Offline travel agencies gives first hand guidance to customers: Anjali Gupta

Retailer Media caught up with Anjali Gupta, Director, Y not Travel, to know more about the current happenings in offline travel space.
Anjali Gupta, Director, Y not Travel

Indian Travel Industry is one of the most talked about topic of recent times. As digitisation has disrupted almost every segment, travel industry too is at a stage of evolution. Though Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have changed the way how consumer used to make their travel arrangements, but still its offline counterpart is filled with agents and seller around every nook and corner of the country.

No doubt OTAs are at a dominating position and offline travel agencies in order to survive will have to innovate and build specialties to lure customers. Retailer Media caught up with Anjali Gupta, Director, Y not Travel, to know more about the current happenings in offline travel space. Extending her passion towards travelling, Anjali has stepped into this venture which surely has the potential to go big!

Please share your background. Your education and whether entrepreneurship was something you always wanted to do?
Entrepreneurship was in my genes as I was born in a family of entrepreneurs. My Father, who before his retirement was the largest Registrar and Transfer Agent of MCS fame. The seed for achieving excellence was sown there. Hailing from Marwari background, my Parents had set strict rules for me and my siblings. Though we were provided with the best of everything, my sister and I were not allowed to go overseas for studies. I was 20 and was studying in Lady Shri Ram College for Women when got married. My In-Laws encouraged me to complete graduation, and my husband understood my passion of travelling and entrepreneurship goals. Before starting my own Travel agency I studied further at the Indian School of Business to gain more knowledge regarding business, I was 35 then. To gain Market Knowledge, I opted to took training from large and small travel companies. I also did an IATA course and got IATA registration for my venture too. 

How was the idea of your Start-up conceptualized? What is the need you are addressing in the market?
Travelling was my passion from long; I started Travel Agency; "To earn money to fund the Holidays". Established in 2004 with the seed capital of 10,000/- INR, Y Not Travel now is termed as a "niche" tour company specializing in luxury tailor made outbound itineraries. Y Not Travel was started as a venture to help friends plan their international travel itineraries from a single room in the house. My love for travel extended its romance from ordinary destinations and soon navigated through my dreams which resulted in readymade solution to all travel concerns offering exclusive trips to senior citizen, honeymoon couples and families.
We always ask people to have at least 3 types of travel plans in a year i.e. one with partner and Kids, One with Parents and One with friends. We travel to new destinations constantly and keep abreast with the latest trends. YNT offers a scope for myriad romantic getaways which will be a perfect escape from the humdrum of your robotic lives. By transitioning into an even more niche offering we are able to position our products as a one-of-a-kind experience that answers the luxury travel trend and appeals to Free Spirits while offering a companion experience they would love to brag about.
We also specialize in Senior citizen travel – We provide complete hand held travel solutions. In the world today, the senior citizens have become adventurous when it comes to vacationing and generally enjoying life. To them, life after retirement is characterized by vacations and relaxation.

Is there a story behind the name, you have given to your business 
As I said earlier, Travelling was my passion from long and I started this Travel Agency; "To earn money to fund the Holidays". I love to Travel and due to this love only I come up with this name “Y not Travel”.

What is your Business Model? Please share numbers of founders, Product/services offered and current Business size?
We work in close net with HNI’s and Ultra HNI’s. We also customize the travel packages as per the needs of customers. We offer both Outbound and Inbound Travel and specialize in Senior Citizen Travel, Honeymoon Travel and Family Travel.
The purpose of Y Not Travel is to help you savor the same tourist product into a more dynamic and memorable tourism experience that can deliver Goosebumps moments. Me and My Husband Mr. Vikram Gupta had started this company in 2004 with seed capital of 10,000 INR. Now we have turn up of around 50 crores annually and supporting 35 families.
Y Not Travel is an unit of Variety Services Saket Pvt. Ltd. which is recognized by IATA, as a tour operator and travel agent. Y Not Travel is a member of International Air Transport Association (IATA), Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) the premier trade body of inbound Tour Operators in India, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), the world’s largest association of travel professionals & Thomas Cook of India (PSA).

Who is your target consumer? Could you please share how you have detailed your consumer?
Our target consumer is HNI’s and Ultra HNI’s or the people who love to travel. We customize the travel for the people who are fond of travelling or who want to explore the different countries. Many a times for our client we have also tailor made packages which made them able to travel alone or to experience different adventurous. We are also a destination specialist for Canada, America, Australia, New Zealand, France, Spain, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and many other countries. Our success rate for rejected visa applications is 99.9%.

How are you funded? Have you risen any funding so far? What are your plans to use this funding for?
No we are Self Funded.

What is your team size? What is your office culture like? 
We have round about 35 employees in our Team. We have lots Pictures and Special Book rack for our employees to increase their knowledge base and interest in Travelling. Our Team consists of Travel Enthusiasts who assist the customers to make their Travel experience memorable.

What has been your A-ha Moment in the business? (The high point)
We have grown up to 4 times in the last decade and this is a remarkable achievement in our career. All this happened due to our loyal customers and loyal staff.

Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) are booming up these days. Where do you see the future of offline travel industry 3-5 years down the line?
Online Travel agency has captured the market and it is true they are getting popular day by day. But due to many bad experiences by people with online Travel agencies, they are many people who still look for First Hand Support. The Target audience, whom we cater to always ask for First Hand Support and always look for one to one guidance and support for the their Travel Plans. Ofline travel agencies have many advantages over Online Travel agencies as they can provide with first hand help and guidance to the customers which become little bit difficult with online agencies.

How do you see growth scenario is this business? What is your future scale-up plan?
The travel and tourism industry has emerged as one of the largest and fastest growing economic sectors globally. The growth in the Indian travel and tourism industry is driven by a combination of rising income levels and changing lifestyles, development of diverse tourism offerings, and policy and regulatory support by the government authorities.  Indians are becoming more adventurous. They want to move out of their comfort zone and explore new and outback destinations like the back and beyond of Norway.  Due to the competitive environment around, people opt for Travel to get relax from the continuous lifestyle.  Due to this scenario we are looking much more growth in coming years. And we are working continuously to reach up our goal of increasing 10 times.

Anjali Gupta