‘Homestays of India’ is a social enterprise dedicated to support authentic family run homestays across India. We aim to provide travelers a unique experience and the locals an alternate source of income while preserving their heritage, culture and traditions.
Staying in a homestay gives an enriching and immersive experience. Live in an informal setting and get an opportunity to interact with hosts and co-travelers, experience the local culture & traditions and taste India’s rich cuisine prepared by locals. Homestay owners host their spaces in many different ways, which makes each homestay experience unique and full of discovery.
Our mission is to promote sustainable tourism in India. We do that by protecting cultural and natural heritage, implementing environment friendly practices in our homestays, sourcing products locally and engaging local staff to provide economic benefit to local communities and inspiring people to travel responsibly.
HOI also aims at reducing migration from Indian villages. Not only do we provide the alternate livelihood to the host families but also support the local communities. In addition to engaging local staff and using local resources, we train the women in various aspects of hospitality like guest handling, cooking, hygiene, adopting eco-practices etc. The youth of the area are also trained in tourism activities so they get the employment opportunities in the village itself and do not have to go to the cities in search of jobs. We work actively with locals to create outlets for local produce and handicrafts to boost the local economy.
Co-Founder & CEO
Vinod Verma is an entrepreneurial person and expert in developing sustainable livelihood through traditional homestays. He has contributed to Indian tourism by bringing many off-beat places to mainstream and promoting Indian culture. A trilingual person with Hindi, English by naturalization and trained in Russian from the Russian Culture Center, he is academically qualified professional with travel, hospitality, landscape photography and field learning. Vinod Verma regularly contributes in reputed travel magazines and travel guide publications of India. Some of his popular travel guides are “Buddhist Trails in Ladakh”, “Simla and its heritage” and “Brajbhoomi: Krishna’s Playground” published by Good Earth.
Shailza Sood Dasgupta
A social entrepreneur, Shailza works closely with local rural communities to augment village economy by generating alternative income streams through homestays and other tourism related activities. Explorer by heart and a travel consultant by profession, Shailza has traveled extensively in rural India and has spent time with tribal people. After working for companies like Google and McKC for over a decade she finally followed her heart and started writing and consulting. She writes for various travel publications that include HappyTrips – Time of India travel initiative, Terrascape, Discover India, Women’s Era, Alive and leading newspapers like The Hindu and Times of Oman. She aims to make this world a better place by educating and helping people travel responsibly and keep this world a beautiful place for the coming generations to cherish.
Holding a Master’s in Economics as well as a Master’s in Business Administration, Debjani after a successful career into business development and Sales Training in various multinational companies in India, launched her first event management company in Singapore and then expanded in India into the business of niche industrial and agro products. With her deep sentiments for her fellow Indian citizens and being an avid traveller, she believed in generating mass employment in the hospitality industry through asset light ventures, and Home Stays of India which, co-founded by her close friend, became her first choice.
Dr Harsh Pathak
With over two decades of experience in litigation and advisory on matters related to private and public laws, he represents various government and non-governmental organizations as counsel in courts of India, Supreme Court, courts/ tribunals all over India and overseas. The depth of continuous legal expertise, combined with wide-ranging experience has recognized Dr. Pathak as forerunners in the field of lawyering and consulting for laws in India and overseas. He has authored an international edition on “Organisational Change”, book by Penguin publication and regularly appears in national and international events, journals, publication, media and forums as counsel or speaker on the areas of contemporary concern and legalities.
A legal counsel by profession and globetrotter by passion, Dr Pathak is a strong votary of community development through conservation and promotion of natural and cultural heritage. With his global and local exposure he strongly believes in “HomeStays” as tool for socio-economic-cultural development, experiential learning and sustainable tourism in particular and community development at large.
Aishwarya is the youngest member of the team who brings lots of energy with her. At a very young age she decided to give a head start to her career through event planning. A versatile personality that she has, writing and digital marketing comes naturally to her. She appreciates art in every form and connects with it. Fuelled by passion to learn and build on both her personal and professional worlds, she considers herself as a ‘forever student’.
The team was recently awarded the National Business Leadership Award for exemplary work in the field of Travel and Tourism. It is an acknowledgment of the quality and the authenticity of the homestay experience that the team strive to bring to every single customer from all over the world.
“Thanks to all the wonderful homestay owners who have put in their belief and trust in us and all our customers who took our word for it, went out and experimented and experienced life in a Homestay!”