There are an estimated 34 million students in the higher education space in India; however, the options for student housing are limited to basic campus housing, private hostels and the residential paying guest format. Needless to say, quality accommodation, developed to cater to the specific requirements of students, is a necessity. In this regard, Tribe Student Accommodation, has emerged as the saviour. Founded by father-son duo, Yogesh Mehra and Shantam Mehra, it provides high quality, secure, hygienic and well-designed student housing, to improve the quality of a student's life and provide maximum convenience and peace of mind to students and their parents.
"At present, we are a three-city company with operations in Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore," says the senior Mehra, founder & CEO, Tribe Student Accommodation. "Our first operational site (Pune) is the best in terms of its quality and amenities. As of now, we have raised funds from HNIs and friends. We are now looking at raising a larger fund that can help us scale up to 2,000-3,000 beds, from the present level of 500+ beds between our three sites."
Talking about the early days, Y Mehra says, "Both my sons were studying in the UK and in 2014 the elder one (Aman) got back after his masters and the younger one (Shantam) got back in 2016 after finishing his under graduate studies." It was then that Shantam Mehra came up with the idea to do a student housing project. "I was very happy as this was directly related to real estate which had been my domain for almost two decades then. That was the beginning and then we started working on the idea and invested one whole year in research and then started our first site at Viman Nagar, Pune," he says.
According to Y Mehra, there was a time when student housing was about living in old hostel rooms with minimal facilities. Over the last decade, there has been a cultural shift in the way students want to live. Students today look for modernised housing with high quality services that elevate their living experiences. "In my opinion, this is just the tip of the iceberg considering the fact that more than 10 million students migrate to other cities and this is only the first year that the student community is experiencing the influx of professionally managed student accommodation companies," he says.
Talking about incorporating new technology in the business model, he says, "We are the first to have a keyless and cashless campus facility, all our entry-exit points work on an RFID band, including the door lock of the student's room. We have created our own ERP, intended to support all student complaints, needs and requirements, laundry management, events, etc. We are aiming for zero human intervention in all our room selection or booking process. Soon, we will be launching our own student friendly app."