Name: Pooja Gupta
Location: Gurgaon, India
Industry: Travel, Hospitality & Events
Reason for starting? A lack of credible information has been plaguing the travel industry, leading to issues like travel scams and safety concerns for women. I have been a travel blogger at Traveljots.com for over 4 years and personally experienced the problem. While traveling in Kashmir in May 2016, I was cheated by a houseboat travel agent. I purchased tripscam.com from the houseboat itself and resolved to solve the problem of travel scams by bringing honest, trustworthy and credible information on tourist destinations. I felt a neutral platform for travelers to read and share travel tips would be helpful in solving this problem.
How do you define success? Success is the achievement of goals. In my case, I set goals for myself and evaluate their achievement through introspection. I don’t feel the need for any external judgement to certify my success.
Biggest success: My biggest success is setting-up of travel startup Tripscam. I didn’t know anything about startups and gained all the required knowledge from the internet. In the process, I learned digital marketing, product development, web development, advertising campaigns and so many other things. I feel successful today that I could bring my vision of Tripscam to reality.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? I read books and online publications to learn about sales and marketing skills. I tried to sell my product and learnt from my mistakes and honed my marketing skills. Being a computer science post graduate, I was able to pick up digital marketing in a short time. I researched online to find free and paid tools for digital marketing, keyword research, sales campaigns etc. I hired interns and gave them training for marketing. This was helpful in cost management.
Initially, people didn’t believe in my startup idea and there was no support. I could not gather a team of co-founders. I was also unable to get any seed funding. It was difficult times for me. I did freelancing to raise money for my startup and worked around 18 hours a day for over 10 months. I gave contracts for the things I could not do myself.
Who is your most important role model? Shradha Sharma, founder and chief editor of YourStory is my role model. Being a women entrepreneur, she has inspired entrepreneurship among women in India. I like her initiatives like HerStory, which especially supports and motivates startup founders like me.
Edited by The Story Exchange