"Don’t just scratch the itch, cure the pain. Take a plunge, dive in." - Arjun Sachdeva ,GuideTrip
With an aim to to connect people who wish to experience something new with talented local guides who wish to share their expertise and passion with others, GuideTrip was founded in December 2013. Within just one year since start, GuideTrip has its existence in more than 36 countries and 500 destinations across five continents of the world.
GuideTrip is one of the 11 start-ups selected by GSF Global Accelerator Program that received applications from more than 500 start-ups across the world. GuideTrip is co-founded by Arjun Sachdeva and Rohan Reddy.
In an exclusive interview with CrazyEngineers.com, we got Arjun to talk about his experiences at GuideTrip, his first entrepreneurial venture - 'Let's Get Packing', his co-founder Rohan Reddy, the potential market size for GuideTrip and the growth rate, the importance of marketing and advertising for any start-up and a lot more. Arjun also tells us about his most memorable experience as an entrepreneur and has an advice in store for people who wish to start up with their entrepreneurial dreams. Read on!
CE: Hi Arjun. Could you tell our readers something about Guide Trip that is still unknown to the world?
Arjun: GuideTrip is India’s first ever marketplace which connects travellers with local guides on a global scale. This is something which we achieved very quickly because of domain expertise coupled with technical skills. What most people don’t know is that GuideTrip set up a new office in Bangalore in September 2014.
CE: You were also the co-founder of Let's Get Packing. Please throw some light on your entrepreneurial journey.
Arjun: Entrepreneurship and starting up is an evolutionary process. You never stop learning, you never stop looking for bigger opportunities. The transition from Let’s Get Packing to GuideTrip was exactly that, even though they’re both in the same industry segment of travel guiding – moving from an offline, one country focus with just three guides to an online platform present in over 45 countries and with over 700 guides.
C:E How did you get in touch with Rohan Reddy, your co-founder at Guide Trip?
Arjun: Rohan and I have known each other ever since he was a student at NSIT. What happened to be an informal chat back in 2011 is what led to the eventual creation of GuideTrip. Perhaps the most important learning for would be entrepreneurs here is know your co-founder as you would want to know your partner/spouse because they’re are the only people you will have as company for a long time.
CE: What is the potential market size for Guide Trip? What is the growth rate?
Arjun: We have grown from 75 guides at the time of launch (in April 2014) to over 700 guides on our platform today. In the same period of time we have closed over 175 bookings and 3 strategic partnerships with international companies.
CE: How do you advertise Guide Trip? How important is marketing for any startup?
Marketing is important to all businesses, but most importantly a business’s success is heavily dependent on its brand value and the trust it is able to generate with end users – be it guides or travellers.
CE: To what do you attribute your success?
Arjun: We wouldn’t call ourselves a success story just yet, we are doing well, growing fast and will get there really soon.
CE: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Arjun: Get an awesome co-founder (you are not superman and you cannot do it alone), understand your market (you won’t know who you’re selling to otherwise), understand you have competition (yes you do, if think you don’t then you haven’t done your homework) and then build an awesome product – in that order.
CE: What is your most memorable experience as an entrepreneur?
Arjun: While there have been a large number of memorable moments for us in a short period of time, perhaps the ones that Rohan and I cherish the most would be the relation we have with each and every one of our guides in the 45 countries where we have presence today. We are not seen as a company or a start-up but as friends and comrades who share a common goal. We believe that it is this mutual respect and brotherhood that will help establish not just us but our guides in the longer run.
CE: Thank you for your time. Any message for our readers?
Don’t just scratch the itch, cure the pain. Take a plunge, dive in. If you want to start your own company, just do it. Else the tide might just sweep you far out into open seas, miles away from home.