Tradition, taboo and trend-thinking in action: The battle to help the Indian youth have sex in peace
StayUncle, a New Delhi-based start-up that links unmarried couples with hotels on an hourly basis, appeared in our recent ASIAN INNOVATION FRENZY Regional Briefing as an example of a brand that supports and empowers those who are living life on their own terms. We picked the brains of company co-founder Blaze Arizanov to discuss the power of NEW NORMAL in even the most trying of environments.
What was the inspiration behind StayUncle?
The “horror” stories we heard of young Indian couples being discriminated molested and disrespected even by hoteliers, the very face of hospitality.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced while both developing the idea and establishing yourselves within the market?
Us becoming comfortable with the idea of helping Indian couples get laid. Especially Sanchit, my co-founder, whose mental barriers were the representations of the barriers entire India still needs to tear down. In an interview with The New India magazine, he was asked what message he'd like to leave to the young people of India. His answer?
Be Bold. Be brave when you appear at the reception of StayUncle hotels. You are not doing anything wrong. Keep your head up because you deserve all the respect in the world. You help love survive and thrive. You are love personified.
I was moved, deeply moved.
What is your top tip to other professionals who seek to better understand, and stay ahead of, consumers’ changing expectations?
Customers speak all the time. All of them. I am very much against the Steve Jobs dogma, that they have 'no idea what do they want'. Yes they do, and they keep screaming out loud for it, ready to open their wallets. Listen to them. And, if you are a startup, start by giving them exactly what they ask - pick the low hanging fruit, gain some strength and then innovate.
You’re featured in our ASIAN INNOVATION FRENZY briefing, falling under our NEW NORMAL trend - looking at how, across the globe, many consumers are discarding tradition and embracing new beliefs on everything from family to marriage, sexuality, gender roles and more. Where do you see this strand of consumer behavior and expectation heading?
I can only speak for India - my market and my second home. The youth of India have a bold and brave challenge ahead. They will not entirely refuse the traditions and knowledge of their elders, but at the same time won’t allow themselves to be bound by it. They are asserting themselves and their own individuality and looking for absolute freedom; in expression, in sexuality, in everything. It is so amazing, almost spiritual. India is a highly collective society, and such bouts of individuality have rarely. I am so excited for the opportunities.
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