate revenue in rural regions and new locations with little or no investment. It also aids in the development of local communities and their financial independence.

When you start your search for a vacation home on your computer, their sales and marketing staff is already working hard to ensure that EKOSTAY appears as one of your top search possibilities. After you've chosen Ekostay, they make the decision to make your stay as restorative and engaging as the location. Their city managers offer a smooth and quick check-in so you can bond and make memories in a delightful domicile. Their trained caretakers will be on hand to assist you throughout the day while you relax on the private lawns or relax in the private pools.

Ekostay - Name, Tagline, and Logo

Ekostay represents economical stay. In the uncertain time of the Covid 19 pandemic and sudden lockdowns in different parts of India they aim to provide comfortable and premium and isolated stays at an affordable price to all the guests that maintains a level of sanitation and hygiene at all properties throughout India. Their tagline “Think of a staycation, Think EKOSTAY” is because they try their best to personalise every staycation to cater to the needs of guests and provide them with utmost luxury and comfort which amalgamates into an unforgettable experience and whenever guests think of a staycation they immediately think of EKOSTAY.

Ekostay - USP

One of the strongest USPs of a homestay is the customised services it can offer to its guests. Their USP is that they cater to the masses and work towards making the homestay experience perfect and flexible according to the needs and demands of every individual guest. The first step to providing a Homestay experience is to redesign the properties to accommodate Homestay guests. Furthermore, keep in mind that your guests' experiences are made up of numerous little, detailed moments, none of which should be overlooked. One can gain loyalty and favourable reviews by capturing those moments and feedback and reflecting those in their properties and hospitality. They have renovated properties, made pools for homestays, which is a great opportunity for homestay owners to renovate their properties to accommodate the guests. This not only provides homestay owners with a new revenue stream, but also gives the guests an opportunity to experience the best of the best in EKOSTAY properties.

Ekostay - Business Model & Revenue Model

The business revenue model at EKOSTAY is flexible and accommodates the needs/demands of the homeowners. Over 75% of Ekostay company is based on a fixed rental model, in which they lease a home and then sublease it to visitors for short trips. The remaining 20% operates on a revenue-sharing model, in which they form an exclusive partnership with a homeowner and divide earnings with them in a mutually agreed-upon set ratio. They don't take on properties over which they don't have complete control, thus all of the properties listed under EKOSTAY's name are handled solely by us. They have been profitable since the beginning, and they intend to stay that way.

Ekostay - Customer Acquisition

As the case is with any startup, they started getting customers through networking and word of mouth. The customers gave Ekostay positive feedback and revisited the properties along with recommending the properties to their friends and family. Along with that EKOSTAY started advertising the properties on social media platforms which also attracted a lot of enquiries which got converted in loyal customers.

At EKOSTAY, team has implemented various strategies that helped to attract and retain customers. EKOSTAY Annual Membership as well as various offers on festive occasions has helped them retain quite a few loyal customers. Targeted ads on various social media platforms along with positive feedback by happy and satisfied guests also attracts potential new customers. They are also rigorous with social media advertisements and posts about the newly launched properties in exciting new locations India which also gets them feedback and traction from guests who have stayed at EKOSTAY properties in the past as well as potential new customers.

Ekostay - Challenges Faced

The most challenging part was the pandemic of Covid 19 and various lockdowns that followed after uncertain intervals. Ekostay had a lot of rental properties in inventory and no guests as all domestic travel were at a halt to stop the pandemic from getting worse. As and when the restrictions got lifted, encouraging customers to visit their isolated villas and properties by reducing base price was a strategy they implemented to get the business up and running. Their top priority since then has been the safety of the guests visiting the property and for that EKOSTAY has implemented and maintained a code of sanitation and hygiene at every individual property. To prevent any further losses they introduced force majeure clauses in the contracts so that they do not lose capital due to events like the pandemic which are unforeseeable and out of control. Since the pandemic has eventually subsided, they hope situations like this never arise and the alternative accommodation industry can serve their guests with a comfortable stay.

Ekostay - Marketing

In these difficult times, social media has become one of the most efficient way to advertise. To effectively promote its property, the hospitality industry has to have a strong and active presence on social media. In these changing times, social media is not only a powerful but also an excellent marketing approach. Using social media to spread the word is the most Successful marketing campaign. Collaborating with influencers and providing them free stays in their villas was one of the strategies they adopted which got them quite a fair share of enquiries from viewers who then visited their properties for a getaway. As the word suggests influencers have a lot of engagement on their media platforms and people do obtain heavy amount of information from such presence and they used that platform in a positive way to socialise the brand EKOSTAY. With everyone moving online, now is the opportunity for them to embrace digital and increase the visibility of the property and brand. The simplest method to accomplish this is to partner with a Ekostay that will renovate your house, take several photos of the place, the view, and the facilities, post it on the internet, and handle your visitors and provide isolated, luxurious and affordable stays at premium properties with their own pools and lawns to the guests.

Ekostay - Growth

The company has had exponential growth over the span of the last three years despite of the effects of pandemic on the economy. Their clientele has responded positively regarding hygiene and their quality staycation at their properties. They are working towards acquiring and launching new properties at exciting new locations for a premium and affordable getaway for guests. They soon aim to expand business internationally to serve guests with extravagant getaways.

Ekostay - Competitors

The alternative accommodation sector is a major disruptor in the hotel industry, and it is becoming increasingly institutionalised, with sophisticated revenue management but like every other industry they also have a fair share of competition to look out as well to learn from. Their competitors, to name a couple, Vista rooms and Saffron stays are also quite well known in the alternative accommodation industry which is noteworthy. Furthermore, in any sector, competition is always escalating, and having been in the game longer than the newcomers provide them an advantage over them since Ekostay have built a brand with a comparatively elevated recall value over the years, which they still require.

Ekostay - Recognition and Achievements

EKOSTAY received the ‘Iconic Most Premium Staycation Getaway” in October 2021 by one of India’s most esteemed print brand Mid-day. Receiving a prestigious award has made their efforts in the last few years’ worth it. Ekostay getting recognised at a renowned platform gave them an opportunity to gain more visibility and establish trust among potential customers which boosts them to do better every day and provide a premium stay at an affordable price to all their valuable guests.

Ekostay - Future Plans

They have quite a few new avenues and ventures to look forward to but considering the looming threat of the pandemic and the fragile state of the economy the workflow is comparatively slow. They are continuously expanding inventory for their guests in new territories pan India in beautiful and scenic locations by handpicking the most luxurious and premium properties and renovating them according to their aesthetics to ensure the best experience to the guests. Their aim is to expand business internationally in the coming years to host and serve guests on a multinational platform at Ekostay.

They are committed to providing the best of Homestay experience by creating a personalised experience for each and every home-stay guest, regardless of their preference. They collaborate with their hosts to remove the hassle of hosting, to better manage their property and in turn provide them with an alternate source of income.


Who are the founders of Ekostay?

Varun Arora, Husain Khatumdi, Sohail Mirchandani, and Zishan Khan are the founders of Ekostay.

When was Ekostay founded?

Ekostay was founded in 2018.

Ekostay serves in which cities?

Ekostay serves in more than 15 cities in India.

Who are the competitors of Ekostay?

Some of the competitors of Ekostay are:

  • Vista rooms
  • Saffron stays