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The OneBoard Story, Part 2: Expanding Horizons, Upskilling, and Overcoming Challenges banner Image

The OneBoard Story, Part 2: Expanding Horizons, Upskilling, and Overcoming Challenges

Our journey galloped forward with the intent of offering our product as a SaaS platform to hostels, allowing them to efficiently manage their experiences. During the months of June and July, I dedicated my efforts to contacting hostels across the country and presenting our solution. The response was generally positive, but we soon recognized a limitation in the number of nationwide hostels.

This realization led us to a pivotal decision – expanding our reach to encompass hotels and guest houses. The revelation was immediate – the potential market size had exponentially grown. Goa alone housed more than 5,000 accommodation providers, compared to 100 hostels. With our focus narrowed to Goa, we pressed on.

Pursuing this new venture, I reached out to a longtime friend and an industry expert, Ray Vaz. In August 2021, he joined our ranks, and our growth experienced a meteoric rise. Amidst these developments, another realization dawned upon us. Unlike hostels, hotels were less inclined to curate and integrate experiences. This prompted a transformation in our model. We transitioned to onboarding experience providers, instituting a commission structure for sales and sharing those earnings with the hotels that facilitated the bookings. QR codes adorned every room in the hotels, transforming spaces into gateways to adventures.

Our team burgeoned, and we scaled up, securing pre-seed funding from Build3 startup studio in December 2021. However, new challenges arose – though user engagement with the boards was robust, bookings were lagging. In response, we launched a B2C initiative in January to exert more significant influence over purchasing decisions, and it began to yield results.

Yet, the path forward was not without hurdles. Over the following months, internal conflicts emerged, and by March 2022, Ashrith departed from the company. This juncture prompted introspection. We regrouped, elected to take a brief pause, and embarked on a journey to rebuild and reinvigorate our mission.

As a person with a substantial engineering background, having left college to enter business school, my technical prowess was limited – I had basic knowledge of coding languages like HTML, CSS, and C++, but not JavaScript. I immersed myself in learning for two months, dedicating a minimum of eight hours each day. Concurrently, I managed to keep our servers operational, even once restarting them from a ferry while participating in an experience.

By June 2022, Ray introduced me to Nikhil, his cousin and a proficient DevOps engineer, and Hansel, a backend developer. Both were willing to contribute during their nights, balancing their commitment with full-time jobs. Financial constraints prompted us to proceed gradually. Over the next two months, we toiled during the nights, reconstructing everything from scratch to produce a stable build.

Simultaneously, our daytime operations maintained momentum as we worked towards smaller goals and upheld relationships with our partners. Ray officially joined as a co-founder, unrelenting in his dedication even as the technology experienced fluctuations. We outsourced front-end development to a local IT company, resulting in the launch of our provider app’s first version in the market.

By then, I had upskilled myself extensively in JavaScript, AWS, and Figma. Overseeing logic building and development closely, I ensured that our journey, though gradual, was unwavering.

Thank you for reading. If you’d like to reach out to us, please drop us a text on WhatsApp at +91 8766720168.

Stay tuned for Part 3!.