Konversations: He received $3m to pursue his passion for travel
'As they say, if you haven?t traveled, you?ve just read one page of your life?s book' (Graphic by Ishu Vaid) Photograph: (WION)
Allow your passion to be your purpose and one day it may just become your profession. Praveen Kumar turned his passion into his profession, and with his best friends as business partners, he started a platform that caters to the entire community of travel enthusiasts. With his company, Kumar is able to make trip-planning an exhilarating experience in itself.
Kazimi: What is your idea of travel?
Praveen: Everyone has a different perception of travel. For me personally, it is a learning experience. It opens your mind to views and opinions on a wider aspect. When you travel and look at the world, you learn a lot. As they say, if you haven’t traveled, you’ve just read one page of your life’s book.
For me, travel is a way to live; if you are not traveling, you are not doing enough!
Kazimi: Is there a difference between a traveller & a tourist?
Praveen: If you are traveling as a tourist, you go ahead as a tourist who wants to see monuments, come back and check it off the list. I am a traveler who would rather understand lifestyles and the way cultures merge. I try and interact with more and more people on my travels, and this has enriched me with plenty of experiences that have stayed with me. From living in a cave hotel in Istanbul to connecting to locals on every trip that I take, the experience has been magical. On the Leh road trip, I could stay closest to nature and connect to it, which helped me realize who I was as a person.
Kazimi: How can passions be turned into careers?
Praveen: Passion ideally can’t be a plural. Yes, you can have interests and hobbies, but your passion is your first, solo priority. If your work is your passion, then there’s nothing like it. If you can micromanage your time well, you can find time to pursue your hobbies and interests as well. I believe what is to be done now has to be done now!
Kazimi: How did your travel experiences turn into a start-up?
Praveen: Saket, Karthik (my co-founders) and I have always been very passionate about traveling. Through our own experiences, we realized that trip planning is a real world problem. The problem is not the dearth of information, but being able to organize the information.
We believe that trip planning is itself an experience many people love, and more and more people today prefer planning their own trips. We wanted to make trip planning an enjoyable and easy experience.
Kazimi: How has the journey been so far?
Praveen: The journey has been splendid. We’ve been angel funded, started with 2 employees, building a tech team, moving through phases, learning through experiences and changes in the industry. More and more travelers across the world are opting for DIY trip planning.
Kazimi: What is the biggest hurdle you have faced or are still facing?
Praveen: Apart from acquiring funds, the biggest hurdle for any start-up is to acquire talented individuals that share the same passion for the product like us.
Getting the like-minded people who share the same passion as you and work aligning to the same direction as you is slightly difficult. Even though we have come a long way forward, but it still is one of our prime challenges.
(Coordinator and Editor: Devanshi Verma)