The Quest Adventure Group specializes in conducting outdoor adventure programs, outward bound experiential learning programs, events and tournaments, apart from dealing in adventure equipment. The business specializes in custom-tailored, active trips for independent and group clients with a strong emphasis on outdoor experiences through, for example, Day / Night Camp, Trekking, Rapelling, River crossing, Kayaking, Cave exploration, River rafting and so on. Quest Adventures works in collaboration with the clients’ needs to tailor memorable travel experiences. With the vision of providing unique adventure and experience-based learning programs to the customers, Quest Adventures provides the services to people across age-groups. We Spoke to Mr. D Gupta about Quest Adventure Group – their vision, their offerings, and what sets them apart.
1. Can you describe what your business does? What made you start it? Quest Adventure group has 3 units: Quest Adventure, Quest Learning Institute and Nature Journey. Quest Adventure is focused in the corporate sector and organizational sector where we give them the option of Adventure Sports. We are service providers and we promote adventure as a normal program. For example, if someone wants to go to Ooty, we are very particular about the location. We have camping areas, set up the facilities within the resort premises. We also set up adventure facilities within the conference areas for offsite. Quest Learning Institute has outbound learning, where we provide leadership programs to organizations, be it in-house or a conference. We arrange activities that fulfill the objective of the client. We give a practical implementation of the objective with Quest Learning. Nature Journey is purely into the kids section which promotes outdoor learning for kids. We organize a 5-7 days of in-house summer programs. We are doing it in schools in Delhi and have also launched it in Bangalore. We organize summer camps that combine survival tasks, trekking, activities related to nature that helps children come out of their comfort zones. For example, we have started a certification process for kids from Nursery to class XI. We have set up classes into one certification programme where the kid has to complete the programme. Every year, we go to the schools and grade the kids on the different activities, parameters of their physical strength, team bonding etc. We give the rate cards to them and refer the same next year to keep a track of their progress. 2. When did you start your business? We started two years back with an aim to promote adventure sports in India and to encourage people to be a part of it. 3. When you started off, what were the basic factors you included in your business plan? We started off with creating the operation plan, marketing plan and financial plan. We conducted a market study for a year to understand the demand, price plan, location selection, competition etc. We then worked on the promotion and plan development followed by allocation of budget and resources. We started with Bangalore and expanded to Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad. 4. What are some of the unique features/services that you offer your customers/clients? Like I said earlier, Quest Adventure, Quest Learning Institute and Nature Journey provide exciting activities for all age groups. We provide end-to-end solution and actively promote adventure in institutions, colleges where they have college fests. Further, we organize in-campus activities like paintball, archery point, etc. We also do family connect programs. We organize activities in an apartment or a community to offer out-of-the-box experiences, both indoor and outdoor activities – like setting up tents. etc. 5. Were there any unexpected/ major challenges that cropped up in your line of business? How did you handle them? The recent unexpected weather conditions in Bangalore were the biggest challenge for us since it is not conducive to adventure sports. In terms of tackling them, we take up resorts, set up the facilities in the resort premises and set up camps. So people still have the option to experience adventure and come out of their comfort zone. Also, with the competition growing, we have increased our quality and maintenance internally. Also, since there could be sudden change in the adventure plans due to unavoidable reasons, our team on the field has to take immediate action. Therefore, there is the importance of training for such incidents and our team is well equipped to handle such changes. 6. How do you exceed customer expectations and deliver customer satisfaction? We are very particular about the location selection. Our team visits the location, check on the properties, hospitality and how the activities are conducted with a specific focus on the comfort and safety of the customers. We provide a door-to-door service and modify the programme as per the client’s requirements. We give personal attention to our clients; specially if the group comprises kids and elderly people (above 50), we deploy more team members to pay extra attention to them. We are very particular about hiring people who are certified from mountaineering institutes and have a similar education in relation to adventure sports. Also, if the trip in in the wild terrain, we train them on how to deal with the wild animals. 7. What were the challenges you faced as your company grew? How were you able to manage the complexities of process and accounting? We face challenges in resource management allocation and asset management. We are also building up associations with organizations, so it takes time. QuickBooks Online has helped us largely in managing accounting. We continuously use new apps to manage queries, management internally. We have a defined lifecycle to assign work and process a particular application. 8. Tell us more about the marketing strategy that works for your business. We do both online and offline marketing and work closely with organizational tie-ups. We also look at brand promotion in campuses and come up with new programs and activities every month. We are focusing on working with old customers by associating with newer engagement activities. Word of mouth is another important tactic that helps us increase our brand visibility. Further, we tie up with other brands with a co-branding concept, for example, an online e-commerce portal where they give privilege cards to the customers. 9. What are the qualities that you look for when you hire people to be a part of your team? We have different teams in terms of marketing, on-field, operations etc. We look for certified people who will be responsible in conducting activities and who have a background in adventure sports. We prefer people with knowledge of location, activities and first aid. One should have good relationship skills since he/she has to coordinate directly with the customer and other operational members. 10. What has been the key to your business’ success? My team (40 people) is the sole key to my business success. 11. Could you share some words of wisdom for other budding entrepreneurs? Believe in yourself and learn from your experience. Take everything positively and motivate your team; it is the pillar of your organization.