"Where Families Bond"
To many of us, a ‘family’ comes in varied forms, some of which are, our life-long college and school friends, ever-competitive MBA friends, office colleagues, neighbours in our tony complex, cousins with whom we spent all those summer vacations, our returning-NRI-siblings, our Marathon friends, our parents, mamas, buas and chachas, parents of our kids' friends, and even our pets.
In today's highly e-connected and yet disconnected world, SaffronStays aims to connect and rebuild these relationships that really matter; in the real world. After all, it is not where you go, it is who you travel with. It is not about the destination, it is about the experiences and memories you have created.
Our stays bring with them, a unique personal touch, warm comfort, home-cooked food and unusual stories that leave you with a one-of-its-kind experience on your holiday!
Tejas is a Chartered Accountant by training and a corporate banker at ICICI Bank and HSBC Bank for more than a decade handing relationships of large Indian conglomerates. A mother of two unstoppable kids, she decided to quit her cushioned corporate career to pursue her dream to transform the Indian travel industry.
“This website was a result of a desire to transform the way tourists experience India. Currently, I am completely absorbed in this role. And as every entrepreneur will tell you, I am everything. From peon to receptionist, to CFO, to COO. Its an exciting journey with a steep learning curve. The stories our hosts share with me, makes this one of the most enriching experiences of my life. I am amazed at some of our hosts who have started eco-tourism, agri-toursim, boutique homestays, to just do-nothing holiday concepts. All clearly indicating that there's a huge demand for such niche experiences. Its our endeavour to encourage such entrepreneurs, and show-case them to the world. In my spare time, I like to swim, play basketball and spend time with my two naughty kids. I also love to trek the Sahyadris in monsoons. Born and brought up in Mumbai, and a compulsive foodie, I can guide you to some great eating joints for you to experience the real Mumbai.”
Born and raised in Mumbai, Tejaswinee has always been a travel buff. She has spent 8 years in Dubai after marriage before migrating back to India. Tejaswinee loves to travel and read up on travel related information. She has worked with a leading Pune-based BPO (voice based) serving various international airlines. An IATA certified professional, she has also done a brief stint with Thomas Cook Al Rostamani travels in Dubai.
Tejaswinee handles all our research work. The travelninjas (read below) are armed with research about homestays in their respective locations by Tejaswinee's deep research about the place. She also personally assists a lot of HNI travellers in crafting their travel itineraries, incorporating homestays as part of their travels.
A CPA by training, Aakanksha is a passionate traveler and foodie. She is always planning her next big vacation and prefers to tailor make her holiday plans rather than book a tour. She has traveled in India and Southeast Asia as a student and is currently charting out the next adventure, her first solo backpacking trip. She has happily given up her prospects as an auditor in Singapore to join us as Revenue Manager.
MBA by training, ex-Partner and Practice Leader - Cyber Security, in EY for more than 16 years, Deven has joined SaffronStays as a Co-Founder and Chief Growth Hacker. Prior to joining full-time as a Co-Founder, he was the chief mentor and investor in SaffronStays. Seeing their dream collapse because of a lack of a technology co-founder, and refusing to give up, Deven (despite being a Commerce graduate) decided to learn from scratch, how to code. Today, the platform, as it stands, has largely been coded by Deven. He brings his vast corporate experience, wide personal and professional network, proven leadership skills and passion to the business.
Tejas took the lead to convert their dream into a product and now Deven has left his very-well-paying cushioned Partnership in a consulting Firm, to join the cruel world of startups and restart his career from scratch, to permanently transform the hospitality and real estate / vacation home ownership market in India.
Ankita, a graduate of MIT Pune, literally gave SaffronStays its identity. Right from our logo to every page that you seen on the website has been designed from scratch by Ankita. We must have received a lot of praises and compliments on our UI and UX - and all credit goes to Ankita.
Deven, after spending 18 years of of his life in the professional services and consulting world, decides to hang his boots and jumps headlong into SaffronStays.
Top CEOs, CFOs, entrepreneurs, and HNI Families join the network to create the world's first exclusive by-invitation-only leisure home network.
SaffronStays painstakingly restores and launches a gorgeous, 1885 built British colonial built and Parsi owned Bungalow in Matheran. This changes the entire direction of our enterprise. From an aggregator to a boutique micro-hospitality company, specialising in heritage and luxe homes.
Our Co-founder, Tejas Parulekar, gets featured in a full-page story "No Place like Home" in their "Just started" section.
1000 person room nights. Phew!
Having perfected our backend processes and our technology platform, SaffronStays launches full-fledged bookings in Mumbai. Within a short span, SaffronStays team quickly realises the need to scale up its team and also its inventory! Happy problems :) We touch 1200 listings nationally!
SaffronStays commences accepting bookings. The cash registers, slowly but steadily, start ringing. The dream slowly is converting to a reality.
Within 6 months of launch SaffronStays aggregates, verifies, enslists and curates content for more than 800 homestays spread across the length and breadth of India.
Quickly realising the failure of the digital campaign, SaffronStays launches the Travel Ninja program. Photographers, travel writers, are selected through a rigourous process; trained and sent to cover regions across India. The program is hugely successful in enlisting homestays and verifying them as well.
SaffronStays is launched for allowing hosts and homestay owners to list their properties. A digital campaign commences. First few tentative hosts enlist.
The outsourced coding agency abandons the project. The Founders decide to pick up the guantlet, open their O'reilly publications book on LAMP, and begin coding!
After a few false starts the coding starts...
After years of discussions, the Parulekars decide to convert their dream into reality!
"No Place Like Home - ...but when you live with the local family, you learn much more about the place, the food, and the way of living."
"Homestays reach the areas where hotels don't reach and they provide a unique offering at a great value compared to a hotel," says Tejas Parulekar, cofounder and COO, Saffronstays, which plans to reach 2,500 listings in the next one year..... Saffronstays, which opened its bookings this August, already has 725 homestays and B&Bs (having over 3,500 rooms) listed on it. Read more, click here
"Diwali may be a festival celebrated across India, but there are traditions unique to each community ," says Tejas Parulekar of SaffronStays, which has tied up with 750 home-stays and launched #Diwali Diaries, a digital campaign targeted at domestic travelers to draw attention to lesser-known local celebrations, like the burning of a Narakasura effigy that takes place in Goa during Diwali. Read more, click here
"If exploring places means connecting with new people everyday, ditch the hotel route this summer. Instead, opt for warm homestays where you can experience a place through the eyes of a local. If you're travelling in India, log on to saffronstays.com, a social community that is your go-to place for homestays, bed & breakfasts, serviced apartments and vacation rentals. Their motto is the ancient belief — Atithi Devo Bhava (the guest is god). The Mumbai-based platform offers the options of either volunteering as a host or registering a guest anywhere across India. Once one registers via email, Saffronstays ensures that the people who enlist are verified. Also, those hosts that tend to provide memorable stays can be chosen as hosts, and prominently be featured on the website with pictures et all." Read more, click here