In this day and age when many start-ups, flush with capital, espouse growth-at-any-cost philosophy, one of India’s leading student housing start-ups Myroomie.in is charting a different path keeping solid business fundamentals at the heart of its business.
A snazzy reception lobby at a Myroomie property
In a matter of four years, the boot-strapped start-up Myroomie.in has scaled up to 3,000 beds in Bengaluru and Chennai. Today, Myroomie.in has an industry-leading 95% occupancy in all its properties and has one of the lowest cost structures in the student-housing industry. It has one of the highest EBITDA in the industry too.
How did Myroomie.in achieve this? The secret sauce is backward integration! It is only start-up in the student housing industry which has backward integrated big chunks of its value chain.
“It all started off with the COVID-19 outbreak. The business had come to a standstill and there was so much of time on hand. We thought we could use it to explore business and process innovation. That was the genesis of backward integration,” recalls Mr. Dennis Basil, CEO and Founder of Monami Hospitality Private Limited, which runs Myroomie.in.
Today, Myroomie.in has achieved 100% backward integration in interior designing and food and beverage departments.
“When we started evaluating opportunities for backward integration, we zeroed in on interior designing and F&B,” says Dennis. The interior furnishing costs are a major chunk of capital expenditure for any student housing start-up and food is a major chunk of the operational costs.
Myroomie.in today manufactures all its furniture in-house saving a lot of capex for the company. The F&B division of the company is run by 100% in-house team, he adds.
“Initially, we had outsourced food catering but our students, who stay away from their parents and homes, need homely food and not restaurant food. We have a well-trained team of chefs and cooking assistants who prepare fresh homely food free of additives and chemicals. We now have greater control over the process and quality. Our students are very happy. No wonder, Myroomie.in has the highest approval rating from student community in Bengaluru,” adds Dennis.
The in-house catering unit has become a separate business unit today and operates independently. Besides feeding thousands of meals to students at Myroomie.in properties daily, the unit also serves up about 5,000 meals to corporate offices every single day, contributing significantly to the top line and bottom line of the Company.
“From sourcing to designing and manufacturing to installing, our in-house team handles the entire interior designing and furnishing for all our new properties thus eliminating mark-ups,” says Dennis, adding that it has helped bring down the capex considerably.
Myroomie.in leases suitable properties and converts them into a well-appointed home-away-from-home for students. These accommodations offer well-furnished rooms with wardrobes, study desk, bed rooms, living rooms and attached bath. Homely food, security, housekeeping, laundry services, in-house gyms, etc are all part of the package. The dedicated Myroomi.in app allows students and parents to manage all features and facilities at the click of a button.
Having perfected a cost-efficient and student-centric model with its 3,000 beds in Bengaluru and Chennai, Myroomie.in is planning to raise its first round of funding to expand its operations to other cities of South India.
“Over the last four years, we have a built a scalable and cost-efficient model to set-up and manage new student housing properties. It is time for us to replicate this model in as many cities of South India as possible and we are evaluating funding options,” says Dennis.
Myroomie.in, run by Monami Hospitality Private Limited, is one of the first student housing focused companies in the country. Founded in 2018, the Company operates 3,000 beds in Bengaluru and Chennai.
The Company plans to extend its operations to Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Mysore, Mangalore and other cities with a target of 1 lakh beds by 2026.
The CEO & Founder of Myroomie.in is Mr. Dennis Basil, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore. He brings more than 20 years of cross-functional experience in real estate and technology industries. He started his career with Honeywell in the area of Automation and Process solutions. In his last stint as a real estate developer, he has delivered more than 3 million square feet of residential, commercial and mixed-use properties.
Myroomie website: www.myroomie.in.