As ideas come together :

Posted by-Kalki Team

Cuckoo hostels, Koramangala

Rajat Kukreja was a Gandhi Fellow spending five years in the villages of Rajasthan working with government schools for a couple of years before he ended up in Bengaluru, working for a consultancy. It was a desk job while I was used to working in the field. I wanted to do something different and so I converted my house into an airbnb and hosted guests. It was a great experience. I met people from over 30 countries and learnt about their lifestyles and culture. The success of the venture inspired me to start Cuckoo, a co-living space. I wanted a space that would help people share ideas, plans and work in a learning space. Everything in the space has been created by us.

To convert his plan to reality, Rajat and his friends took over a house in Koramangala. They painted it, added murals, a terrace garden for organic vegetables, cycles, a library and more. Everyone chipped in. We used bright colours to paint the house and encouraged eco-friendly living.

I wanted it to be more than just a place for people to socialise or just a place to crash at night. I wanted it be a place that helps build a community and ensures that people learn new things. We conduct events every week, inviting comedians, musicians and others. We have had almost total occupancy. It is an eclectic mix of entrepreneurs, students, travellers and tourists. We also get enquiries for long-term stays. We are thinking of conducting contests to facilitate that.”

Bengaluru is open to spaces like this, on account of its youthful workforce. “The city is becoming like Pune, with a huge number of young working professionals who are open to the idea of staying in such spaces. I think this trend will continue to pick up steam.”

Construckt Startup Hostel

Shashikaran Rao and Karan Bahadur discovered co-living spaces during a business trip to Berlin and decided to bring the idea home by setting up a co-living space for the startups at the Construckt Startup Hostel in Indiranagar. For Rs. 850 a night, the hostel offers bunk beds in dormitories. Shashikiran says, In Berlin, I discovered the value of co-working and co-living spaces. We began research in the hospitality industry and discovered that most start-up entrepreneurs in the initial part of their projects, be it getting funding or building prototypes, spent a lot of money on hotels. These places were functional, but did not offer many chances for the entrepreneurs and employees to network and socialise within the start-up community. We wanted to create an informal and interactive space and decided to set up the hackpack hostel. We wanted to get more like-minded people under one roof. We conducted surveys that suggested a huge demand for rooms within the start-up community itself, with nearly 18,000 rooms being demanded by nearly 2,000 start-ups.”

The duo remodelled a huge bungalow in Indiranagar, demarcating spaces for informal meet-ups, sleeping spaces and dormitories, including a massive bath tub in the living room, which Shashikaran points out is a play on Archimedes’ Eureka moment. It can host up to 20 people at a time. The facilities include a self-catering kitchen, Wi-Fi lounge space, laundry, meeting spaces and more.

Meditating monkeys

Meditating Monkeys, a Cooke Town hostel is plastered in a shade of blue, has a common area with plants, small pillows and a nice seating area, with the space comprising of 22 beds in two floors. The hostel is the brainchild of musician Vineeth Vincent, Ananth Uthappa and Tabea Victoria.

Vineeth says, I used to get many musicians to the city. Most wanted to stay at my place to learn more about the place and our lifestyle. I travelled a lot and decided to come back and set up a co-working space in Bengaluru. I realised that people, from tourists to musicians and working professionals, wanted to stay in spaces where they could meet like minded people, interact with them and work on projects together.

In an attempt to promote healthy living, the trio decided to make the place a non-smoking, no-alcohol and vegetarian. “We wanted to create a space that is quiet and welcomes tourists and travellers. It has been a great journey.”

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