We are known as a city that thrives on its start-ups. This particular one was born out of personal experience. The idea that came to these two Bengaluru girls when they were scouting for paying guest accommodation for themselves and it has now become their identity. Sujatha Ramani, a senior professional with a computer science and MBA background and Jaya Nair, a chartered accountant set up homelypg.com, a digital platform for youngsters, mainly students and first time employees, to search, shortlist, select and book paying guest accommodations in the city from anywhere in the world. Their website integrates both online and offline processes and helps youngsters take decisions from the comfort of their home.
Talking of how the entrepreneurial bug hit her, Sujatha, an engineer by profession, who has worked with some of the big IT firms like Microland, Wipro and HP, shares, “The process to find a PG accommodation had not changed in decades. It was the same in the 90s when I stayed in a PG, and the same last year when I was looking for a PG for my sister who came from Mumbai! Also, I was asked by friends and family often, whether I knew of any reliable PG and this is what led to the idea. We wanted to distinguish it from the plethora of real estate and apartment rental sites existing in the city. One can also look up and choose roommates who have similar backgrounds, tastes, hobbies and the like.”
Jaya, a chartered accountant by profession who has worked in ITC and HP for many years says, “I always wanted to start off something on my own, so when my friend came up with this idea, I decided to take the plunge. Hiring the right people was a challenge, and so was retention. The digital platform helps you search shortlist and book a PG online. People can zero in on the accommodation much before they land in a city like Bengaluru. They do not need to spend endless hours walking in and out of PG buildings.
The PG search can commence even before they land up in Bengaluru, so that they can quickly move into the PG as soon as they arrive. We verify PGs before hosting on the site. Moreover, the HomelyPG guest does not pay anything extra for the services that they avail. Over time, the guest also enjoys the privileges of being part of the HomelyPG community, which can range from entertainment to travel to food to education.”
When the two girls are not working and facing the many challenges that the startup world brings, they like to let their hair down. Sujatha reveals, “I love listening to good music. I also like gardening.” Jaya adds, “I love long distance walking. I also find cooking therapeutic.”