Tourbugs is a Pune based startup founded by Arvind Singh and Arti. If you want to experience something most exciting you can contact Tourbugs.
People think that it’s so cool to travel and host camping. But in reality, there is a lot of hard work that goes on every single trip be it camping or bike ride to the mountains – Arvind.
We got an opportunity to talk with Arvind, one of the co-founders of Tourbugs and see what he has to say. I am sure his interview with us will inspire you.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Tourbugs is an adventure touring venture. It is an experience base touring company and not just a travel agency. Mostly focus on camping in western Ghats and specialize in Ladakh, Spiti Zanskar and Aryan valley trips.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
We were on our bike ride to the mountains, where we met some people who had come with some tour guides/company. After talking to them we realised that they are not covering all the places and the real beauty of the mountains is not explored. That’s when we thought why not take people to such offbeat places and let them experience the peace that we have experienced.
Talking about western ghat camping, we used to go to places and camp. Places which are not explored before. Our friends and family members used to always be excited to join us. That’s when we thought of taking camping to the next level and make it family friendly. So now families camp with us without any fear or doubts about safety.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I am a mechanical engineer by qualification and have worked in oil and gas industry for almost 10 years. I quit my job to follow my passion for biking and travelling to unexplored places. Arti, co-founder of Tourbugs is a marketing professional and have worked in manufacturing, IT industries. She too quit her job to follow the dream of doing something of her own.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Tourbugs is based out of Pune, Maharashtra. Pune is surrounded with many unexplored places. It has a lot of dams nearby which gives us a better ground for camping. Climate-wise also Pune is blessed. We are based out of Pune and have explored all sides around the city which makes it a home ground for us.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
Paranoid about what if we are not able to deliver something that we promised on time or if some vendor messes up with the supply. There is always the pressure of the things which are not in our control. Most of our vendors are from nearby villages for local supply. Sometimes they do not understand the importance of delivering things on time.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
Right now in the camping market, we have a lot of competition as many resort owners have now started pitching tents in their property and delivering camping experience. Tourbugshowever is very different in terms of delivering camping experience. We do not have a fixed setup. We pitch our tents fresh for each camping trip. Our food is unlimited and cooked by locals. Unlike other campsites, we do not have activities. We believe in connecting with nature, enjoying hot tasty BBQ, making new friends over the bonfire, sleeping under an open sky and observing the stars is a perfect way of enjoying camping. Our experience is very unique and we know that once a person has camped with us he/she will never go anywhere else.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
It is very different than a job where you can switch off your computer and mind at say 7 pm max and be with your family/friends. With your own venture, you are 24*7 thinking about what to do next and how to grow. Constantly thinking about your business and everything around it. There is no off button for you. However, for me, it has been easy as we both have the same things in mind and like to discuss Tourbugs whenever we get time or sometimes even on dinner dates.
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 any funding for Tourbugs. We are expanding now and have some plans where we might think of raising some funds. At he moment, we are working on our future plans.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
People think that it’s so cool to travel and host camping. But in reality, there is a lot of hard work that goes on every single trip be it camping or bike ride to the mountains. There are logistics challenges. Arranging local supplies can be difficult sometimes. There is labour management and if labours are not available we have to take up even the physical work at times. So yeah though it looks fun, there are lot many things that are happening behind the scene.
What gets you excited about this company?
The most exciting part of this is that this is my own company. I started if and I own it. Every day I work for something of my own and that gives immense pleasure and satisfaction. This is something that I love to do. Born out of pure passion for biking, travelling, camping and adventure in general Tourbugs is doing what it was started for.
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.
Well, on weekends my day starts with loading the vehicle with tents. Then I pickup supplies and head to the campsite. We pitch the tents and make the campsite ready for campers arriving that evening. WE welcome our guests, chat with them make them comfortable and take them to their tents for the night. The evening is busy with BBQ and bonfire. Getting to know people is what I love when at the campsite. Next day morning after breakfast, all the wrap-up work and then I head back to Pune.
On normal days, as we are a small team we all work as all-rounders. There is no fixed time for everything that we do. We work right from we open our eyes. Handling inquiries, calls, social media, content creation are some of the things we do day in and day out. When we are not camping or running tour we take some time out and go out on local travel to explore places around. During the peak season, we work continuously for months without any break. We get little leisure time in the month of September and March.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
Right now we are a small team. The core members include me and my wife Arti. Arti too enjoys biking and travelling a lot. She too rides and leads our bike trips. It was our first ride to Ladakh together where we thought of doing something of our own.
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