Prafulla Mathur is one of those serial entrepreneurs who believe that domain expertise is necessary in the technology sector for any entity to flourish. This is why he not only has a strong knowledge and expertise on his field, but he is also customer-oriented. This gives him much needed credence to get a great result for the customer. His skills, consistency and willingness to meet challenging timelines and difficult process issues made him a highly valued IT service provider.
Before he started his career in Information technology, he studied chemical engineering. After that he took upon several roles in the It sector and eventually founded Queppelin. His latest startup Wudstay provides branded standardized budget accommodations to business and leisure travelers “within their budget”. Within a short span of three months, it has managed to garner more than 15000 bookings. This is a result of immense dedication and pure ingenuity.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
WudStay is a major online marketplace for budget accommodation launched in April 2015. We started our operations on 1st June 2015, with presence in two cities- Gurgaon and Jaipur, and tie- ups with 15 hotels. In a short span of time of only three months WudStay has expanded to 25 cities and tied up with over 300 hotels across India.
We have embarked on a ride to standardize budget accommodation in the country and set a gold standard for quality in service, convenience and hygiene. We give a guarantee of facilities including-:
- A comfortable and hygienic stay
- Free Wi-Fi
- Complimentary Breakfast
- Clean laundered linens
- Clean bathrooms
- In-house toiletry kits
- In-house customer call center
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
Being an entrepreneur, I often travelled for business purposes. During these trips I would end up paying Rs.4000-5000 per night for a hotel room, and yet my experience with them was not satisfactory. I strongly felt that there was no consistency in services and in many instances the services were poor. On one occasion I travelled to Haridwar and realized that there was a huge gap in the promise and the actual services of the hotels, which needed to be addressed. I could see the gap because during my trips abroad I had experienced what quality services meant.
The thought of providing standardized services within budgets to travelers and the experience of being an entrepreneur encouraged me to innovate with technology and start a new venture in travel space.
What is your life mantra?
I believe that it’s important to take action rather than sitting back and waiting for something to happen. If you want to do something that you are passionate about, you should not be bothered about failure or success. One should just go ahead and try it out.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Any entrepreneur goes through extremely short cycles of things which disappoint and those which make you ecstatic. It is important to keep your calm and not let sudden shifts outside your control dynamics affect you.
How did you overcome those challenges?
1) Experience and practice: One learns to not get affected by external factors through practice. Just keep at it.
2) I follow my passion for music and play my guitar to unwind.
3) A lot of credit goes to my family and friends who have been a great support system.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
WudStay has raised $3 million from Mangrove Capital Partners and Nimbuzz’s Vikas Saxena during its first round of funding, within the first two months of its operations.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
I feel that the trend of brain drain has in fact reversed. More and more people want to come back to India as this is where the action is. There is huge potential for growth and the possibilities for trying out new things are much higher.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Perseverance, perseverance, and perseverance. The only way to succeed in anything is to keep at it once you have begun.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
I use Wudstay.com and its android app for all my accommodation booking while on the go. I extensively use Google business app for checking my mails and accessing documents, Whatsapp and Gaana app for music.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Have fun and you’ll be productive.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I love jogging but have been avoiding it for sometimes. Need to start that again.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
Start doing it. Take the first step.
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Inaction or not trying is the biggest mistake you can make.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Don’t take no for an answer.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
I want to disrupt the travel booking patterns in India, and make WudStay the de facto Gold Standard for quality of hotels.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
Nothing. I feel that it’s important not to demand but to make the best you can with what you have.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo with laughter.” – Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin