The Story Exchange, Gouthami, Travel Another IndiaYour Name: Gouthami

Business Name: Travel Another India, a social enterprise that shares travel experiences throughout India

Type of Business: Social Enterprise

Business Location: India

Twitter   @anotherindia

Reason for starting
Having worked with social development organisations for about 15 years, I found that the difference that a responsible tourism venture can make in the lives of the host community to be very exciting. After getting about two years of hands-on experience in setting up and running one such venture in Hodka, Kutch in Western India, I decided to set up a company, Travel Another India, and work at it full time. Responsible tourism can offer host communities an additional source of livelihoods – in their own neighbourhood, using skills they already have!

How do you define success?
Travel Another India will be a success if 20 such ventures are set up across India – ventures that are financially profitable and socially inclusive; ventures that give urban guests, including those with disabilities to explore this incredible country and appreciate the life that Another India lives.

Biggest Success
Travel Another India is four years old! While every business plan forecast three years ahead, the reality in a social enterprise is that the situation changes almost daily – in spite of that we have come this far and hope to go much further.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Our top challenge at Travel Another India is finding new destinations where the host community is willing to put in the effort and persevere at setting up a Responsible Tourism Venture. We are constantly exploring the options and reaching out to more communities as well as investors to show them the possibilities ahead!

Who is your most important role model?
My role model for Travel Another India is Ms Neelam Chhiber of Industree and Mother Earth. She struggled for over ten years before finding the way forward to help rural craftspersons market their skilled products. It is that perseverance and thinking out of the box that I hope to emulate in my work.