The website says “Ask someone who has been there!” Trekteller, as the name suggests, is first of its kind social network for travel junkies. People with similar travel interests can connect all over the world and share their travel experiences, ask questions and get recommendations from people who already visited a place.
Started by Gurmeet Singh and Nishant Sidhu in 2016, the company is completely bootstrapped. Despite all constraints, both of them managed to put $200,000 in the startup. Most of the money was invested into methods for expanding the outreach like social media marketing, PR and promotions through travel influencers.
The company is based out of Gurgaon and operates from its branch office in Noida. Gurgaon with its good infrastructure and surplus of professional talent is a good choice for startups. A large number of angel investors can be found in the area.
As Gurmeet and Nishant travelled to different places, they experienced unprofessional business practices, quantity over quality and untrustworthy online reviews. Most of the reviews were very different from the ground reality and there was no way to verify the accuracy of such information. This problem inspired them to build a platform which can solve all the issues.
Travelling without researching can be a pain. Using Trekteller, the time spent on research reduces and money wasted on hit and trial is saved. With Trekteller travellers get to know the beauty of the place, the unexplored destinations and relevant information by the people who are seasoned travellers or locals.
Nishant says, “Aggressive digital presence through various possible means and marketing techniques by our proactive team are what we consider as the hacking techniques that have been successful in our case. In fact, lately, we have managed to attract the attention of around 25,000 users in just over a week’s time.”
In the initial run, the company got intitial traction without much diffculty as the idea was unique and worth value. Nishant and Gurmeet identified real travellers and invited them to be a part of Trekteller network which they happily agreed to. They also used digital marketing techniques to the fullest and aggresively.
Nishant and Gurmeet say, “With years of prior experience in the marketing industry and understanding of what we want to achieve as a team at Trekteller, hiring best people from the available options gets easier. We already have an established team at Trekteller which really helps us setting a standard for selecting a candidate.”
Limited experience and expertise in understanding the technicalities which included hiring people with good technical skills was a major stone in the road. However, both Gurmeet and Nishant worked hard and finally overcame the challenges by building a trust-worthy and efficient team.
When ask about future plannings, Gurmeet says, “To grow as a respectable social network for travelers is our prime goal for now. Buoyed by favourable socio-economic conditions within India and around the world, we aim to achieve a total user base of close to 2 million in the next 3 years. This will bring us closer to our aim of changing the way people travel, which, in turn, might just reward us back in ways that can be helpful to us.”
The sector is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 6.9% to ₹32.05 lakh crore (US$470 billion) by 2028 (9.9% of GDP). In October 2015, India’s medical tourism sector was estimated to be worth US$3 billion.
India is the most digitally-advanced traveller nation in terms of digital tools being used for planning, booking and experiencing a journey, India’s rising middle class and increasing disposable incomes have continued to support the growth of domestic and outbound tourism.
The travel & tourism sector in India accounted for 8 per cent of the total employment opportunities generated in the country in 2017, providing employment to around 41.6 million people during the same year. The number is expected to rise by 2 per cent annum to 52.3 million jobs by 2028.