One of Ahmedabad’s leading travel company has made rapid strides within a very short period of time. Initiated in 2015, Tourient delivers customized tourism packages and prides on providing great service and value for money. Their core audience is on the web, and 90% of their business comes online.
Starting with a team of three, the initial months were tough. They had a hard time convincing customers that they would deliver on their promise. They kept investing in powerful systems and at the same time built powerful tie-ups that gave them credibility. They gained IATA Accreditation and became an affiliate member of Gujarat Tourism. Besides, positive reviews about their quality of service on digital medium also enhanced their reputation.
“First, it was very difficult to convince. 100 queries aati thi. Usme se compete karke sale nikalana, especially for new company, it’s very difficult. People in other cities were willing to book. But the question was – why should we trust you? Now we can give a customized package for any destination in the world”, says Ankur. To address concerns of trust of prospects in other cities, he would give examples of Amazon and Flipkart that people have been using with no such issues. “We now have Chennai customers booking for Kerala”, he adds. Ankur built the company from scratch and credits his staff that have a rich experience in the travel industry. Most of his staff had worked with Make My Trip.
Tourient is very clear that the only thing they care about is developing the business. They invest heavily in designing efficient systems. Also outsource some aspects, so they can focus on developing business and not deal with the side challenges. Ankur proudly says, “Humne challenges ko nil kar diya, first six months mein hi.”
One of Tourient’s core audience is foreigners who visit India. These include NRIs. Ankur himself was one and relates to this category. They don’t care about money. Don’t want to ruin their vacation. Need service and trust. Tourient’s strategy is to first get business. Deliver what they promise. And learn how to add features on future packages.
Since the spotlight is on development, they don’t look at the revenue numbers as a target. Ankur says, “We are looking only at customers. How best to service them. Revenue aayega, to profit aayega. To pehle profit ki chinta kyo karoon?”
Tourient system works on latest technology, which has ensured strong processes. “We put everything in writing. We have CRM. We respond within 24 hours. We have a bucket list. A follow-up list. We send quotation on email and then speak on phone. It’s a well-drafted email. Jo maanga hai, wohi dena hai.”
The Manager – Ankur Barvaliya
Ankur was an IT professional in Australia. Surat-based, he was keen to come back to India and do a business utilizing IT. Since travel was his passion, he started the travel company. Didn’t waste a single day. Came to Ahmedabad and was prepared for the business being online. Took office, hired people within two months and started operations.
Ankur believes in continuous investment into technology, to stay abreast with the latest developments, so one stays customer centric all the time. “I should be able to deliver. Business to aata rahega. If you don’t serve what customers ask, it would be a waste”, says Ankur.
Ankur got going very quickly. He hired an experienced team but his initial marketing was deliberately slow. Tourient wanted to learn and build potent systems. Our brand was gradually building up.
Ankur has big ambition with a desire to be among the best in the country. Vision is to take Tourient to next level, to be one of leading travel companies in India within 2-3 years. He is not worried about returns as of now. The focus is on business development. And maintaining the quality of their service so they emerge on a larger scale.
Tourient, right from the beginning targeted online community, but they started by restrained marketing on Facebook and Twitter. Later, they tied up with other platforms, almost all the big players, so as to learn, which would work best for them.
“Aapke source kya hai? Uske bhi bahut types hote hai. B2B. B2C. Sulekha, Just Dial, IndiaMart. Own advertising. Learned which source was better. Now we generate own queries through marketing.” says Ankur.
They were conscious of their trial and error method. The intention was to eventually become less dependent on others. “Dependencies nahin hona chahiye business mein.” he adds. Over time, they outsourced their digital marketing. Currently, a Kolkata firm manages their Google Adwords, blogging, and digital campaigns.
Ankur found NowFloats very simple as a concept and appreciated its strength. “From day one, I got it. How it could be beneficial for us, They do localised SEOs, and work on a very different platform. Normal SEOs se kaafi different hai. It had a lot of potential for us”, he says.
Ankur’s intention to target customers abroad was a big reason to sign up for multiple locations. “Our TA is vast. Bigger the boundaries, better it is for us to do business. NowFloats could give a lot to strengthen our business.The only reason I signed up with NowFloats. The plan was also to target foreign audience, who come to India, so may cater to their service. As of now, we haven’t had many foreign customers, only 4-5, through other sources. But we have taken more foreign sites, so we can open door to others. That’s the intention. It takes time.”
Ankur values what the auto-SEO platform does and how NowFloats is a distinctive player.
“NowFloats has a unique technique, a unique platform. It enables the businesses. They are giving a weapon. It’s now up to you to how to use the weapon.
If you are smart and are putting your effort, trying to find ways, then it can give you results. The more you feed good content, the more quality you get in your results.
It’s a platform. It’s very good, the way it provides techniques and enables the businesses. It’s amazing actually.
Visibility is improving. It takes time. I am very optimistic.
Ranking keeps increasing. For foreign locations, we are getting better. It’s not a 1-day job. Visibility helps in searchability. Based on how good is your content, it will generate your business.”, says Ankur.
Tourient has a team that updates daily through their desktops. Use about half an hour to do the job.
Ankur says, “Social marketing – we don’t use, as we do it separately. Always try to post once a day. Kabhi reh jaata hai.” They also tend to target specific destinations and then keep posting about it diligently.
“I have never faced any problem. Contact local person directly.” says Ankur. He once sent an email via RIA and received the response on time.
Suggestions and Expectations
“Jo bhi hai, it’s very good with NowFloats.” Ankur believes that a solution like NowFloats can work for many, including businesses who are not technically savvy. “Not everyone is knowledgeable and technically sound. A lot of challenges in India. It is great if one company like NowFloats gives you technology. A customer can do a lot better if he has this.”
“Right now, it’s very difficult for us to track where the queries are originating from. We receive queries from calls and WhatsApp. The number of queries has increased since past two months. We don’t ask the customer. We promote our WA number on NowFloats websites. We can’t track. Sometimes we get emails as well, on regular business.
We are in B2C, it will take time, our ranking is still improving. But we are generating business. A very competitive industry we are working in. Will keep improving.” he adds.
Talking about the future, Ankur believes, “It is very bright. We are still new. We know our directions. How we can do and emerge on a larger scale. NowFloats can be a key partner for us. We have been doing very well with them. Maybe after a few years, we can emerge on a larger scale. We shall be thankful to NowFloats for that.”
The fact that Tourient continues to take more locations with NowFloats and is confident about the platform shows their belief in NowFloats and the strong rapport with our local team.