“Travelling was one of my interests. There was no scarcity of information on the internet but no one was processing at one end. There was no one who could help in making a travel plan and at the same time the ability of collaborating with a friend. These problems motivated me to build Traverik ,” were the words of the proud Founder Ashutosh Pandey, while conversing with me about his startup, the challenges and road ahead.
Traverik is a travel startup located in the tech city of India, Bengaluru. The startup builds itineraries for users based on the intelligence gathered from other travelers. In a way, it’s like crowd-sourcing your travel plans. The idea was quite exciting as was the execution, so I got in touch with Ashutosh who has been a startup man from very early days in his professional life.
An engineer from the “City of God” – Allahabad, Ashutosh started his professional career as a software developer working with startups in Bengaluru. While talking about his early professional days in Bengaluru, Ashutosh credits a lot to CommonFloor where he worked as a Senior Product Engineer for more than a year.
“Working at CommonFloor was a great learning experience and I had joined at a very early stage when the startup was evolving,” added Ashutosh while sharing his work experiences at CommonFloor.
Early days of Traverik
With an interest in product designing, Ashutosh, like all entrepreneurs, also had this dream of starting something on his own. His interest for travelling and the current set of problems with travelling led his dream come true in March, 2012, which he started right after his experience with CommonFloor.
The beauty of Traverik is that it allows you to build your plan or make changes to an existing plan created by other travelers. However the startup had to go through the initial hard work of building the first set of travel itineraries and the data team ended up doing travel itineraries for 300 popular tourist destinations.
“Initially I was with the mindset that people would be making travel plans. But the response was not encouraging so we created a data team which over a period of time created more than 1000 itineraries for 300 most popular tourist destinations in the world, ” he shared.
Traverik excited me because of its customizable features and along with this, customized Explore Destinations feature and integrating the map feature is a cool idea. Also, Ashutosh shared that he would be working on a hotel bookings feature and would be incorporating some features suggested by users.
“We are going to fix pieces like hotel, flight bookings and would be introducing feature where you can compare your plans and quote too. Additionally we are pretty much busy and excited with the mobile apps that we would be launching soon,” added the excited entrepreneur.
Challenges and the road ahead
With a crowdsourced model, Traverik opens doors for users to own the platform but a user-driven model has its own challenges and Ashutosh is well aware of them. One of the biggest challenges that he expressed was data, while we were discussing the problem of incomplete information I had faced while preparing some unknown travel plans. He further added that covering all destinations would be a big challenge, and that it will happen with time as more and more users start using it.
Nevertheless, Ashutosh is happy the way things have moved till now and he has seen a good response from users. He also revealed that more than 11,000 travel plans have been made on the platform, which has more than 10,000 registered users.
For now Ashutosh is focusing on two major areas – 1) The launch of a mobile app, and 2) Like minded investors who can foresee his vision. A vision to not only help travelers plan their vacation and bridge the gap between them and the tour operators.
Travel is a social behavior and Traverik that has been out in the market for more than a year, seems to be chalking out its own growth.