There isn’t a bigger adventure than running a startup – That’s what Chitra Daga, a travel and an adventure enthusiast thinks. A marketing graduate from ISB, Chitra Daga is the co-founder & C.E.O of Thrillophilia Adventure Pvt Ltd.- the online adventure and activities portal.
The journey started off when two adventure enthusiasts working in SAP and Cisco noticed a gap in the travel segment. They started off by trying to figure out the market which was already dominated by players such as MakeMytrip , GoIbibo etc and also figuring out the best marketing strategy for their product to distinguish them from these players.
Being a bootstrapped company they focused mainly on digital marketing as compared to the conventional costly avenues of marketing.
There isn’t a bigger adventure than running a startup
Things have moved many miles since then and now they have managed to expand to other Asian countries and have broaden the spectrum of their products.
Mistakes of Entrepreneurs
Nobody is a born entrepreneur. You as an entrepreneur develop along with your company and it is important to stay focused and patient and make every day better than the previous one.
Our young entrepreneur here is a testimonial to the fact that women have an equal share in developing the start-up atmosphere here in India and have the appetite to take risks.
Chitra thinks that it is important to recruit the right people and also let go of some as it affects the overall performance of the team. Putting attitude first before skills is what her game plan has always been as she thinks skills can be taught but attitude can’t be changed.
Many startups commit the mistake of trying to expand to quickly and in the process they end up deviating from their core ideas and things start to go downhill rather than going up.
So it is important to focus on your MVP and develop a strong customer relationship with a strong feedback mechanism in place and then take things ahead from there.
Thrillophilia also committed the same mistake but have since then corrected its course and now has aligned itself to what Chitra Daga thinks is the right way forward and that is to allow your business to grow at the pace it wants to grow at.
What is interesting to know is that both Chitra and her husband came from a middle class families and left the so called safe careers at big IT firms and started off this company which was based out of their common interest and passion for adventure. They think that no idea is small and even a small idea can be made big by better execution. Common to both adventure and start ups is the appetite for risk and they surely have a lot of it. This has been their X factor helping them grow their business.
The revenue of the company has been dominated by the B2B segment where they have consolidated their market share serving over 250 clients. But the road ahead lies in tapping into the B2C segment to drive volumes and increase market share. According to Abhishek Daga Co-Founder of Thrillophilia there lies huge potential in the B2C segment and that is what the company is focusing on right now. Travel no more is just about sightseeing it is moving more towards where people actually get to experience things through activities and adventures. This changing trend is opening up a whole lot of opportunities for the company.
So far the company has serviced over 90 corporate companies for adventure off sites across India which is a great achievement but they still strive to become the one stop solution for adventure related activity in Indian sub continent and also cover various places in and around India which we do not cater to right now. There ultimate dream is to reach out to international customers and make India the favourite destination for adventure activities in the world.
They have a long way to go before they reach there but they are surely on the right track.
When asked about how Thrillophilia manages to attract consumers given that it is bit expensive from the other players out there, Chitra says that they have extreme safety measures, super quality equipments and expert instructors who take care of the whole trip. All this results in unparalleled customer experience which is hard to match. The company has seen many repetitive customers which is testimony to their quality of service.
What is good to know is that Chitra and her co-founder believe in the concept of responsible tourism. Nature is critical to the tourism industry in India and it is important to conserve it in order to keep the tourism industry thriving. The company is well aware of this fact and believes that is their responsibility to ensure that they do not overuse the resource and take measures for its maintenance and long lasting survival. The company participates in cleaning programs in Ladakh, avoids using plastics during their trips, ensures that their customers also do not litter during these trips. They promote eco-tourism and have associations with eco-friendly resorts.
Chitra Daga is an example of how one should follow one’s passion and dreams and her story is an inspiration to all the people out there who are stuck in their 9 to 5 jobs and can’t take the decision to start their own venture even though they have a great idea. As Chitra says “Just do it. You got to dive into the water if you want to learn swimming. Staying out and calculating might just help you to figure out the right time and the right way to make the final jump but you got to make that jump all on your own. If there is passion in you, there is no way stopping then.”