After completing her Bachelor’s in Engineering from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Jason Noronha became part of Accenture as a financial consultant and spent 3 years working with it.
During mid-2010, Noronha went to Kenya for a period of six months and during March 2011, he made up his mind to give up his job to work out what he actually wished for.
After that, he flew away to Guyana with the global non-profit VSO and toured crosswise the continent, via Brazil, Venezuela, and Suriname. By late 2011, he came back to his native land Goa, where he spent a few months as mini-retirement.
From susegad to starting up
He enjoyed his mini-retirement on the sun-drenched coastlines of Goa and had observed the tremendously terrible state of the cheap beachside guesthouses where budget tourists lived.
The 31-year-old stated, “Having travelled to over 40 countries, the fact that there were no (real) hostels in India was always at the back of my mind.”
During February 2012, he along with his junior from Nanyang, Amber Jalan, rolled out Asterix Hostel in Vagator in North Goa and they had invested around of Rs 7 lakh. Asterix Hostel remained a victory and topped the list on booking spots such as Hostelworld and discovering a place in Lonely Planet. After a few years, the two got separated and shut down Asterix.
A hostel chain
Asterix’s first guest was Laura Anna Pawliczek who was working with an NGO in the national capital and afterwards shifted to Goa to introduce a German beer garden.
Then Jason and Laura made their mind to set up a hostel chain and consequently The Hostel Crowd took birth in the year 2013. Hostels Jungle in Vagator and Prison in Anjuna were rolled out during the similar year. By the way, Jason’s Asterix partner Amber shifted to Delhi to roll out Moustache Hostel. In the year 2014, Old Quarter got started in Panjim and in the year 2015 Summer got launched in Palolem. They also introduced their first hostel outside Goa, in Kerala’s Fort Kochi, named Maritime.
In the meantime, Jason’s brother Joshua Noronha and their cousin Joel Noronha became part of The Hostel Crowd.
The 26-year-old Joshua stated, “The world isn’t going the McDonald’s way, where everything looks the same. When a traveller goes from one place to the other, the hostel should do justice to the location and be a reflection of the destination. Palolem is very different in its vibe from Panjim, even though they are in the same state. That is why we have given each hostel a different name and not called them just The Hostel Crowd."