You do not have to be an industry veteran to spot an opportunity. Nor do you need to have years of experience to start a business. Sometimes all it take is to be passionate about building a company for a cause that you believe in or solving a problem that you believe exist.
We interviewed the Co-Founder of Vintage Inn, Shanthan, to find out more about how he spotted an opportunity and started building a company around it.
Please tell me about your personal background from before you found Vintage Inn?
Completed my National Service and worked part time in a back packers hostel while doing my Accounting and Finance Degree.
How did you chance upon this idea? What gap did you wish to make up for?
While working in the back packers hostel, we saw a lot of improvements that could have been done to give guest an enhanced experience in a backpackers hostel. One of the gaps we wanted to fill was having privacy yet staying in a backpackers hostel.
What does your hostel offer?
Staying in capsule has became part of rising trend in hospitality.
Our capsules were designed and built with the privacy of our guests in mind. Thus, each capsule is equipped with ample room space, high quality beds and a privacy curtain that when drawn, makes you feel like you are having your own private space.
What are some ups and downs you have experienced with Vintage Inn?
The Hostel Business is very seasonal. There are times where occupancy will be low and you need to have reserves to cover you at low periods. The learning curve was very steep for us as we spent a lot of money to bring in sales at the on start. The upside is of course the experience that you gain operating such a business, ensuring that standards are well maintained, guest are happy, customers are returning and gaining a brand recognition.
What are some key aspects do you look for when hiring an employee?
We look at these three aspects – Outgoing, High social interaction, Fun. These three aspects provide a wonderful interaction and service with our guests.
What is the greatest pride you take with regards to your business?
Creating a wonderful and unique experience for our guest at Vintage Inn. We hope that visiting guest would choose Vintage Inn as their stay again if they are visiting Singapore again.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Expanding the business regionally. We have set our eyes on Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia.
What motivates you on a day to day basis.
The feeling to succeed.
I hope that the hostel can provide an enjoyable accommodation for people from all around the world.
What do you do to maintain your work-life balance?
Although business is a 24/7 work life, there are parts of the business you leave in the hands of trusted individuals like our employees to run the daily operations. This gives us the time focus on what we do best, looking and working on new opportunities.
What is the best advice that a mentor gave you?
Starting a business is easy, but turning it sustainable and profitable is the challenge.
If you could go back in time, what would you like to do differently?
Probably the features of the Capsule. As mentioned above, due to the increasing trend of capsules in the world, our competitiors have added more facilities and features in their hospitality. We could have put in more features inside to give guest an even better experience. Features like a small Ipad or television.
Are there any other things you would like to share to our readers?
Always be prepared for any outcome that you will face during your business journey.
More About Vintage Inn:
Address: 60 Race Course Road S(518567)