Crazy Yatra is a startup which feeds on people’s need for adventure. Unlike most other travel startups, Crazy Yatra does not organize package trips to common travel places; instead they organize trips to unexplored ones.
Crazy Yatra was founded by two employees of CISCO, Ajay PV and Sanath Adiga. Their love for travel brought them together. They say, “Though the travel industry has evolved over the decades, there is not much innovation in this sector. People are fed up of boring itineraries & being monitored like school children. There is a need for ‘adventure’ blended in right proportion with ‘nature’ and ‘exploration’. The essence of ‘culture’, be it in local cuisine, language, dress, festivals or religious shrines, is losing its importance. These are issues which we are trying to address through our startup. “
Being entrepreneurs was destined for Ajay and Sanath. Both of them were heading the entrepreneur cell at college and working hard to enforce the culture of entrepreneurship in their colleges. And somehow in the midst of organizing events, talks and helping others grow their ventures inside college they found their calling. Post their college, both of them joined CISCO and it was while there that they were introduced to the monotony of the IT life. This is when they chanced upon the idea of adventure-based travel where people could travel on weekends. And as both of them had travelled across the country, this was a strong point for them.
“We saw various travel agencies / trip planners killing travel with their boring and monotonous itineraries. The youth, especially in a city like Bangalore, were completely deprived of a kickass and crazy weekend, which is their only time to unwind after 5 days of working like a donkey. ‘Adventure’, ‘activity based trip’, ‘culture’ & ‘craziness’ was missing in travel and that is what we desired to bring into our trips,” Ajay adds.
What is it all about?
For every trip, their team goes to a different destination and does a survey of the place. Once the survey of the destination is done and logistics are planned and taken care of with backup options in place, do they announce their trips. Every tour consists of around 20-30 people depending on the feasibility.
“There will be a lot of crazy memories one can expect to carry back from the trip. The yatri can keep the wallet at home since every small cost will be covered as part of the package and the yatri need not worry about anything and just enjoy the trip since we would be there to take care of all the arrangements,” Ajay adds.
The major chunk of revenue comes from the margins as bulk bookings are done with the partners. The trips cost between Rs. 800 and Rs. 8000 based on the place they are visiting and the kind of arrangements made. Sanath says, “Since our trip costs an individual less than what it would cost if they were to plan the trip on their own, it’s a win-win situation for both parties. Apart from this, we also sell merchandise like T-shirts, caps, leech protection socks etc.”
One of the biggest challenges they had to face was convincing their parents. The fact that they didn’t quit their jobs while doing this was a big factor which finally helped them convince their family.
Another roadblock came when they planned their first trip. They failed miserably at that, as not even a single person turned up for it. But they soon learned from their failure and strengthened their marketing efforts. The results have been better since.
Another big issue was to manage a regular job and a startup simultaneously. Though it was difficult to manage time and balance it between both activities, over time they have mastered multitasking. Ajay says, “Today, we still have a lot of personal time in spite of being busy!”
The venture is completely bootstrapped. At present, they have five members in the team, including two volunteers.
1) Do not quit your job just because you want to startup. You will regret it later! Yes, it will be a challenge to manage time and you will have to make some sacrifices. But, it’s totally worth it!
2) Never be over confident about your theoretical knowledge and assume that you can replicate the same in practice too. It is only when you get your hands dirty that you feel the real pinch.
3) Business is all about what the customers need and not what you want them to buy. Play with their minds. Sell what the market needs – understand the void and fill it.