Chandrabhan Singh hails from New Delhi and has been an avid traveller. Pursuing an MBA at IMT-Ghaziabad, Chandrabhan was in France for a semester. Visiting the country as a tourist, he had an incredible experience and it was here that he was introduced to the concept of City Greeters. A greeter service primarily helps the tourist experience the place like a local.
Chandrabhan knew how it is for tourists in India, especially foreigners: rocketed prices, hawkers creating a nuisance sometimes and the issue of security that has been around a lot in the press recently. Always wanting to be associated with the travel field, Chandrabhan chose to target this pain point and started up You and India along with Chetan Soni who is also from the same college. The two were ruminating over the idea since 2011 and they finally quit their jobs and formally launched in January 2013.
“Greeter is a person who loves to help travellers travel in his or her city. This concept was first used in New York and since then it has spread across the World but still very new in India,” says Chandrabhan. Greeters basically go a step beyond guides and are like a friend to the tourist. And this is where You and India steps in. Apart from greeters, You and India also provides special experiences in various locations. Chandrabhan took his college friends from France to his native village Bidoli on Diwali, they loved it so much that they asked Chandrabhan to continue these trips as they could enjoy the real India in peace away from the commercialized tourist spots. “You and India provides various food walks, village trips, heritage walks, jungle safari, meal with families etc to provide varied experience to the travellers,” says Chandrabhan.
All the greeters on the platform undergo a verification and the duo at India and You have close to 20 experiences on their platform. Having served more than 50 customers till date, You and India are currently hiring more people to join their team and scale up operations. Talking about the space, there has been a sizeable growth in the number of travel ventures in various parts of the country (Padhaaro is another greeter service). Many have turned entrepreneurs to satiate their wanderlust and this has resulted in lots of startups operating in various pockets and doing reasonably well. It'll be interesting to see how the whole space shapes up in the near future.
Website: You and India