Entrepreneurship is the best form of a hobby turned into passion turned into a profession and this definition turns out to be especially true in areas like travel. We’ve seen numerous stories about how a passionate traveler started up to help other people experience the same euphoria. And such were the intentions of Akshay Chhugani and Manu Mehta who started up The Indian Backpacker as a blog back in 2006.
The early days
It was in the last year of college when Akshay had started up the blog to write about places to backpack in India. “There were so many incidents happening especially about foreigners being mistreated and there was a general lack of information for a backpacker,” says Akshay. He started out with information regarding the safe places to go to and other tips for backpacking, especially for foreigners. Akshay went on to do his MBA and then took a job but the foundation for The Indian Backpacker was laid during MBA with his friend and co-founder Manu Mehta.
What’s on offer at The Indian Backpacker?
The site was started with an intention to guide and give accurate, updated information to foreigners coming into India for backpacking. Sometime into operations, the duo realized that it was not only foreigners, but a lot of Indians were also avid backpackers.
The Indian Backpacker has a lot of things on offer:
- Book for flight and coach tickets
- Book hostels
- Shop for travel gear
- Connect with other backpackers
- Informative articles about various facets of a destination
How do they make money?
This team of two has outsourced some of the development work but handle all other operations. The revenue currently comes in via bookings and ads. “We’re also doing a workshop which guides the participants on some very focused information that is needed to backpack around India,” says Akshay.
So, what’s the big plan?
All businesses are not built with milestones in mind. “This is one of those businesses which was built out of a passion of doing something that’ll benefit people,” says Akshay. Monetary gains wasn’t the final aim and still isn’t. “We want to spread the joys of backpacking to as many as we can,” The plan is to build a solid database of information about everything related to backpacking in India and become the gateway for backpackers in the country.
More about them on the site.