How I Launched My Dream B&B Startup in Varanasi With A Small Mortgage: IIT Grad’s Story

Aspherical 500 metres from the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, a boutique mattress and breakfast is providing a singular expertise to travellers. Safarnama Varanasi gives the consolation of a lodge to backpackers.

A favorite amongst vacationers visiting town, the boutique mattress and breakfast has served over 7,000 company from over 50 nations since its inception in 2017. It stays one of many top-rated properties on platforms corresponding to Airbnb,, GoIbibo, and others.

What makes it extra distinctive is that the founder has no background within the hospitality trade. Avinav Peshwani is a geologist, and says the enterprise was born out of a ardour to help sustainable tourism.

Avinav accomplished his commencement from IIT Dhanbad in 2015. On returning dwelling, he determined to make a profession within the hospitality trade. “I travelled throughout the UK, Shanghai and different elements of the world throughout my commencement. The experiences made me take into consideration enhancing the state of tourism in my metropolis. Overseas vacationers right here usually struggled with discovering an reasonably priced but snug place to remain at,” the 28-year-old says.

Taking vacationers to undiscovered locations

In 2015, Avinav took his first plunge into the world of journey and tourism by conducting excursions for foreigners and organising occasions for rickshaw pullers and the boating neighborhood to advertise them. He organised metropolis excursions for foreigners, providing them distinctive experiences. “I attempted to present vacationers the native expertise of commuting, consuming home-cooked meals, giving them a view of town’s tradition and artwork, and displaying them round conventional and non-touristic locations most popular by the locals. Diverting from the traditional itinerary made the expertise particular, and opened up alternatives of sustainable tourism, the place the locals profit economically,” he says.

His interactions with foreigners gave him a greater understanding of how he might make their keep economically viable and comfy. Avinav borrowed a MUDRA startup mortgage of Rs 4 lakh from the financial institution, and a few cash from the household to launch Safarnama Varanasi. Ashish Agarwal, a buddy from school, grew to become co-founder within the startup.

“The property is supposed for backpackers and vacationers, and situated near the Dasaswamedh Ghat. Vacationers like attending to know town by way of native experiences. They recognize roaming round in rickshaws and boats, consuming native delicacies, and strolling round gullies that the majority different vacationers don’t go to,” he says, including that he felt elevated when Hollywood actor Gerard Butler visited certainly one of his properties throughout his go to to India in 2020.

Exercise at Safarnama Varanasi premises

The startup earned a revenue of round Rs 8 lakh a month throughout peak vacationer season. Ashish and Avinav opened one other property for company within the metropolis, and one in Agra as properly. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown affected tourism and halted the progress that they had made to date.
Slowly getting again on their ft

Nevertheless, Ashish says, “We’re slowly returning to pre-COVID instances. We managed to interrupt even up to now three years. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that relying primarily on international vacationers for enterprise needed to change. Therefore, we registered the property on Indian on-line platforms to cater to home vacationers.”

He provides that moreover the pandemic, creating the ecosystem for sustainable tourism was a problem. “Neither of us had funds or expertise within the hospitality trade. With no publicity, we struggled with permissions and placing issues in line,” he provides.

Avinav hopes the tourism enterprise will enhance within the coming months. “We are going to hopefully reopen our property in Agra and get the startup again on monitor. Extra additions are underway to enhance vacationer expertise, and assist help the native financial system,” he provides.

Edited by Divya Sethu

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