PGs near DU turn luxurious: Swimming-pools, gym on offer
Ten years ago, 'PG accommodation' near DU typically meant looking for brokers and hunting for a room that brings with it a bed and a table. Cut to 2018, and things have changed. A lot. Now, you've 'PG-managers' and companies like YourShell, who find you luxury spaces that offer gyms and swimming pools! Prices can start around a stunning Rs. 25,000.
The spike in luxury PG has seen a boom in the last few years. A psychology student of Indraprastha College for Women, who graduated in 2013, said, "There was no 'luxury living' back then. Even if there was, it was unaffordable." But for students like Paro Tomar, 'luxury' PGs are better, simply because her parents 'believed it guaranteed greater security than a casually-run enterprise.'
Shakti Nagar area has come to be known as the upscale PG hub, where accommodation is more than basic living. Here, many PGs offer four buffet-meals a day, unlimited soft drinks and hot beverages, gyms, medical services, recreation areas with pool-tables, Playstations, table-tennis courts and, in some cases, even swimming pools. For a rent of Rs. 18,500, security deposit can be around Rs. 37,000.
Renu Kalra, one such PG owner shared that there's a market for such 'luxury' PGs. "Even when they were living in more basic accommodation, they would end up spending close to Rs. 15,000 a month on ordering food they like," she explains. This spike has attracted start-up ventures such as Stanza Living and Placio, and their entry brings a more professional and corporate approach.
The 'luxury' PG rise has also given way to a boom of brokers and property-dealers. "Now every lane has 10-15 brokers and every building is being utilized for student accommodation," said Vijaynagar-based property dealer Harish Sharma. Another dealer said, "Value of a 100-sq yard property has increased from Rs. 3cr to 4cr in a year and there is tremendous competition among PG managers."
That's where 'aggregators' come in, who're usually seniors, but give directions to newcomers for free, and get paid 15-day rent from PG managers. That's how YourShell was founded. Five Ramjas-College students, who were aggregators initially, collected Rs. 8L in just 22 days. Eventually, they got a Rs. 35L grant under government's Startup India Initiative and founded 'YourShell', which now runs 18 such well-equipped PGs.
"Student accommodation is a huge market, especially in Delhi, worth millions, but there is a serious trust deficit among customers," said Rohit Pateira, co-founder of Placio, a Noida-based start-up. He added: "We are bringing into it organization." This may force local players to back out. "There's just too much competition and they can invest a lot in aggressive online marketing," Kalra said.
On the other hand, DU South Campus, which houses colleges like Kamla Nehru and Gargi, still has PG rooms charging Rs. 6,000-Rs. 9,000/month. But the scene may change with the entry of Stanza Living. "This year, everyone has increased their rates by at least Rs. 1,000. They have priced their beds between Rs. 13,000 and 14,000," said Karandeep Singh, a local broker.
On Quora, many termed Students Inn the best PG near DU North Campus. They provide facilities like swimming pool, gaming area, four buffet meals daily, in-room TV and 24*7 on-site security, to name a few. Some also mentioned CoHo, a Gurugram-based co-living space provider.