28 Mar 2017, 10:14 — 7 min read
Personal experiences can play a huge role in the shaping of a business idea for entrepreneurs. In Adhiswar T.A’s case, a bad experience of leaving his dog at a boarding centre from where his pet came back ill was the principle factor behind his business idea. Realising that it was difficult for pet owners in India to travel because of lack of adequate pet care he set up a boarding centre, Hotel for Dogs, in Chennai. His aim was to ensure that the pets would be treated well and that owners could rest at ease as they travelled.
In 2015, Adhishwar won the best startup award for a student which was handed out by the Tata Group. His initiative has seen much success since with its branches having hosted over 20,000 dogs over the last 3 years. Adhishwar notes with pride that 85% of his customers are people who seek out his services again and this is a testament to the quality of the institution he has established. By 2018, he hopes to open pet boarding centres in all the metros in India and aims to be one of the largest pet service companies in the world.
In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL) Adhishwar T.A (TA) shares the journey of his unique initiative.
GL: Tell us about your business and how it came into being.
TA: Hotel for Dogs is India’s premier boarding centre for pets. We started in 2014, in Chennai looking to solve an issue that a lot of pet parents faced. There were no proper boarding centres where you could leave your pet during travel. This was a reason for a lot of families to not have pets or if they had one- they couldn’t travel.
Hotel for Dogs idea was conceived when I had a bad experience when I boarded my Rottweiler (Kruger) at a boarding centre in Chennai for a period of 2 weeks. He came back with skin infection, tick & flea infestation and lost a lot of weight. This was when I realised that there was an urgent need to solve this problem.
GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?
TA: In any business, there will be challenges. Depends on the way you face them, we have had our own share of challenges in terms of set up, what was supposed to take 2 months to set up took 4 months.
Whenever we try to renovate and upgrade our facility, we have to be extra sure and make the process very slow as we cannot shut down our boarding facility.
But in terms of challenges in running the business, we haven’t faced any such difficulty. The ship has sailed through smooth waters.
GL: What is the USP of your business?
TA: The most important motive behind running a successful business is to solve a consumer problem. When a business is trying to solve a problem, the chances of it being successful are higher as you are aware what not to do.
The USP of Hotel for Dogs is the facility and services we offer. All our hotels are set up on a minimum of 20,000 Sq. Ft properties, the reason being we need a lot of space for the dogs to run around and play. All our kennels are spacious, air conditioned, 24x7 CCTV monitored and our in-house staff are all highly trained to handle dogs. We have a specially designed swimming pool for the dogs. Swimming is one of the best exercises for Hip Dysplacia which is very common in large dogs.
We have our in-house dog trainer, grooming parlour & a pet boutique who can advice our customers accordingly.
GL: What are some of the milestones of your business?
TA: The number of dogs we have boarded is one of our biggest achievements. We have boarded more than 20,000 Dogs across the 3 years that we have been operational. The highlight is that more than 85% of our customers are repeat customers and keep coming back on a regular basis.
Apart from that we have received quite a few awards:
More than all of these, our biggest achievement was the success of a dog therapy with a particular school in Chennai for the differently-abled. A student who hadn’t spoken all his life of 17 years started uttering basic words such as “amma” & “appa” after few months of dog therapy at our Hotel. We feel this is our biggest achievement and success. We feel it is important to accept the differently-abled and accept them in our mainstream society. We have even given them jobs at our store and grooming parlours to ensure that they are given equal importance and get the confidence to get accepted for who they are.
GL: What role do you feel GlobalLinker plays in connecting and assisting SMEs?
TA: GlobalLinker is a wonderful platform for various SME’s to connect and to find mutual interest and help each other grow their startups to be more successful and grow larger.
GL: What is your big business dream?
TA: We are on the verge of opening our third Hotel for Dogs in Delhi. We are also going to open in Mumbai by early 2018. Our aim is to be in all metro cities in India by 2018 and also have our own chain of pet stores & grooming parlours.
We are currently the only pet boarding facility across the globe to have facilities in more than 2 cities. We would like and are well and truly on the course to be the worlds biggest pet service company.
GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?
TA: The main thing to keep in mind for any aspiring entrepreneur is to follow your heart. Society and what people talk about you is something that should not affect you, there have been various things said and spoken about my business idea when I started early on, but as and when you can prove them wrong everything will change.
Always look to give back to the society for all that the society provides to you.
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Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
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