For anyone who’s a travel junkie, and even for the one who’s not, the point of concern always begins from exploring an unknown place. Also, there’s the desire of not wanting to miss out on the most important stuff.
For example, when I go to the Taj Mahal, I don’t want to know that Shah Jahan had cut off the hands of the workers so that no replica of the monument could ever be created. I already know that, and rumor has it that the saying isn’t even true.
So, in the tech-friendly world that it is today, two BFFs understood the need for an app that would take travelers through an experience, rather than just having a human guide.
Rachna Pande and Nupur Aggarwal began Trip My Way in April 2016, and have been since going strong. I met one of the partners, Nupur to find out more about the startup.
“We love traveling, and when we started exploring the world, we realized that it desperately lacked an app that would take care of everything.
Funnily, Rachna, I, and our husbands are both techies. All of us are from different IITs. We had good corporate jobs but wanted to do something different. When we decided to start designing such an app for India, we knew that we wanted to integrate a sense of experience inside the app.”
Funniest thing about human tourist guides
Nupur: They don’t tell you enough. For example, when we visited the Jaisalmer Fort, we weren’t told that it’s one of the world’s largest fully preserved fortified cities in the world.
Budget destination for an all girls trip
Nupur: Hands down, Rajasthan. It’s safe and easy to navigate. You’ll find many undiscovered spots in Rajasthan, many interesting alleys. I stayed in Pushkar, and really thought that it would be all about temples, but I met so many interesting people in the tiny city! Ah, it’s such a chilled out place.
I feel the same for Jodhpur. It has amazing havelis, hotels are cheap and safe, too.
And, this is where our app Trip My Way comes in.
Trip My Way, too, please?
Nupur: The app provides access to smaller towns. It tells you the story of the town. One of our intentions is to empower them without getting them scared. For example, if you’re walking down the lanes of Chandani Chowk, our map will guide you through. We’ve marked areas that will brief you about the experience. Here’s what I mean:
How the besties are the perfect fit to the puzzle
Rachna: Nupur’s husband Anshul and I were in the same company, and we ended up becoming neighbors when at one point both of our families were living in San Francisco. We would eat out together, and then we started running.
When either one of us got lazy, the other proved to be the much-needed motivation! (On phone)
We had gotten to know one another pretty well. It was pretty evident that I was more of a content person, I could take that forward, and Nupur was precise with details.
Nupur: That’s true. I make these excel sheets, and I’m very visual, and Rachna takes care of the content. And, she’s so good with her words!
Nupur: It’s very difficult when you’re a startup without funding. And even more so, if you’ve left well-paying corporate jobs to begin with something you’re passionate about. But, most of all, it’s difficult to find talented people who would work with you. Because, for us, it would be tough to pay them well, until the time we have someone to fund us.
Scaling the content is another trouble that we usually face. We found a great support system here, though. We’re very grateful.
Nupur: Asia is a great market. It’s also one of the hottest travel destinations in the world. Also, the Middle East. People look for the ability to explore the world themselves and get empowered by connecting with the locals.
We’re trying to create empathy for the heritage, and also the experience that is relevant to today.
Traveling is liberating, empowering, but for the two BFFs Nupur and Rachna, it became the road to their passion.
Try out the app here.
Photo Courtesy: Chhaveesh Nokhwal