Meet Nithin Kurian the founder of Camper’s creek. They are into camping adventures and chemical-free farming.
Yes, Life is no doubt exciting and I’m indeed enjoying every bit of it as I am doing what I always wanted to but there is a whole lot of hard work (mental and physical), tensions of its own and issues that we battle with but we don’t regret it.
We got an opportunity to talk with Nithin, the founder of Camper’s creek and see what he has to say. I am sure his interview with us will inspire you.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Camper’s creek is a private farm and a camp ground on the outskirts of Bangalore, just off Kanakapura. We follow chemical-free farming practices to grow Lime, drumsticks, herbs and some seasonal veggies on the farm and open out the other part of the property for people who like to go camping and explore the outdoors.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
As a kid, I grew up on a farm and enjoyed the outdoors more than anything else. We spent most of our free time going on fishing trips and camping and this became an integral activity in life.
A few years ago, we worked on an idea of turning our family property into a camp ground which gives campers a real experience of camping in the outdoors and for this we left one part of the property untouched.
Problem we solved – When we started off, there were very few places that could be handpicked in and around our city which was open and safe for
out tents for people to camp but only a few that gave a real feeling and excitement of camping in the wilderness.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
A graduate in Hotel Management from Christ College, I went on to specialize and work in management. Managed different roles in HR and recruitments in corporate companies before the idea of Camper’s Creek materialized. In my last role, I was heading the recruitment function for a software start up.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Camper’s creek is located on the foothills of the Kabbala hills which is just off Kanakapura. Our camp ground is on the foothills and has forests on both sides. It is free from the hustle, the lights and pollution of the city. We have a rich population of elephants, porcupines, peacocks, mongoose, wild cats etc in our forests that makes our life more interesting.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
Everything in life has its ups and downs and its all about how we work an away around the issues without losing focus on our goal. We as any startup have many issues that we encounter and by the Grace of God we have been able to make the right decisions and move forward.
What keeps me awake at night – Grazing and forest fires. This for sure will sound very funny to people and only a few with a passion for the outdoors may understand. We do some amount of conservation activities around where we are. We plant saplings, seeds of native plants in the forests and around the farm but farmers graze their animals in these places and wipe out all work we do over the year in a matter of a day or two. They set fires to burn down dry grass in the forest and this leads to burning down hundreds of trees, plants, thousands of nests, birds and small animals being killed. This really depresses us but we continue to do it all over and also try and educate them about the importance of safeguarding our trees and forests.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
In the last couple of years the concept of camping has been catching up and now we have many property owners who let their properties out for people to go and enjoy responsible camping.
I wouldn’t say we are better than someone but we take our passion seriously and make sure we do everything to make their camp out an enjoyable experience. Every campsite has its own unique selling point and our location is something that gives our campsite its charm.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
Initially, I assumed life is going to be easier when you work on your own venture but I fell face down. I am a co-founder of another startup that provides HR services to startups and mid-sized companies and now from working 8 am to 6 pm & 5 days a week for over a decade, I have come to a stage where there is work in the head almost 24 hrs. Having said this, thanks to the support of my family and colleagues I make sure I take occasional breaks, have time for family and friends. This is tough especially in the initial stages of the venture but things will change as things fall in place and if we plan things well.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
We have not raised funds for Camper’s creek and may look at this option in a year or two as we plan to grow and expand.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
The other side is always greener. People think that life is easy and I’m doing nothing most times cos my line keeps me in the outdoors. Yes, Life is no doubt exciting and I’m indeed enjoying every bit of it as I am doing what I always wanted to but there is a whole lot of hard work (mental and physical), tensions of its own and issues that we battle with but we don’t regret it.
What gets you excited about this company?
Every day is a new day of learning for us at the farm. We encounter so many issues in farming and running the camp ground and this keeps us on the toes all the time. There has never been a day that has been boring for us at the camp. We are busy working in the farm or are busy chatting with our campers, we have been lucky to have met some amazing people and families in the last couple of years. If you don’t find us do any of these then we must be in the woods placing our trail cameras or are fishing or swimming in our lake. Check out our channel on YouTube – Campers creek, as we post most some exciting things we see and do at the camp. Literally, everything about this venture excites us.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
Our day at the farm starts at around 6.30 am and ends after 11pm or 12am in the night. Soon after a hot cup of tea and a quick breakfast we head out to the farm to work. We don’t have laborers and do most of the work ourselves. From digging to planting to watering. When the govt. bus passes our farm we know its 1.30 pm and it’s time for lunch. Between all this Wilma (my wife) cooks up a sumptuous meal that keeps us going for the whole day.
1.30 to 3.30 pm is our break when we sit and plan the rest of the day or dose off planning most times and then we are back on the farm at around 4.00 pm and work till sunset. We end the work on the farm with a swim in our small lake.
On a day when we have guests we pitch the tents after breakfast and head out for farm work. Once the guests check in we make sure we are available to help them around, show them the farm and take them on hikes etc.
Evenings usually ends up with a bbq with the guests or try different grilling recipe’s when we are alone.
The whole schedule will change when we have elephants migrating or passing through the woods as we sit in places from where we can safely watch them move around doing their thing J.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
My team – the Almighty Lord, Wilma, Jithin and my folks
The Almighty – we look up to the Lord in everything we do and he has been our provider. Without his grace, we would not be able to do what we do.
Wilma D’souza – works as the recruitment manager with a leading ecom company. Wilma and I studied together in college and are married for 2 years now. She shares the same passion and is someone who encouraged me to take big decisions to start this venture. She is also a great chef (do check out the reviews she gets for the food she cooks up at camper’s creek on our fb page). She makes sure that none go hungry when we are at the camp J.
Jithin – my brother, is a musician and works with a reputed music academy in Bangalore. When not at work, he spends most of his time taking videos, pictures and videos of our journey in the farm. His knowledge about animals is deep and works on our marketing content and ideas.
Our folks – who are on the farm in our absence to manage things and have always been our support.
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