An Excerpt from the Interview:
• What made you start your venture?
In college, the entrepreneurship bit us. As the President and Vice-President of the entrepreneurship cell at college, our job was to create an entrepreneurial eco-system in the campus through workshops, E-talks, activities and most importantly, grooming campus ventures. Through these activities, we met a lot of entrepreneurs, attended a lot of events and got exposed to the world of business.
We also won the NEN Championship award as part of E-week celebrations conducted by the National Entrepreneurship Network. By this time, the desire to start-up was in our blood. We chose travel because we are both passionate about travel.
We have travelled to many places of India and have organized many trips. Also, we saw that various travel agencies / trip planners were killing the joy of travel with their boring and monotonous itineraries. The part of ‘adventure’, ‘activity based trip’, ‘culture’ & ‘craziness’ was missing and that is what we wanted to bring in to our trips.
• What has been the key to your business’s success?
The key to our success has been our ability to offer something different that no one else offers. The unique combination of competition blended with travel has fascinated people. Also, our rates are mind-blowingly low compared to our competitors and it is difficult for anyone else to match our quality at such an affordable rate. The sheer experience which a yatri goes through in our trips is something ourselves we pride upon.
• What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
• Convincing parents –They were very sceptical about getting into business without any experience. But the fact that we were not quitting our jobs helped us and they have been supportive throughout after seeing our hard work & commitment.
• Marketing – Being first timers, we had absolutely no clue how to market our trips. We in fact failed miserably in marketing our first trip. We sat back, thought about it, read a lot of books, saw videos and understood the crux of marketing which is human psychology and that is now our focus.
• Pricing – We had no clue what to price our trips. Will people come? Is it too expensive? Could we have more of a margin? These questions haunted us until we decided to go to the people themselves! We did an exhaustive survey and collected feedback from various people and got an idea of how much an average Bangalorean would be ready to spend a weekend trip.
• Managing a regular job and start-up – A start-up comes in with a lot of intial struggle and you need to devote a lot of time to getting it off the ground. It was tough to manage time between our regular job and start-up but over the time, we learnt the art of multi-tasking and delegating tasks until it became an integral part of our daily life. Today, we still have a lot of personal time in-spite of being busy!
• Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business? We do not have any specific mentor. But our acquaintances during our stint with National Entrepreneurship Network are always willing to offer suggestions.
• Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
Google Drive – We would say the entire back-end of our business relies on it. A very useful tool indeed!
• What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
Being in hospitality domain, we have learnt the art of pleasing people. Travellers have 100s of questions and complaints. An honest smile on your face with polite reply can just do the trick! We concentrate on small things that go a long way in Customer satisfaction. E.g. Taking care of different food tastes, giving a feel of culture in every trip, taking utmost care to ensure that lady participants are always comfortable etc. Our expansion plan mainly depends on word of mouth publicity. We heavily rely on Social media where the photos of every trip go viral enabling us to reach many people.
• What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
1. The ability to think differently, think out of the box.
2. The passion to persevere without minding the brutalities or failures.
3. The art of connecting the dots… Entrepreneurs don’t invent things, it is scientists who do that. Entrepreneurs just connect the dots which otherwise do not come together automatically to create a business value / solve a problem. This is the ability which differentiates a successful entrepreneur from the rest. Book a trip with Crazy Yatra: http://crazyyatra.in/ Like them on Facebook: Crazy Yatra