Exclusive Interview: Anirudh Gupta, Tripoto
Planning a trip is difficult, even now in the age of mobile internet, booking tickets online, creating to-pack lists on your phone and thousand other options that promise to make it easier. There is nothing like talking to your friends who have already visited places you want to go to and getting real tips: a dos and don’t list, what to expect and when to run away screaming.
But, what to do if you are the only one with a traveling bug or no one you know has visited this place before,this is where Tripoto comes in.
Tripoto is a New Delhi based start up which has taken an interesting approach to planning a trip, founded by Anirudh Gupta and Michael Lyngdoh, it takes up user generated travel stories and presents it in a beautiful way so, user can select a trip based on personality type, interests etc with ease.
We talked to Anirudh Gupta to satisfy our curiosity and ask some questions for your benefit, read the full interview below:
What made you start Tripoto?
We listened to stories of thousands of travelers and realized that these stories need to be told. We wanted to give people a platform to share their stories and at the same time make it easy for other travelers to discover and use them. There is a definite gap in the travel industry for an aggregated source of personal travel stories – We wanted to fill that gap.
What were the initial/biggest challenges?
Building a team is probably the hardest of them all; there is no dearth of inadequate people who in long run harm an organization more than they benefit it. So, finding right people, getting them up to speed were pretty big challenges.
How are you different than other travel start ups?
Tripoto provides travelers with itineraries that perfectly match their interests and personalities. We have offbeat itineraries which can be difficult to navigate for a first-timer otherwise. Our content is completely crowd sourced and approved by our editorial team to maintain good quality.
Discovering itineraries feature is a novel idea, what was the inspiration behind it?
Itinerary creation still remains a painful task despite the plethora of information that is available on the internet. While traveling ourselves we struggled through multiple sites and finally had to either rely on family/friends for recommendation or spend hours/days trying to build a travel itinerary. We realized that if we could aggregate travel itineraries from real travelers and present it in a easily searchable and structured way it saves time for a lot of travelers.
How easy it is for a new user to join the community? How do you help the immersion?
It’s fairly simple – Login through social media accounts or register on Tripoto. Browsing through itineraries and searching is a breeze. Use our search filters to narrow down on your choice of an itinerary and send an inquiry to the traveler if you have further questions.
For sharing your own travel stories just click on “Publish a trip” in the header and share a visually stunning itinerary with us in four easy steps.
Our welcome to the user is personalized and we constantly communicate with all our users over email and send frequent newsletters to explain new features.
Would you like to explain the process of becoming a travel expert and how your average user will be benefited by it?
A travel expert can create bookable tours on Tripoto and can act as an independent guide. So for example you are an expert on culture in Delhi then you can earn a living just by taking tourists to your favorite travel spots. You are free to put up the pricing of the tour independently.
The process for becoming a travel expert is as follows: – Sign up on our site as a travel expert. We will schedule a personal meeting or a skype interview with you. We will also ask for recommendations that certify your expertise. After getting the approval you can post bookable tours on Tripoto and get paid for your services.
What would you as a founder describe the major challenges ahead of you?
The major challenge is to scale up at a fast pace. We have a product and a small community of very active users. Engaging users and travelers and growing Tripoto at an exponential pace is our major challenge ahead.
What would your message be to those who have stumbled onto this story and want to try out your service?
The essence of traveling lies in exploring uncharted territories, interacting with the locals and ditching the ‘must-see’ destinations for experiencing life off the beaten path. We have built Tripoto to help you travel like a nomad. You can use it to:
1) Discover: Travel ideas shared by an active community of actual travelers
2) Book: From a selection of curated offbeat travel itineraries
3) Share: Your travel stories and itineraries to help other travelers
We wish the team Tripoto good luck.Please, let us know if you liked this interview in comments or mail us if there is some other interesting startup that you want us to feature.