Feel Like Home on Vacations with Homestays of India

Shailza Sood Dasgupta | Karo Startup | Inspiring Startup Stories | Homestays of India

She was born and brought up in Palampur, a beautiful town in Himachal Pradesh. She completed her studies till graduation (B.Sc.) in Himachal and came to Delhi 20 years back for Higher studies (PGDBM). Thereafter she worked with companies like Google and McKinsey Capability Center ( MCKC) for over a decade in Training and Development. She always aspired to do something meaningful that could make a difference in people’s lives. Routine work bored her to the core and she always looked for challenges.

 After working with corporate for quite some time and gaining some essential skills, she realized it’s a good time for her to start up something that interests her and throws a challenge every now and then. So, she started a travel initiative ‘ChaloLetsGo’.

Shailza Sood Dasgupta (Homestays of India)

Later in 2015, she met Vinod Verma and they both together conceived the idea of ‘Homestays of India’. Owing to their travel profiles, they had a huge network of local people running homestays. So, they started contacting them to understand the challenges individuals face and how they can help them. Finally, after some more travel and research, they decided to fill the gap between the hosts and the traveler’s and create a simple platform that gives homestays an exclusively online presence and connects them to the travelers looking for a unique cultural experience.

 THE STEP TOWARD THE NEW ERA

 They founded Homestays of India (HOI) in April 2017 with 5 homestays in Spiti valley, Himachal Pradesh. “Homestays of India” is a social enterprise dedicated to supporting authentic family-run homestays across India. They aim to provide travelers a unique experience and the local an alternate source of income while preserving their heritage, culture, tradition. Today they have onboarded 150+ homestays across 21 states in India. Now they are striving to encourage sustainable eco-tourism in India through Homestays of India.

 They work closely with local rural communities to augment their village economy by generating alternative income streams through homestays and other tourism-related activities. Explorer by heart and a travel consultant by profession, they have traveled extensively in rural India and have spent time with people from various tribes. She also writes for various travel publications that include Happy Trips – Time of India travel initiative, Terrascape, Discover India, National Geographic Traveller, Women’s Era, Alive and leading newspapers like The Hindu and Times of Oman.

Mission of Homestays of India (HOI)

HOI aims at sustainable tourism. They look after the culture and the communities over there. They train women in various aspects like guest handling, cooking, adopting eco practices, etc. They are trying to stop the migration of people from villages. The youth of the villages are trained in the tourism sector so they can get employed in their own village. They have been steadily working with the locals with outlets, handicrafts, and others to help them out .

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