‘TraveLibro’s USP is the on-the-go feature in our app’

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Updated: August 12, 2016 2:48 PM

Monish B Shah, co-founder and CMD, TraveLibro Online, shares with Reema Lokesh, the vision of the company keeping in sync with the demands of the new age traveller

Monish B Shah, co-founder and CMD, TraveLibro Online, shares with Reema Lokesh, the vision of the company keeping in sync with the demands of the new age traveller

What triggered the thought to establish TraveLibro?

The idea to set up TraveLibro Online germinated in my mind while I was planning my honeymoon to Greece and Spain. I realised that there was no single portal, which was of assistance as I spent hours on different websites, connecting with friends to draw inspiration from their past trips, speak with numerous travel agents, all a daunting task. Being a new-age discerning traveller, there was no portal that enabled me to plan my holiday from end-to- end. Thus, TraveLibro originated in order to bridge this gap. The basic plan was to have a single platform that would help a potential traveller to draw inspiration from, connect with travel agents, and list out things to do in the particular city.

How do you intend to position the product in the India market?

We believe that our biggest opportunity is to be the world’s largest travel social network, an area which has not been explored well yet. Apart from the obvious word of mouth, we use various social media such as Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter, to draw users. We are also networking with some of the most popular travel bloggers in the world, so that users of the portal can also follow and get inspired by their travel journeys.

Is there a specific plan to penetrate the Indian travel trade market?

TraveLibro is looking to create an ecosystem where travellers can interact with travel agents. We are working hard on making this amalgamation seamless. Currently, our sales team is reaching out to travel agents and educating them on the benefits of being on TraveLibro. It aims to provide a forum for travel agents to display their tours and packages to the universe of travellers looking for standard and customised packages, in an enhanced format.

What are the salient features of the company and the business module?

The three words that best describe TraveLibro are: ‘Capture. Inspire. Relive.’ Life is a journey full of memorable moments, those that are experienced while travelling as well as the local activities done in the city a person lives in.

TraveLibro seeks to not only enable users to capture those precious memories but also inspire other like-minded travellers by sharing them (if they desire to do so). TraveLibro aims to connect its users with other travellers, bloggers, agents along with being a meta – search engine for bookings such as flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals, and more. Besides, it’s a perfect go-to for those who like to take the road less travelled. However, the USP is the on-the-go feature in our app. This feature enables users to capture and record each moment of their unforgettable travel journey while experiencing it, as the name suggests, on the go. Users can track their travel experience with simple check-ins, picture uploads, status messages and post moments to a stunning shared timeline with friends and family and cherish memories forever.

Would you like to share with us the company’s growth story?

We have about 30,000 registered users and over 35,000 unique visitors from 49 countries on our portal every month. With a presence of over 50 top bloggers and over 400 travel agents on our portal, we are confident that our user base will only increase from here on.

What is the initial investment in business and has it met your expectation in terms of the initial turnover?

TraveLibro is bootstrapped by its founders, Monish Shah and Malhar Gala. Our next step is to reach out to potential investors to seek investment and form synergies with various industry partners.

Our initial investment is being used to build a new-age product that adds value to a traveller; our product is now almost ready and aligns to our expectations in terms of what we  set out to do. As far as initial turnover is concerned we are at a very nascent stage and we are concentrating our efforts in positioning TraveLibro in the market.

What  are the primary challenges within your line of business?

As a start up looking to build an entire eco system, all the aspects must grow simultaneously to work cohesively. Additionally, marketing the entire gamut of services that TraveLibro provides is a challenging one in itself. The primary challenge is to establish ourselves as a travel social network portal where users can capture and relive precious travel and local memories as well as inspire other like – minded users.

Is the India market ready for your business?

TraveLibro is a unique combination of the travel and social networking industries. More than 2.8 billion people across the world use the internet, 2.1 billion users have smart phones, 2.08 billion are active on social media platforms, above 1.1 billion people travel each year and the entire travel industry is worth more than US$ 2.4 trillion. India is an extremely important mix in these statistics and we rank in the top three countries when it comes to outbound travel and the usage of social networks. There is no entity though that combines travel and social networking providing an entire experience to a traveller, from planning the next big holiday on the bucket list to cherishing all your travel memories forever. TraveLibro looks to address that void in between both these massive industries. As a brand, TraveLibro has managed to receive a good initial response from the Indian audience as 65 per cent of our active user base is from India.

What are the plans for the company for 2016-17 and the vision forward?

Keep our head on our shoulders and continue working hard towards achieving our goals. It has been a long and enriching journey of joy, sweat and tears since we started and have come a long way since then. Yet, we have miles to go before realising our dream.

Is there a new development that you wish to share?

We are currently in the process of enhancing our user experience and user interface along with forming synergies with industry partners to create a meta search engine for bookings. We foresee that 2016-17 is where all the elements come together to make TraveLibro the travel ecosystem it aims to be.

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