Tue, 20 Aug, 2019

MEROHOSTEL: The ONLY Online Hostel Portal in Nepal

By Ankit Pradhan

Photo Courtesy: Ashim Regmi Merohostel.com, as the name suggests, is a website built to provide information about hostels in Nepal. Bidish Acharya had this idea and started this project alone two years ago. The owner of the hostel he used to live in was the first person to make an investment of NRs. 2000 for the advertisement. From that money, he built a website secondhomenepal.com. He was all excited to get this done. After few weeks, he thought of getting a new domain ‘merohostel.com’ as it seemed catchier. As he didn’t have the money for this, he tried asking his father for the money but was directly refused with a typical, “What nonsense?” So, Bidish took a loan of NRs. 1500 from his hostel owner, with a promise to pay it back in 3 months, and bought the domain. He then thought of visiting another hostel and convincing them to advertise their hostel too. But, he was unsuccessful as he was not properly prepared. He could not answer the questions like, “What’s the page view of your website?”, “How can you guarantee that our investment will bring us students?” But, he still held on to his idea and tried to schedule a meeting with the hostel association. Slowly, he stopped pursuing his idea. He quoted, “My idea was about to die a natural death”. Bidish was alone then, but now, there are total of nine members in his team including him; this team of nine comprises of the students of 2nd year studying B.Sc. CSIT at DWIT. He expressed his gratefulness for having such a wonderful team and he said that the team is his confidence. In their team, the designing part is done by Abishek Gupta, developing team members are Ashim Regmi, Sachin Aryal, Sumit Shrestha and Susant Gurung, whereas marketing team consists of Bidish Acharya, Sunil Shrestha, Partik Budhathoki and Anish Thakuri. This team of nine with their full effort have finally built a hostel portal for the first time in Nepal. These are the students who are just giving their board exams of the 4th semester, yet they have accomplished a wonderful success in their journey of life. This site can be said as a complete portal for those who are in need of hostels and have no idea where to search. This website is built to make life easier for 10,000+students (rough figure) who come to Kathmandu valley every year to pursue their higher studies. Their previous door-to-door intense searching will become easier now. The web app is developed in Grails, that runs on Java Virtual Machine(JVM). The designing part is done with the help of HTML, CSS, awesome fonts, bootstrap, Javascript and the entire system is integrated in Grails view. Similarly, the database is designed in MySQL. The beta version is going to be deployed soon. In this version, the viewers can get the location of 220 hostels inside Kathmandu valley and they can limit their searches based on the preferred address, and gender. But, the ultimate goal of this site is to provide all the detailed information with the location, fees and other basic facilities provided by the hostels. They have finally converted their two year long idea into a reality. Actually, it only took them seven days to build the site. Bidish says, “We only planned, and planned, and planned but never took the leap before. Now that we did take a leap, it’s done.” In the near future, they are planning to register this website as a company first and visit every hostel in Kathmandu. They are planning to charge some amount to all the hostels who want to advertise their hostel on merohostel.com. Bidish Acharya in his interview with DWIT News team shared his joy at last, “To realize that the ‘invisible’ idea that I had in my head for so long is soon going to be out there for the world to see – gives me the greatest of satisfaction. I am thrilled to realize how helpful this is going to be for the students needing a hostel to live in.”