Fotoplane is a Delhi based startup founded by Abhishek Kumar. If you are planning a holiday, Fotoplane is for you because it is an online portal that provided complete travel solution.
We are focused towards providing visual content about everything that people would want to look for when they think of leisure and travel. This includes unique cafes, restaurant, art galleries, shopping destinations and other such places which a traveler would like to explore in a city. We are soon going to introduce 360 degree videos which will give a close to reality feel about all of these and hence better experience to our viewers, says Abhishek.
We got an opportunity to talk with Abhishek, the founder of Fotoplane. Read his full interview to know more about his journey as an entrepreneur and about his startup.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Fotoplane is an online travel library that provides complete travel solution right from finding a travel package to exploring places to visit and things to do in a city. We are focused towards providing visual content about everything that people would want to look for when they think of leisure and travel. This includes unique cafes, restaurant, art galleries, shopping destinations and other such places which a traveler would like to explore in a city. We are soon going to introduce 360 degree videos which will give a close to reality feel about all of these and hence better experience to our viewers.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
The world is full opportunities now. We are living in one of the most transformational times in human history. This is the information age and Internet has given us the power to connect everything. I always wanted to use my potential to create something useful for everyone around. This was the reason that I made a decision to start my own venture.
About what problem do we solve: There is so much to do nowadays and there is so less time. Hence the idea behind building Fotoplane is to provide a one destination where people can quickly find about what they can do when they are in a city. How they can explore more about things to do and places of interest in a city. All this is through visual content in terms of photos and videos so that it saves their time and helps them understand better.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I am a computer engineer by education. I worked as a mainframe developer for 7 years with TCS before leaving my job in 2017 to start my own venture. I am an alumnus of IIT-Delhi and IIM-Calcutta. I am also a documentary photographer and have exhibited my work at various national art galleries like India Habitat Centre, All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society and MF Hussain Art Gallery. Recently I also published a documentary photo book titled ‘The Hope Street’ which was one among the 9 books selected worldwide to be a part of Indian Photography Festival 2018 in Hyderabad. All over these years I have studied a lot and learned a lot about so many things.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
My startup is based out of Delhi NCR. The reason being that this city is like a pitstop for people coming from all over India and then travelling to various parts of north, east or west India. If it’s related to travel then it has to be Delhi. Also, there is no other place in the country which has so much to offer when it comes to travel and leisure. Delhi has the highest number of monuments per square kilometre as compared to any other city in the world.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
Providing high level of customer satisfaction and quality content is what I am most concerned about. You can say this can keep me awake at night. But usually I get a good sound sleep at night.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
Some of the travel and leisure companies based in India and abroad can be considered as our competitors. But still our focus is mainly on providing visual content about the places to discover and hence it is very unique. We have an amazing team of content creators, writers and marketing experts. We work both in B2B and B2C segment and hence we have very large customer base.
How hard is it to have a work life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
No doubt it is difficult. In fact, very difficult when the startup is in early stage. I have to juggle between so many roles throughout the day. But then it teaches you a lot of things. I have learned so much about everything in last one year working on my startup. I have to be a developer, a designer, a sales person, a cinematographer and a countless more things everyday. But no matter how difficult it is, it’s all fun. It is always satisfying at the end of the day.
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.
No, we have not raised funds yet. We are a sustainable startup and we are already in revenue stage. We can talk to investors if required but as of now we are bootstrapping.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
I have no idea about this. I am a very direct person so I don’t think anyone can have any misconception about me. I am exactly same as any one would find me in the first meeting. I think people believe in my ability and I am always surrounded with friends and family members who always appreciate what I am doing and push me to go for more.
What gets you excited about this company?
We create visual content and so we have lots of cameras. We play with cameras day in and day out. The most exciting thing about this company is that I am building a company out of my passion. There cannot be an energy more stronger than this to drive you to build your company. In addition to this, the energy of everyone working in our team is always so high that nobody ever feels low.
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.
I wake at 6 am every morning without fail. I love doing meditation and yoga early morning. I get a breakfast and reach my office around 9 am. I usually stay in the office till late evening, sometimes even till midnight. In between there are meetings, calls, shoots and all sort of things. So what happens in office on a particular day depends upon the schedule of that day. But it never feels burden as it’s all fun when we are in office. Anyone can walk in anytime and take as many breaks as one wants. You won’t find a more chilled out office anywhere. I try to take around 6-7 hours of sleep at night.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
Building a great team is one of the toughest thing when you are working on your startup. And it is the most important thing without any doubt. We have great team now and have Ankita, Aditya, Anurag, Saurabh, Sachin, Neha and Dhruv in our core team. I first reached out to my friends to find people who can work towards building this company. Everyone who are currently working with Fotoplane is through reference or direct contact. During early days, I tried to hire people through job portals but that didn’t work out for me. It gets too formal which I don’t like as the company is in it’s initial stage. I want it to be more fun.
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