Speaking about the Journey so far, Scout My Trip’s Co-Founder Mr. Vineet Rajan said,
Like any other journey, this one has been an adventurous one for us. ScoutMyTrip, from being chosen by FICCI as one of the top 20 travel tech start-ups, Silicon India’s list of top 10 start-ups in India, Entrepreneur India’s Top 50 startups to watch out for in 2019 we’ve had pats on our backs every now and then; which helps us get the engines roaring.
Having said that nothing the icing on the cake was by being recognized by the government. In February this year we won the Maharashtra Startup Week, and now working actively with the government to make road trips the preferred mode for tourists. We will then actively try and work with other state governments to grow this category. Let’s just say, road trips will be the new and ultimate way to explore destinations.
We’ve recently also been chosen by NASSCOM’s 10000 Start-ups initiative for their incubation program. So yes, 2019 looks promising to us and we only aspire to grow.
We are the biggest and most comprehensive road trip planner, and scaling up with more paying customers and better deals will take us into the blue ocean. The challenges we’re facing as of now involves hiring the right team who understand what ScoutMyTrip needs. More than funding, there is a huge dearth of smart managers, workers and growth hackers. Even if we have an exotic marketing budget, it will lead to nothing if we don’t spend it wisely.
We got funded in April 2017 by Z Nation Labs which is a Silicon Valley based accelerator helping Indian start-ups scale to the US and other countries. We’re at the moment in talks with various investors to raise our pre-series A round to help us scale to the next level. Funding has not been an issue for us really since we’ve stuck to basics as far business fundamentals are concerned.
Why Scout My Trip
ScoutMyTrip is a road trip itinerary planner for the Indian Subcontinent. The platform allows one to plan a trip anywhere to anywhere while interacting with and hiring travel experts (called Scouts) to help them fine-tune their plan.
Travelers can create an itinerary that has routes to their destinations, gas stations, toilets, restaurants, hotels to stay and points of interests before starting the road trip. As a planner, one marks their points of interests and then embarks on a road trip, hence #MarkandEmbark.
We picked this idea because both of us love road trips. Having road tripped on the iconic Royal Enfield bikes in India with over a 600,000 Miles between us; we decided to build a solution that will help people road trip better. Because not everyone will have the knowledge of roads as we would do.
We started our work by talking to members of various travel communities in India. Our deep involvement with them has been pivotal in bringing on board Scouts or travel experts who are helping others. Our product features have been created by talking to more than 500 fellow travelers and Scouts. Our professional know-how of product management and community dynamics also helps us design the product better.
Speaking of the design element, a lot of thought has gone into the logo. A good friend Kirtee understood our requirements and came up with that effective logo which symbolizes an inverted magnifying glass. It also signifies a bird pecking when seen straight (birds symbolize freedom). The road in the center is about scouting the roads. The three colors represent the brand – community, safety, and fun.
Behind every successful/upcoming company is a force called family. We’ve had more than the normal share of break downs, and our wives picked us up and got us back on our feet. Our respective wives – Lakshmi (Deepak) and Swati (Vineet) are good friends themselves and have a deeper understanding when it comes to our startup life.
They lead successful professional lives themselves; but they continue to inspire us with their career growth, resilience and their unflinching support for us.
Founders often tend to disconnect from their families, wherein families are the biggest supporters of what they envision for themselves and their company. We request everyone to strike a balance between your professional and personal life as they’re the ones who will always have your back.
Out of the busy schedule, how much time do you take out for yourself to focus on your health and inner peace
Although we run a very hectic schedule especially when it’s the travel season in tow, we try to incorporate some quality time with our families respectively. Whether it means going away for the weekend or catching up on movies or just being at home, we try to make the best use of the little time that we are able to give them.
Vineet is a walker and can walk miles without breaking a sweat which is part of his daily routine. Deepak too keeps himself with outdoor activities like tennis and running.
How do you manage Work-Stress
As much as we’d like not to stress? Stress makes you think, conceptualize and act better when needed. One always works better under pressure but too much of anything is harmful. We as a team like to spend post office hours debating on lighter topics, over a good meal; prepared either by either one of us or ordered in. It adds to team building, teamwork, and camaraderie in general. This takes the burden off, to a large extent and gives us something to look forward to in the coming Mondays.
Both of us have our hobbies we fall back on. Biking is one major stress reliever which has never failed to give clarity of thought or direction.
ScoutMyTrip raised its first external investment from their accelerator Z Nation Labs in April 2017. After showing consistent growth in business since then; they are now in talks to raise their pre-Series A round of $500K
Any misconceptions about the industry
Travel is an evergreen industry, and there are big incumbent players like MMT in the space. While the space for OTAs is tough and hard to break; there are enough and more avenues for very focused players like us to make a mark. I wouldn’t even call this a niche space because it’s already $8B and growing at a very steady 15-20% YoY.
We’ve had our fair share of recognition coming our way including the recent incubation by NASSCOM’s 10,000 startups initiative. Some of the major highlights in the course of 3 years have been the following:
Apr 2019: Part of NASSCOM’s 10,000 startups incubation cohort
Mar 2019: Recognized by Startup India / DIPP
Feb 2019: Winners of the Maharashtra Startup Week by the Govt. of Maharashtra
Jan 2019: Entrepreneur India listed us as the top 50 startups to watch out for in 2019.
Earlier milestones include being chosen as top 20 travel tech startups by FICCI in 2017, Top 10 startups in India (Silicon India) and many more…
Feel free to connect with Team ScoutMyTrip at [email protected]. Make sure to not spam his inbox. 🙂
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