Urbanpod, the answer to futuristic smart hotel concept

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MUMBAI: New-age travellers visiting the metropolis can now enjoy their stay in a unique smart Pod hotel at affordable rates with Urbanpod, which has opened its first facility here in suburban Andheri with 140 units.

The initial investment was done by three promoters, and for expansion, the company is open for investments from venture funds, a top official said.

“With a investment of Rs 5-15 crore per hotel depending on the locality, we are looking at an average of Rs 10-20 crore investment over the next three years,” Urbanpod Co-founder and Director Hiren Gandhi told PTI here.

With an average price of Rs 2,000 per night, the individual pods are built in between 50 square feet and 90 sq ft space with self-contained and technologically-superior interiors, besides a separate individual-locker facility for luggage, he added.

These smart hotels for Gen Next, provide lodging made up of small pod rooms that fit only necessary amenities. Each Pod comes with a bed, personal locker with secure key card access, TV with headphone, personal reading light, power socket, hangers, a dresser, free Wi-Fi, adjustable air-conditioning facility, air-purifier and sliding door with locking-facility for added privacy.

With no individual bathrooms, on an average there is a shared facility for every 8 pods, Gandhi said.

“Our main target segment will be people from 18-50 years, who are students, entry level executives, pilgrims among others who are looking for affordable, hygienic and safe accommodation,” he said.

Gandhi said, with the Indian tourism and hospitality industry emerging as one of the key drivers of growth among the services sector in India, there has been an increasing sub-segment within the leisure category including single-travellers, transit travellers, backpackers and group travellers of all kinds, who are looking to explore and experiment to optimise their spends wisely.