A great idea by Ish Jindal has brought a sea change in the way the foreign guest spends their visit and experience the multi-sided culture of the country. It changed the way the foreigners travel in India. Through their enterprise, not only have they made it easier for foreigners to experience a smooth visit & stay in India, but also, they seem to be playing a very crucial role in bridging and promoting the inter national cultural connect and exchange. True to its name, their start-up Padhaaro welcomes anyone and everyone to visit India and experience the extravagant, exotic and elegant aspects of it.
- How were the seeds of Padhaaro sowed?
We started off with Padhaaro almost 2 years back after we ourselves realized how your travel experience becomes much more enriching when someone who is native to a place shows around the places to you. Initially, we had a basic blog with a Google doc where people could apply as a greeter and similarly a traveler could request for a greeter service and we used to connect them manually over email. It turned out to be a fun experience for both the traveler and the local greeter and that’s why we decided to take it to the next level which is what you ssee right now and the product improvements to be released in future.
- Please tell us about your team members. How did you of all come together?
All of the team members had met at different conferences and forums and that is how we came together through mutual connections. To give a sense of the core team, Ish is an engineering graduate from NIT Warangal, comes from a consulting background and takes care of marketing, operations and partnerships. Sanchit takes care of all things on the technology front.
- Keeping in mind the different safety concerns we have in our country, how do you ensure the genuineness of the greeters who get selected to accompany our foreign visitors?
We follow a stringent selection process and curate each experience so as to have quality experiences for our customers. We also have social media and background checks in place to ensure that all are Greeters/Local Experts are reliable and trustworthy. Reviews and references from travelers and other users of the platform also help us refine it further.
- What are the challenges that you have faced while Padhaaro was being shaped?
I think, the main challenge for us was to position ourselves differently from other players in the market that do something in a similar space but the kind of services are different.
- Please brief us on how Padhaaro serves the visitors.
Firstly, we are not in the services business rather a social marketplace or a platform to connect people. On one hand, there are people who are passionate about showing their city and sharing their experiences with fellow travelers and on the other hand, there are people who are looking for such local experiences which give them a holistic perspective of the place they are traveling to. We are enabling them to find them the right reliable person and use his services. This is win-win situation for both the Greeter and the one using his services.
- Currently, there are 200 greeters and local experts working across 18 cities; do you have any plans to expand it anytime soon?
We are adding new greeters to our platform each day and we plan to expand this number to 1000+ by the end of this year.
- Do you think your past academic background as an engineer has helped you in starting up Padhaaro?
I believe coming from an engineering background makes one versatile and gives an ability to try out new things which is what you need when you are just starting something from scratch. There are no predefined frameworks in your mind and approach and hence you have the flexibility to experiment with stuff frugally and see what works best.
- How does a greeter make it to your team and what is their work like?
As mentioned earlier, a Greeter needs to apply and go through the whole process of selection before he/she finally comes onboard. The experience provided by a Greeter or a Local Expert has to be such that it is appealing or fascinating enough for a user and also meets the basic standards of having being showcased on Padhaaro.
- Would you like to share anything with our readers that would motivate them about Entrepreneurship and Starting up?
Don’t start something because you have been pushed into it due to some reason (be it the job you didn’t like or the freedom you always wanted), get into a startup only if you are being pulled to the cause of solving a pain point you really feel about.
Padhaaro Official website: http://goo.gl/KFQw0l