From sightseeing to food trails, this husband-wife duo help people plan their trips and customise vacationsAparajita Choudhury
Amidst the hustle bustle of the schedule-oriented daily life, we tend to forget that the human brain often needs a break. If you don’t nourish your noggin that is always at your service, it may start to malfunction. Travelling is always seen as a great way to deal with stress, as it keeps one's mind away from all of life's daily predicaments. However, the pain of planning a trip often makes travel a stressful activity too.
In order to help people plan their trips sans all the stress, Noida-based Tripoetic customises customers' trips by analysing their ideas and expectations and then optimises the plan with inputs and approvals from the customer. A few days before the trip, the travellers are presented with a day-wise handcrafted itinerary.
Tripoetic crafts only international trips, followed by accommodation and inter/intra-country transportation. The next phases of planning are sightseeing, tours, adventures, unique experiences and places to eat. The startup works with local tour companies and expert guides to get the best possible sightseeing options and prices for the travellers.
Our recommendations are completely based on the traveller's preferences and what would be best suited to them. Tripoetic does not work off commissions from flights, hotels and local transporters,” says Gunjan Indrayan, Co-founder of Tripoetic.
Right from the start…
After living in US for many years, husband and wife Gunjan (36) and Pranjali (33) decided to move back home and relocated to India in April 2015. Bored of their regular jobs, the duo wanted to start something new on their own and hence came up with the idea of Tripoetic in September 2015. The couple love travelling, themselves, having meticulously planned out trips to about 15 countries.
Gunjan has over 10 years of experience in telecommunications from the US, where he had gone to pursue masters in telecommunications from the University of Colorado. Pranjali worked in the fashion designing and marketing domain for over five years in India, before moving to US after marriage. She holds a degree in Fashion Marketing from the prestigious Parsons, The New School of Design, New York.
The duo realised that most people in India, while planning an international vacation, normally opt for online travel packages, or plan on their own with the scattered information on the Internet, or just rely on advice from friends and family. The idea for Tripoetic was to design the holiday as per the traveller’s requirements and not sell them as pre-set itinerary.
The husband-wife duo has bootstrapped Tripoetic with an investment of Rs 50,000, which they spent in building the domain name, website and company registration. The primary challenge for the couple lay in educating people on why and how holidays can be personalised to suit their preferences.
Tripoetic received their first customer through TripAdvisor, where the person posted a honeymoon-related query. A traveller who was aware of Tripoetic’s offerings responded, telling her about Tripoetic. A lady wanted a luxury honeymoon vacation to Bali. Gunjan recalls patiently answering all the queries and convincing her on how they were better and different from other players. Since then, they have planned 25 trips. Currently, the startup has a team of five employees.
The growth so far has been fuelled by word of mouth, leveraging social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and by participation in various travel related events. Tripoetic also works with freelancers who help with digital marketing and online campaigns. Depending on the complexity and length of the trip, the fees percentage of Tripoetic is anywhere between five and 10 percent of the estimated trip cost.
Our dealings and pricing are totally transparent. Once the trip is booked, all cost breakups are shared with the customers. There are no commissions or hidden costs,” says Gunjan.
In the next two to three years, Tripoetic intends to plan 12-15 trips a month, double the headcount and launch an app that would also serve as a GPS-enabled companion guide for the customers while on vacation. It is also working on premium add-on services like 24/7 availability and support and the capability to modify all aspects of the trip while on the go.
Though biggies like MakeMytrip, Cleartrip and Yatra have witnessed phenomenal growth, a lot of trip-planning startups have also made their space in the travel industry. iXiGO trip planner (the trip planner equips user with all information associated with a trip), TravelTriangle (allows users to build personalised holidays at affordable prices), HolidayIQ (helps users reserach and plan their trip), Traverik (the 'social' angle wherein people can share their itineraries and collaborate), Holidayen (deals with planning trips once you're at the destination) and Elan Adventures (helps with planning adventurous trips across India), to name a few.
The overseas travel industry is growing at 40 percent CAGR year-on-year. The leisure travel market in India as of today is about $80 billion annually, which is set to grow to $150 billion by 2024.
According to a study, during the quarter ended June 2015, hotels and packages transactions rose 14.4 percent year-on-year, but net revenues of the segment grew just 2.8 percent, because of increased discounts.