Shefali Walia believes that passion has to be at the heart of everything we doTanvi Dubey
The three magic words that put a spring in Shefali’s steps every morning are -solo, travel and community. The CEO of Wetravelsolo, Shefali Walia was inspired and touched by the book $100 startup, and the idea of Wetravelsolo was born.
“The book mentioned that one should start a business that is close to one’s heart. So I asked myself, what are the elements that are close to my heart. The answer I found was – travel, community building, social networking, and the desire to run a business.”
Shefali’s love for nature and travelling solo and exploring new places makes her happy. The thrill and excitement that travel brings when paired with the beauty of nature is a treat to her mind and soul.
Born and brought up in Ambala, she moved to Delhi in 2008 to complete her MBA from Amity University. Born to a businessman father, Shefali has been fascinated by business, advertising and marketing since
high school. After her MBA, she began working in the marketing and branding sector with a company and then moved on to corporates. At 23, she was with Yebhi handling their pan India offline marketing and strategic alliance.In the next two years after that she moved to other companies and in these two years was born an idea—the idea that drove her crazy and pushed her to start Wetravelsolo.
With Wetravelsolo, Shefali and her team want to empower every individual traveller so she/he can travel solo and build a community for every solo traveller who can then connect with each other and understand the passion for travel and offer experiential and budget travels crafted by other experienced individual travellers.
Her team comprises of ten members and a very strong tech team.
Her learnings from her previous jobs have come in handy as an entrepreneur. Some of them include –
Hiring senior people from scratch will help your business in the growth stage as they usually carry a piece of the soul of the business with them.
Also it is important to remember that one should not chase numbers like crazy.
Shefali feels that growing up in a small town and leaving her family and moving to a city, believing in herself when people called her stupid and laughed at her idea and then running and scaling the business without financial support from anyone is a benchmark for her.
A good way to move forward for Shefali is to have a goal in mind and have clarity about what she wants as it helps eliminate options. “That is how I move forward to create more options.”
Life is a beautiful journey
Our heart is our best friend and our mind is our worst enemy when it comes to our happiness. Follow your heart wherever it leads you. The journey will be difficult no doubt, but it will surely be beautiful and worth living.
Speaking of challenges she says, “When you are passionate and driven, you just keep going and smaller and bigger problems become a daily affair. If anything the problems have only made me stronger.”
She proudly states that she has never compromised or done anything against her beliefs even if it means inviting serious problems. In fact she rejected an HNI investment offer last October when it could have solved many problems. She had to reject the funding because discussions revealed that they did not share a common vision for business.Funding and more
She has raised funding from CCube Angels, a Singapore based angel investors community, and Frontline Strategy Limited, a Mauritius based investment Company.
“We intend to use the funding for setting up operations and scaling our business. Funds will be utilized towards building automated processes and tech so as to enable all three aspects of the company- solo, travel and community. People will see many exciting products that will be self-enable solo travelers to connect with each other, make travel plans and travel together.”
Always the one to follow her heart she says,
The passion was always there in whatever I have done and I have tried to relate everything I have been doing in my life for the bigger picture of my future. I have never stopped myself from learning.
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