Seeing the rising trend of vacation rental market, home grown brand Lohono Stays by Isprava offers over 250 luxury homes with hospitality services in destinations like Goa, Alibaug, Lonavala, Phuket, Koh Samui and Bali. Nibhrant Shah, founder & CEO, Isprava & Lohono Stays in conversation with Akshay Nayak, highlights the company’s offerings and future roadmap
What are the current sentiments on timeshare business model in India? Does your model differ from it?
Timeshare business models were first introduced in India in the mid-eighties. It had to go through an initial phase of acceptance. A few people are still foreign to the concept of timeshare. The Indian demographic when traveling with their family or friends appreciate their privacy and space. Though a chunk of the population is open to this as a concept, a lot more awareness needs to be created on its benefits. However, the situation for timeshare model is gradually improving as the millennials are realising the value of owning a timeshare and are viewing it as a viable investment option.
We belong to the travel and hospitality sector, and as per research, mentioned above, Indian travellers like their personal space, thus, we follow two types of models – leasing and revenue sharing. Both of these are a single ownership model.
How are you looking at the segment with competition from standalone and branded hotels?
The vacation rental market at present has low to no entry barriers and is growing rapidly. The market is filled with various competitors ranging from budget to luxury homes/ hotels.
Lohono Stays belongs to the luxury segment, and caters to luxury travellers who are looking to rent beautiful, private homes across India and South East Asia. Every home that is a part of Lohono’s portfolio is designed and refurbished by leading international designers and comes fully furnished. Every home exudes a personality of its own. Think beautifully manicured lawns, charming balconies, quaint lobbies, mosaic floors, luxe private pools, thoughtful interiors, you think Lohono Stays by Isprava. In addition to our homes, one other differentiating factor is the bespoke home-style service that we provide to all our guests, whether it is making a reservation at your favourite restaurant, hiring a butler or booking a yacht, among many others, our highly trained guest relations team is equipped to take care of it all, ensuring that every guest has the best holiday experience.
Hospitality being intensive for both Capex and Opex, what plans have you chalked out for seamless financials and growth?
At Lohono, we have an asset light business model wherein we partner with the homeowner for a revenue share. We style their home to match the Lohono standard and maintain the homes on their behalf. This model has enabled us to grow rapidly.
How are you following the industry trends to maximise satisfaction for the modern-day traveller?
At Lohono Stays, we don’t just aim at meeting expectations but surpassing them. Our goal is not just customer satisfaction, but customer delight. As a team, we constantly keep a track of the market. Every insight received is thought through, augmented and integrated within our processes.
We understand that keeping par with industry trends is essential for any and every business, whether it’s hospitality, real estate or any other. Travellers today seek first-hand experiences – something more personalised, different, sustainable and local. We have learnt all this through the course of our journey in the last few years and believe that through our offering, we have played a defining role in shaping the expectations of the uber luxury traveller.
We make attempts and evolve to ensure that our customers are always delighted with their Lohono experience.
For Lohono Stays abroad, what potential are you looking from India outbound traveller market?
Reports suggest that the Indian travellers will account for 50 million outbound travellers in 2020, growing at the rate of 15-18 per cent annually. We see an incredible opportunity here and are extremely bullish about our expansion and presence in the international market.
Your plans for future fund raising and expansion to new destinations?
Lohono Stays by Isprava boasts of a stunning portfolio of holiday homes. Alongside renting some of the most beautiful Isprava-built homes, Lohono Stays enters into contract deals with independent owners and developers of ultra luxury homes in India and South East Asia. We have closed the first round of funding led by the Godrej family office and Anand Piramal, raising INR 15 crores. We launched with over 250 homes in Goa, Alibaug, Lonavala,and Coonoor in India and Phuket, Bali and Koh Samui in Asia. With regards to our expansion plans, we are looking at expanding our portfolio across various parts of the county and the world.