This women travelpreneur is helping local communities through her startups.
04th, September 2017 - Startup
How Eco- Traveler concept born?
Since my childhood, I had two ambitions when it came to making my career. While my list of passions are many. They say you can only have just one passion, I do not agree with the same, you can have multiple passions, however choosing which out of your multiple passions to turn into a career is a tough choice you make. For me it was clear – one was I wanted to have a career in social development and the second was travel. I wanted to start a travel company since I was 21 while doing my masters in Switzerland in Travel and Hospitality, However, I was too young and inexperienced to do so. I spend 6 years in the mainstream corporate working in banking, telecom and hospitality sector. I also spent a year working on a UN project on Environment conservation. Post then I know how to connect the dots.
DNA of Eco-traveller
Eco-Traveler is a responsible travel company that enables sustainable outdoor and adventure tourism through local market development. Eco-Traveler works towards bringing a mind shift among tourists as well local stakeholders through engagement, education, initiatives and practical demonstrations for all parties.
Eco-Traveler is a social enterprise, we give direct economic benefit to host communities and we also use profits earned towards Ecosystem conservation mechanisms and sustainable tourism enterprise development. Eco-Traveler specialises in curating Eco-responsible tours in the Indian Himalayas and few other regions (Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Nepal, Gujrat, West Coast of India and North East of India) with tours for all age groups families and across passions (culture tours, trekking, cycling expeditions, volunteering programs)
You have mentioned you design travel while focusing on sustainability. Can you please elaborate?
All the tours that we curate have been very carefully designed in order to ensure minimum footprint of travellers and maximum benefit to the local and the indigenous. We encourage more of sustainable adventures like trekking and cycling in which we carry out groups with not more than a head count of 10 people in order to be able to give the best experience, we also use biomass cookstoves instead of fuel for cooking on treks, all our trekker are given garbage bags to clean trek trails on their way. For those who wish to have a more comfortable experience we curate rural tours were all the stays are arranged in local and ingenious home stays serving local food. We encourage travellers to consume local food and not purchasing items packed in plastic
Till now how many places you have covered and how many travellers you served?
We started in March 2016 and served about 55 customers across 9 tours in total.
Your business model.
We follow a B2B as well as a B2C model of working.
As a women entrepreneur in travel space, what are the challenges you have faced and your future plans
I have faced patriarchy from investors. Everyone who you meet only tries to tell you what is wrong with your brand. But for me what matters, in the end, is an impact. If people who travel with me are able to take away one thing that they change about themselves in conserving nature, that’s success for me. Also, I have been told multiple times to come on a technology platform. I am for a sales background and its only aggressive sales that can get your boat sailing. Sales and your end customer experience. I have been functioning on working capital completely and haven’t seen losses so far. I do not just want scale, I want to build a sustainable business. I am more concern about the impact on travellers and stakeholders than becoming a big company which today’s start-up min set doesn’t understand. In future, I plan to build Eco-destinations which would have a completely sustainable ecosystem and bring travellers there to show them how 100% sustainable life is lead. I have spent time in conservation and I hold the knowledge to do so. I have been blessed to find a great supply chain and field support, which many don’t have.
Categories: Startup Event , Startup community , News , Food tech , Legal tech startup , HR Tech , Tech Startup , Guest blog , Featured entrepreneur , Startup funding , FinTech , International news , International Startup , Analytics , Product review , Social enterprise , Health care , My journey , Co working space , Fashion , Sponsored , F&B