Abhishek Daga, Chitra Gurnani Abhishek Tripathi, Sanket Tondare and Vikram Arora, Founders & Thrillophiles, Thrillophilia Adventure Tours Pvt. Ltd.
“Thrillophiles and Entrepreneurship”
Adrenaline junkies are the best customers one can ask for because they love living large, do not complain about the food and basically live for their next infusion of thrills and spills. Thrillophilia Adventure Tours is the destination that adventure sports lovers are making a beeline for and YourStory found out why. Abhishek Daga represented the Thrillophilia Adventure Tours founding team of Abhishek Tripathi, Chitra Gurnani, Sanket Tondare and Vikram Arora and spoke about the dream that has come to be.
He says “Thrillophilia deals with adventure-related activities on a pan-India level. Be it rafting in the Tons or in the Kali River at Dandeli, Camel Safari in Ladakh or in the Thar Desert, Trekking around Bangalore or in Ladakh, Scuba Diving in
Lakshadweep or in Andaman, we cater it all. We also have a number of Biking trips, Caving, Wildlife, Paragliding and many more adrenaline pumping adventure sports options. India, having varied landscapes happens to be one of the finest destinations in the world for adventure activities. Thrillophilia addresses all adventure needs under one roof and promotes India as a world class adventure destination. Thrillophilia is a one stop solution, where one can find adventure information about various places of India, read adventure travelogues, share experiences, buy adventure merchandise and also book adventure trips.”
With Thrillophilia Adventure Tours you can be sure that the goods on offer are not just the stale old bungee off a bridge. Infact if you want to you can customize your adventure.
“Adventure Bible’ is a link on the website which powers under it a huge database of above 500 explored and unexplored adventure destinations of India. We share all this information on our website, “free of cost” for people to devise their own adventure trips. Not to forget that Mother Nature is our only inventory; we follow strict environment policies on all our tours. At the Merchandise section on the website, one can find a vast catalogue of adventure related products that we sell. Besides this most of the places in India where adventure trips are possible have been covered in the Trips and Events section on the website. We are constantly devising newer packages for the undiscovered, leftover places and trying to come up with more trips for our customers to choose from. In short, the organization of all adventure related needs covering the whole of India under one umbrella is the differentiating factor of our business.”
“We already offer trips in most parts of the country. We plan to cover the remaining regions in the next few months also. We target to cover entire India soon. We also plan to get on to the ground level operations in a deeper sense. In future, some of our trips, which are catered by external vendors, will be catered completely by us. We also plan to set up offices in all major cities in India as well as abroad.”
Thrillophilia emerged out of a mutual passion for adventure and excitement. The story of their creation is one of friendship that cumulated into a lifestyle choice. Abhishek says
“There are many things that we can do with our lives. Some things are done for satisfaction; some are done for money and some to gain power. And then there are some things which one wants to do only because one believes in them. We have always been excited by adventure activities and there is nothing better than doing what we love. We are on our way to provide everyone with the one thing that we have always loved. That is adventure and thrill and that is what we do at Thrillophilia. The story of Thrillophilia starts with four best pals from childhood — Abhishek Tripathi, Abhishek Daga, Chitra Gurnani and Vikram Arora.”
“All four of us were not like the normal 9-5 workers. We wanted to do something different, something big and something of our own. Other than this trait, the four of us also shared one freaking interest i.e. adventure activities. We used to go for weekend hikes, biking trips, wildlife safaris, paragliding, kayaking and rafting.”
“Myself and Chitra have worked with some of the biggest multinationals in Bangalore. While working with such technology giants on products that shape the future, we realized the way technology and internet are impacting every aspect of human life. We were quick to notice a potential business opportunity – combine the pretty cluttered and unorganized adventure sports market of India with Web 2.0 and build a platform that meticulously places all adventure sports options in India under one umbrella. There started the journey of Thrillophilia. Now the folks are on their toes for internet marketing.”
“Soon one more travel freak, very similar to us, joined Thrillophilia – Sanket Tondare. He is the brain behind Business development now. And not to forget our best friend Gagan Jain, the hard core techie guy who helped us in designing this website. The idea of a one stop destination for adventure sports manifested itself once Thrillophilia started taking shape. The sleepless nights, the endless discussions and continuous hard work have led us to what we only dreamt of when we started working on this idea.”
“We, Thrillophiles (That’s what we call ourselves are all from different backgrounds like B.Tech engineers, computer science techies, MBA grads ,Mariner, and one from law. This diversity helps us to come up with diverse thinking and quick solutions to problems.”
Their love for the great outdoors and alternative sports has carried over to fuel them for the struggle that entrepreneurship can be. Abhishek says “In a start-up, there come times when things don’t run smoothly. Tough times are always there. To keep the motivation of the team and to keep things moving during such times has been the biggest challenge that we faced. When things don’t work or when results don’t start appearing, people tend to be disheartened and give up. The only way to overcome this is to think positive, keep fighting and never give up. Always remember ‘Tough People last, tough times don’t’.”
They have learnt to cover all their bases and improved their skills when it comes to making a splash in their chosen field. Abhishek says “Not having a fall back plan has been the biggest mistake. I think for all aspects that are crucial to one’s business, one should have a fall back plan. We handpicked most of the vendors for our work after thorough examination and experiencing the sport with them. But in case one of them catering to a region is not in a position to operate or we fail to contact him/her, there should always be alternate options for such a situation. We did face these issues and then immediately addressed them by proper fall back plans.”
The financials behind Thrillophilia are simple and they want to keep it that way. Abhishek states “It is a self funded organization. Thrillophilia partners have funded it. However if the situation demands us to go for external funding also, we have potential investors who have time and again shown interest in funding Thrillophilia. Money has never been and should never be an issue in the growth of Thrillophilia.”
“We, four friends started working on the idea some two years back. After extensive research, analysis, travel, exposure to the level of work happening across the country in this field, we started operations in April 2009 from our Bangalore office. For background works we did use and we still use our Jaipur office. The website got its official launch in the month of August. We are now five partners in this company with the employee strength of two people.”
There are many takers for what they have to offer and as a one stop destination for all things adventurous; they have excelled in their vision. Abhishek spoke of recognition saying “It has been just a few months from the launch of the website as well as operations. Achievements are yet to come. It is just the beginning.”
“The kind of feedback we have received from the website visitors is just too good. The appreciation for having all adventure related stuff of India organized under one umbrella has been amongst the finest comments that we have received. We already get many queries on a daily basis and we have converted some of them and started building the record of successful and happy customers.”
One can expect to never see the fabulous five working for anyone else. Abhishek spoke on their behalf saying “This is our passion and we breathe Thrillophilia. So, no chance of giving up. We have to make it bigger and more successful day by day. The story has just begun.”
Their self belief is born out of the knowledge that our region has much to offer in terms of natural beauty and thrills. Abhishek explains their convictions saying “The desire to make it the biggest adventure sports company in the sub continent, the will to achieve what we dreamt of and the team of people who complement each other and support each other at every difficult time in Thrillophilia are what drive us to stay on the roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship.”
Adventure sport enthusiasts are gearing up to experience the wares that Thrillophilia has to offer. Their journey has just begun and they are counting on many thrills to make it all worthwhile. Abhishek delivers the collective knowledge of the Thrillophiles advising “Just do it. You have to dive into the water to learn to swim. Success and failure are just two facets. To take the worst scenario – even if the start up fails, the learning that one has in the whole process is more than valuable and it gives one enough encouragement and confidence in life to do anything moving forward and everything that the human mind can think of.”
“Also, be patient and give enough time to your company to grow. Plan things properly, execute them well, find what’s going wrong when the expected results are not coming, what’s not working and fix it. You are bound to succeed. Even before doing smallest of things ask yourself – “Why?” The most important thing – know your product well, if you have worked as an employee for years in a company, try to start something where you can use your experience and knowledge. Diving in new water is always difficult but not impossible. Last, but not the least – “Everyone does not get a chance to fulfill his/her dreams. So, just DO IT.”
We wish the fabulous five Thrillophiles luck and many adventures on their entrepreneurial journey, and hope for their continued dedication to their ethos.