This start-up will get you a custom-built vacation plan well suited to your wishes and requirements
Previous year, the pandemic and constant lockdowns had made travel difficult with limited opportunities to explore places. But with increased vaccination drives and the economy opening up, everybody is planning their vacations to get away from the tension experienced across the globe.
Today’s start-up story covers one such business that will help you plan your holidays. Blue Duck Holidays is a travel agency involved in creating bespoke travel packages for all domestic and international destinations. They work with corporates, educational institutes, social groups, families and friends to craft packages as per their individual requirement across group sizes ranging from solo traveler to hundreds of people. They are operational in various segments such as leisure travel, incentive and R&R groups, adventure, etc. Their services are wide-ranging right from hotel bookings, ticketing, visa, travel insurance, cruise bookings, consultancy and other various activities.
They believe every client is unique and so is their travel requirement. They work closely with each of our client to understand their specific needs. They start with a questionnaire for the client asking them their idea of travel, budget, demographics of people travelling, time of the year, etc. Once they know their specific requirement, they start curating itineraries based on this along with quotations.
The founder, Ruchika Gupta, comes from an orthodox business family, where the mindset was not let women pursue jobs. But her parents supported her, and she completed her MBA joining her father’s business in the media industry. When she was 14 very enthusiastically, she went to her father to tell him how a cousin got a well-paid job and how she would like to earn that much, to which her father said, instead of thinking of earning that much, how about thinking of setting up a business that pays its employees that much; and this shaped her young mind and changed her perceptions forever. While working as a professor at a college institute, she tried to set-up various businesses such as an acting institute, e-commerce and café, but those failed. She decided to take one last chance in July, 2013 where she quit her job and founded Blue Duck Holidays.
The travel industry is focused on pushing their products to the customers, instead of focusing on what the customer wants. Ruchika has no previous experience or knowledge of travel trade. She was passionate about travel and had realized out of her own experience that there aren’t many travel agencies who are really interested in catering to clients’ needs.
Acquiring clients was the major challenge. The travel industry is highly competitive with small and big players covering geographical leadership in India. But the business model of Blue Duck Holidays being customer centric and to keep evolving with the trends in the market made them overcome every hurdle, locking in INR 3 crores in revenue and being a self-funded business.
The future plan of the business is to build up a Tech-base with travel assistance and booking engine. In next few years, they are planning to diversify into this new area and at the same expand our existing travel agency vertical and specializing more in Travel Consultancy.
Ruchika believes that we should change the word to Built-up instead of Start-up. Most people think of ideas and then of funding. People have stopped thinking about building businesses from the profits, and only instead relying on outside funding. Funding is good and needed, but inherently the vision should be of building a business, moving from a start-up to a built-up. Government is doing its bit by starting investor forums and giving tax benefits to start-ups in initial years. An ease of the regulations will help boost start-ups that also are an employment source for many Indians.
She has hopes for Healthcare/Wellness & Education industry to prosper in the near future, along with having her own venture name Shineup.life - a platform for Holistic healing, personal growth and transformation. Her advice for young entrepreneurs is to not get carried away by the idea, research thoroughly.
The name, Blue Duck, has a meaning to it – Duck being the only species that can fly, swim and walk; and they do all 3 similar channels for travel – flights, land package and cruise.
Their motto is Travel is Personal, and So Is Our Planning!
You can check out Blue Duck Holidays at: blueduckholidays.com