“Best Customised Travel Planner” 2017 and much more! Yes, today Vaidyanath brings to you the story of YourTravelSecretary. As the name suggests, the platform solves all travel needs and planning. It has re-introduced the much missed ‘human’ factor in holiday planning to make the process less cumbersome.
How about hiring literally your own travel secretary? Forget those automated mechanical conversations with call center executives. YourTravelSecretary is all about the personal touch and localized guidance from travel experts. Travel planning should be fun, exhilarating and anything but de-human.
YourTravelSecretary has a panel of consultants for exactly this. These travel experts have actual first-hand experience of exotic locations and unique experiences across the globe. Thus expect anything but common. Think experiences that you cannot find anywhere else. Local hidden gems and sweet spots showered on for the best trip of your life! Experiential is what travels at YourTravelSecretary is all about.
What’s more? YourTravelSecretary strictly adheres to the policy of ‘sustainable tourism’. Their great purchasing power and associations with all major tourism boards fetch you the best deals and options.
Choose amongst a plethora of beauteous packages and themes. From Honeymoon to Diving, Island life to Golfing, Medicinal to Luxury, Self-driven to religious, and nature to adventure focused. Are you a true foodie? Explore YourTravelSecretary gourmet and wine itineraries. Avid traveller not left with much to explore? YourTravelSecretary brings you uncharted destinations. Distant and hard to reach, you shall boast of being the only one’s having visited the place. Perfect for those who’ve been almost everywhere…these authentic locations are absolutely breathtaking.
Pick from amongst a whopping 150,000 + hotels worldwide. Book your flights with the best routes on YourTravelSecretary too. From travel insurance to visa to meet and greet to translation services – YourTravelSecretary covers it all under one roof.
What’s more? The biggest differentiating factor, however, is that it makes the entire process extremely time-saving. You can email, call or WhatsApp them with your travel brief and preferences. They shall design the most suitable options for you, aggregating and analyzing from different sites. You shall have access to a friendly travel advisor 24X7 to guide you at each step! So say no to de-humanizing and depressing OTAs and join the YourTravelSecretary bandwagon already!
Here is Vaidyanath in conversation with YourTravelSecretary’s joint managing directors – Mr Rohan Grover and Mr. Mayank Grover. Read on to find out what they have to share with our readers.
- Tell us something about the beginning of your career. How did you grow in the profession?
Travel itself played a major role in shaping our careers. We were lucky to be able to travel around different places not only having a great time but enriching ourselves along the way. To travel is really to learn and grow. To widen your horizons, sometimes going out of your comfort zone. Travelling makes you realize how limitless the world is out there and the plethora of opportunities that exist.
In fact, our personal travel experiences played such a profound role in both our personal and professional lives and we decided to take them up as part of our career.
We realized that though the travel industry has become majorly tech-oriented, the ‘humane’ factor is missing currently. Bookings are increasingly done online, however, the online travel space is much cluttered today. OTAs have enhanced convenience but finding what you need is still time-consuming and cumbersome. To solve this issue we re-introduced the ‘Human’ element in this era of digital overcrowdedness. It was our own booking experiences etc that made us get into this profession and grow it in this manner using our own insights.
- What were the challenges that you had to face in the initial years?
The initial years involve the whole set-up process. Turning your business idea into a well-functioning and known player in the industry. For this, there were certain challenges that we overcame.
First and foremost – connecting with tourism boards was quite a task. It is indeed one of the most imperative requirements for setting up a stable and relevant travel oriented platform. Connections and approval from the tourism boards render a sense of reliability to customers. More beneficial features, packages, information and offers can be hosted with little help from the boards.
Secondly, there was the challenge of getting references. When starting off, valuable references can really help establish your name in the sector. However, getting these is all that difficult but gladly we lived with our services and started getting them step by step.
The third and final challenge was of building our online brand presence. With something new popping up on the internet each day, the fight for online attention and brand presence is fierce. Carving our own brand popularity in the crowded digital space was a marketing challenge.
- How and why did this idea strike you?
“It was actually at the time of my own honeymoon planning that the idea of YourTravelSecretary came around! While searching online and booking for my own honeymoon travel arrangements I noticed the apparent gap in the sector. The process just had to be made more customer-centric and humane. From this stemmed our endeavor to enhance the travel planning process for tourists at large” – said Rohan Grover
- Every entrepreneur goes through somewhat of a failure stage. How did you manage to turn failure into success?
I believe the key is to be resilient and creative to get through. To drive a start-up profitable beyond the failure stage, one should be prepared to give it their all. We did everything within our realms to push our company (despite whatever it may have involved).
“For instance, we visited European villages fishing out our own money to create distinct and localized itineraries. We would travel on our own expenses to locations so that we could add more value to the packages we create for future customers. The first-hand experience of locations helped us discover hidden gems that mainstream travel companies remain unaware of. Extensive research and a curious passion for traveling enabled us to find sweet spots. We also unfolded a range of unique experiences. These differentiating secret spots and exhilarating experiences helped us win the hearts of travelers. We would also indulge in Reiki prior to any big group travels so as to drive success and positivity our way.” – said Mayank Grover. We gave free tickets to our own employees to experience air travel.
- What was the first major achievement that made you realize you can think big and achieve the same?
There have been significant milestones that we have been able to achieve. These really boosted our morale personally. It made apparent that YourTravelSecretary was here to not only stay but also slated to transcend what we had dreamt for it.
We were awarded as the ‘Best customized tour operator in north India’ by the India Travel Awards. This was huge and made me believe in the company even more. When we first acquired a 500 travelers trip to Dubai, it again was a realization of the magnanimous scale of achievements that the company was capable of reaching.
- What is your outlook towards this sector?
Firstly, note that this is a sector that boasts of a 20% growth year on year! With the number of global tourists rising each year, the potential in the travel domain is immense and growing exponentially. – said Mayank Grover
For me, the key area to focus on however is luxury travel. We specialize in creating the best luxury explorations for those who’re looking for only the best in each aspect. Customers then don’t mind paying extra bucks and we get the opportunity of creating services and experiences that are par excellence and extraordinary.
‘Travel for Social Media’ is also what’s really boosting the sector further. Today, people travel to places, often for capturing it on their Instagram handles and Snapchat stories. ‘Checking in to Czech’ while checking in to Prague on Facebook and more. We also capitalize on this opportunity. That is, we provide exotic locations and packages that are totally social-media worthy. In fact, we create glamorous and off-beat travel experiences that appeal to the social-media crazy customer base like a miracle!
- What should the government do to improve the sector? Could you share your take on it?
The need of the hour is ‘sustainable tourism’. While the government is marketing tourism in general, there isn’t as much stress being laid on the sustainable form of it. The problem we’re facing is to reach consumers with our initiative for sustainable tourism. Many people, in general, are not aware of the need for sustainable tourism or what it encompasses.
Thus the government should create platforms marketing sustainable tourism initiatives. They can offer financial incentives for promoting the same. Tax benefits would encourage other players to take it up too.
- What are your growth and expansion plans?
Internationally, YourTravelSecretary is looking to expand across Europe and the United States of America in the near future.
- Where do you want to see your company in the next ten years?
Our main goal is to have YourTravelSecretary become one of the finest experiential travel companies in the world. When one talks about humane and time-saving planning of experience-based trips, our name should be amongst the top-most on the list. We are OK to less revenue but to create an experience for which travelers refer us.
- Do you also perform some activities under CSR?
Yes, totally! I’m happy to introduce our ‘One Traveller One Tree campaign’ to all the readers. This simple initiative lends us so much joy and we urge others to follow too.
As a travel company, we boost tourism. However, we do realize that tourism does drain our natural resources and cause pollution. Thus one of our main agendas across all activities is of upholding ‘sustainable tourism’. We believe all kinds of tourism should be sustainable and planet friendly.
For this, we have come up with an afforestation program. We plant one tree every time you travel. Planting trees help curb air pollution. Reduce the carbon footprint safeguarding society from lethal global warming. Our first milestone to achieve is a hundred plantations.
- Please share something about your family and educational background.
We do come from a family business background. However, our family has been essentially into the food industry. I am actually an IT engineer. My love and knowledge in the IT and travel domain have been of much help in differentiating YourTravelSecretary. We have lived in the same house and seen our fathers grow their business. Fortunately, with their support, we were able to do trials in business and then our hard work and God’s grace helped.
Arohan Services Pvt. Ltd.
Address: Unit No 960, Tower B1, Spaze I Tech Park, Sector 49, Sohna Road, Gurugram, Haryana 122 018
Phone No: +91 124 422 4111
Email: [email protected]
Contact Person: Mr. Mayank Grover