Dharamveer Singh Chouhan

Co-founder & CEO of Zo World & Zostel

Dharamveer Singh Chouhan has scaled Zostel, India’s first backpacker hostel chain, to become the world’s largest backpacker hostel chain today in 2021. He has built a community-led, experience-driven ecosystem committed to revolutionizing the idea of travelling and socializing on the back of diverse service offerings.

These include providing social and private accommodation, conducting outdoor activities, and curating original entertainment events. In addition, in his role at the organization, DV is responsible for defining business strategy, building and managing investor relations, and nurturing a team of skilled professionals. Dharamveer also guides the vision of enabling experience-seekers to explore all corners of the world fearlessly.

Dharamveer always advocated entrepreneurship during his IIT BHU days. So, opted out of campus placements and has inspired the younger batches and generations to be bold, take risks and chase the impossible.

Having graduated from IIT (BHU) in 2012, Dharamveer went on to earn his Master’s in Business Administration from the prestigious IIM Calcutta. A passionate learner and explorer from the beginning, he launched his first startup, Bright Ants Gaming Studio, when he was still a 2nd-year student at IIT BHU. While the venture eventually shut shop, Dharamveer took away many invaluable lessons in entrepreneurship from the failure. Following a brief internship in Karlsruhe, Germany, he established Zostel to serve passionate, like-minded individuals across India and the region.

Under Dharamveer’s able leadership, Zostel has established itself as a market leader in its budget accommodation space, with over 2,000 beds in 60+ locations across India and Nepal. The company is present in premium tourist hubs such as Jodhpur, Dalhousie, Gokarna, and Jaisalmer, and several less-explored destinations such as Spiti, Bir, Panchgani, Wayanad, Pokhra, and Vagamon.

Along with the youth focussed Zostel brand. Dharamveer also raised $35m+ from various international investors for his venture Zo Rooms which was acquired by Oyo Rooms, helping them become a global leader in the industry.

In addition to being a committed entrepreneur, Dharamveer also frequently dons the hat of a business enabler, mentor, and angel investor. He successfully exited Razorpay, one of India’s leading online payments gateways, and has also invested in other high-potential startups such as Cube26 (Acquired by PayTm). Dharamveer has also been associated with more than 100+ tech ventures as a strategic advisor, guiding emerging startups on their way to achieving business growth and scale. These including Hiration Inc.(YC backed), Tagz Foods, GGTV, SupremeMinds, StartupGyaan, CoCoPani, AdiCube etc., where he formally holds equity as an advisor.

With Web3 technologies, Dharamveer’s other startup Zo World has raised $500K from Blume, Marwari Catalyst, Ravish (Khatabook CEO) and other prominent individuals. It is building the complete community-led travel solution enabling everyone to travel anywhere in the world.

A hardcore poker enthusiast, Dharamveer divides his leisure time between learning new things and gaming. Moving ahead, he envisions unlocking India’s potential as the ultimate travel destination for passionate travel-seekers across the world through Zostel.