India’s leading trip planner – ScoutMyTrip has won the prestigious National Entrepreneurship Awards 2019 (NEAS 2019) in the Hospitality, Tourism and Travel under A3 category of the Enterprise Track.
In the award ceremony today at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra, ScoutMyTrip co-founders Deepak Ananth and Vineet Rajan were honored with the prize by Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship along with Ms. Jyotshna Sitling, Jt. Secretary of Ministry. ScoutMyTrip was recognized for its efforts towards not just helping travelers but more importantly generating earning opportunities for the youth.
On winning the award, Vineet Rajan, Co-Founder of ScoutMyTrip said, “We feel honored, proud and most importantly thankful to have been chosen. When the government starts actively recognizing startups; it is a sure sign that the country has a thriving ecosystem for growing businesses. With NEAS, the government has successfully opened the doors of opportunities for new entrepreneurs”.
ScoutMyTrip’s unique business model allows regional travel experts and well-travelled individuals to monetize their expertise. With this program, experts or Scouts as they are called have been earning between Rs. 4000 to Rs. 6000 on an average every month for the last 8 months.
Deepak Ananth, Co-Founder added, “Entrepreneurs become successful only because of their team, and this is even more true in the case of a startup. So, the success mantra is to keep the team motivated by aligning them to the vision; and taking them along every step of the way. Effective leadership and team management play a crucial role towards building a motivated team”.
Vineet and Deepak are avid travelers themselves and have been part of many travel communities over the last 15 years. They first came together to form a biking club in 2011. After the success of the club; they started working on a way to enable travelers plan their trips better with the help of technology. Over the last one year, ScoutMyTrip has onboarded over 100 such Scouts who have been monthly planning between 2-3 trips and earring in the range of 4000 to 6000 per month.
Along with allowing customers hire virtual travel experts, ScoutMyTrip is also helping travel agents increase business by allowing them to bid for the itineraries planned by Scouts. With this, they have been able to complete the customer lifecycle from planning to execution; and at the same time ensuring customers save money by getting the best deals.
Over 900 million hours were spent last year in planning trips browsing 17 websites on an average. After having traversed over so many kilometers, the co-founding team saw the opportunity in this space and got together to build ScoutMyTrip. Most OTA’s provide booking for modes of travel and stay but no one helps you plan a journey. ScoutMyTrip addressed this gap by allowing anyone to plan a trip anywhere to anywhere while interacting with and hiring travel experts (called Scouts) to help them fine tune their plan.
ScoutMyTrip addresses the uncertainties one faces on their trips. The lack of information on where to stay, eat, and unique things to see is a major problem that most travelers grapple with. By removing uncertainties, trips become fun and they call this – ‘Mark and Embark’.
ScoutMyTrip’s model is very closely also aligned to the country’s vision of encouraging Indians to visit 15 new places by 2022 as espoused by the Prime Minister in his speech on Independence Day this year. Indians can make this simpler by hiring a Scout; and have curated itineraries handed on a platter!
ScoutMyTrip was recognized by Z Nation Lab who invested in the company initially and from there the company today have over 35,000 users who use their trip planner. Monthly over 1500 trips are planned on ScoutMyTrip off which around 300 are planned and perfected by Scouts for various customers.
In the long list of accolades ScoutMyTrip has won includes winning the Maharashtra Startup Week early this year by Maharashtra State Innovation Society. In August this year, ScoutMyTrip also represented India at the Travel and Tourism accelerator in Indonesia organized by DIGITARAYA in partnership with tiket.com which is one of the largest OTA’s in Indonesia. ScoutMyTrip was the first Indian startup in any of the accelerator programs by DIGITARAYA.
With this recognition by the Government, the journey has just begun and ScoutMyTrip is in talks with various investors for raising capital of up to Rs. 3.5 Crores which would be primarily deployed towards technology and expansion of the Scout network to create more earning opportunities.