When two world weary friends put their heads together, they are bound to come up with a winsome idea. So it was with Reju Nair and Craig Fernandes, the founders of StayInsta -- which connects travellers with accommodation across the world. Childhood friends who lived in the same neighbourhood and went to the same school, both Nair and Fernandes have travelled the world and know that finding a cheap accommodation can make or mar a trip.
Nair, who worked for a French oil company, was back home in Mumbai for good after being laid off along with scores of others due to the crash in crude prices. Fernandes, a former Merchant Navy officer who had been running a well-known serviced apartment chain, was bored with the hospitality industry and had recently closed down the business, wanting to try his hand at something new. A brainstorming session later, StayInsta was born.
For Nair, losing his plum overseas job turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Tired of living away from his family, Nair was looking for an opportunity to start something in India itself. The opportunity came when during a casual chat with Fernandes, the two hit upon a winning idea, one that gave shape to StayInsta.
Both avid travellers, the two knew equally well what guests on a budget want as well as those looking for luxury. With Nair's managerial skills and Fernandes' forte in hospitality, the StayInsta concept is bound to flourish. And both are on the same page with regard to StayInsta's objective - it's not just about making money, but about creating an alternative source of income for people and for making accommodation safer and affordable, even for students and interns.