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Powering Future: Anindya Dutta, Co-Founder & MD, Stanza Living

Stanza Living has scaled to 200 folds growth to an inventory of over 22,000 beds across 10 cities.

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With an increase in student migration domestically for higher education in India, there has been a dearth of high-quality solutions, adaptable to the unique needs of students in the country.  Solving these issues, Anindya Dutta, Managing Director and Co-Founder at Stanza Living aspires to build top student housing companies in the world – creating a strong India-origin brand, operating on a global scale. Founded in 2017, Stanza Living operates in the student housing sector, creating fully-managed, hospitality-led, tech-enabled student living experiences. They currently have over 750 people across India. Stanza Living has been conceptualised as a place that offers a fully managed community living experience. They have created new benchmarks in cost-leadership, consumer experience and established blueprints with impact on their stakeholders and the sector, at large. Dutta’s vision is to continue solving more and more current and future lifestyle needs for their target consumer base.

“As an entrepreneur, I’m inspired by Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson, erstwhile managers of some of the leading football clubs in the world, for their sheer winning mentality and confidence to chart new territories. Our proposition is enabling a consumer story truly geared to the demographic dividend that India enjoys and is at the forefront of redefining consumption patterns for this segment. We see the brand as hugely sustainable and a few years hence we want to target becoming a publicly listed company.” says Dutta. Carving new milestones, Dutta adds, “In my professional stint with Goldman Sachs and Oaktree Capital, I had the opportunity of leading investments and building businesses across sectors. I always wanted to branch out, explore potential ideas and become an entrepreneur. With Stanza Living, my co-founder Sandeep and I have created a pioneering proposition that is not only delivering value-driven growth for diverse stakeholders but is also re-defining student living experiences.”

Stanza Living has been on a rapid growth trajectory, scaling over 200 growth to an inventory of over 22,000 beds across 10 cities within just 24 months of operations. Stanza Living is backed by marquee global investors of the likes of Falcon Edge India, Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, Accel Partners and Alteria Capital. 

The company’s rapid pace of growth has created a unique business challenge. “We need to continue growing at a scale while ensuring not to compromise on the core values. Unlike other real-estate asset classes, student housing in India is in a unique position. There is high demand from over 10 million students migrating within the country for professionally-managed, high-quality accommodations. Yet, a significant infrastructure and service gap exists in the space. Hence, world-class, tech-enabled and service-focused residential experiences like Stanza Living shall witness certain predictability of demand,” informed Dutta.  

“As an entrepreneur, my focus is on solving more and more current and future lifestyle needs. Operating a high-potential consumer business with industry-shaping impact: we have built industry-leading cost-leadership models that benefit consumers, partners and industry alike,” added Dutta. He believes over the last couple of years, several government initiatives such as Start-Up India and the abolishment of angel tax have created a business environment that is extremely conducive to entrepreneurial growth. Dutta opined, “The need of the hour for student housing is its recognition as a separate sector and to define the policy, regulatory and taxation frameworks addressing the sector’s unique requirements.”