NEA 2019 Award Winners builds a business out of Passion for Adventure
They say if your work is your hobby then there is no way that the business will fail; in fact it will surely leap frog into Glory. The founders of “Scout My Trip, Vineet Rajan and Deepak Ananth are one of a kind. Both gave up successful careers and have built a business out of travelling, exploring, and paying attention to the smallest of travel detail given their love for the outdoors. As travellers they felt the need to understand the potential of outdoor exploration and towards this end ,over several months met up with close to 5000 such people with similar traits. What emerged from these traveller conversations thrilled them so much that they conceptualized the business model for “Scout My Trip”. The model was simple and it paid attention to all the heartaches that the prospective traveller had to face in the course of his journey.
As the name suggests, “Scout” and its core traits came became integral to setting up the first building block of the business. The “Scout” was a local from various geographies of India and he became the Compass or the Guide for all travel needs. However hiring the right Scout was no easy task, and for this both Vineet and Deepak travelled, networked and shortlisted and finalised only after due reference checks were in place. The Scout was also the last in the relay of services and also hence the most critical one. So a unique and successful business model was in place in 2015, based on a foundation of network, zeal and communication skills. The founders did not advertise much but relied on their customers to be their Brand Ambassadors and build word of mouth for Scout My Trip. These thousands of ambassadors over the years amplified their experiences joyfully. Amongst them was a young mother from Mumbai, who was very keen on exploring the varied and difficult terrains of Himachal. The Scouts were shortlisted and a detailed itinerary was given to the customer. She passionately drove through the mountains of Himachal for a 15 day trip, including the chilling heights of Lahaul Spiti with her kids. The pictures she mailed back are memories forever both for her and for the Founders. These memories become testimonials of immense credibility in attracting more such travellers who currently are fence sitters.
So the business is on a upswing, but the first step towards global leap fogging happened when “Digitaraya”an Indonesian accelerator connected with Scout my Trip to explore the markets of South East Asia and build a conducive travel eco system. This has inspired the founders to study the South East Asian terrain and set up a road map to replicate the model there. This is no easy task as getting funding and attracting investors is a major challenge, and networking holds the key. However, both Vineet and Deepak are used to tougher challenges as overcoming the challenge has always been their biggest catalyst in their journey towards glory. We wish both of them the very best in their future endeavours.
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