Indian startup, ScoutMyTrip makes road trip planning easy!
Road Trip planning worries put to rest !
All of us might have been to a road trip, isn’t it? Road Tip, Might be a visit to our native place, family outing, trip to a hill station, places of attraction etc, But planning a road trip takes a lot of time and effort.You have to know before your journey itself regarding where you are going to refuel, halt, eat or take a loo break etc. Even though, you find lots of travel planners out there to make your work much easy, Indian startup ScoutMyTrip stands apart as a class!
ScoutMyTrip is a community driven road trip planner with a Map interface which allows creation of itineraries with tourist attractions, hotel booking, gas stations, rest rooms, road conditions, best diners along the way and much more.
Travel, Technology, Community – these are the three pillars of ScoutMyTrip platform. ScoutMyTrip aims to be the platform of choice for road travellers. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Guhar moti in the Kutch region to Kibithu in the east, they help you chart your road trip. So, let’s start planning: www.scoutmytrip.com
History and how the founders met
The founders, Deepak Ananth and Vineet Rajan, are both avid bullet riders, who met each other almost a decade ago through their network of riders. Over the years, they have ventured out on many road trips on their respective Royal Enfields and cars across the length and breadth of the country. They are based in Mumbai.
As people who travelled everywhere by road, the idea to build a technology-focused road trip enablers had always been in the mind. As per HolidayIQ, close to around 60% of all vacations are road trips. Just about every vacation has an element of road trips which is not being singularly addressed by any one incumbent. Since Deepak and Vineet are part of a vast biking community, it gave them enough feedback on how a product that addressed road trips alone should shape. The estimated market size for road trips is $8 billion dollars.
Deepak, who was heading the petroleum business for VeriFone in India, quit his corporate job in December 2015 to build ScoutMyTrip. Vineet, who co-founded IndiBlogger and headed their Mumbai business, joined him as a co-founder in early 2016. Vineet is also an active volunteer with the Brotherhood of Bulleteers. They incorporated the company in April 2016.
Neeraj Sinha, a self-proclaimed Vagabond and community manager of Devil on Wheels joined the duo as the CTO in April 2016. Neeraj, an avid road tripper himself, has travelled across most of the motorable roads of the Himalayas in his Scorpio. With over 20 years of hands on experience in web technologies, team and project management; his association with ScoutMyTrip was a great fit. He leads a team of 6 members from the development agency. He is currently based in Delhi.
Needless to say, the first time Deepak and Vineet decided to meet Neeraj was on a road trip from Delhi to Theog, ahead of Shimla. Soon after, ScoutMyTrip hired a development agency – SNSEPro and the work formally started in July 2016.
ScoutMyTrip.com has recently launched its beta version that allows the user to plan a road trip between any two points across India. One can scout for halts, over 10,000 points of interest, gas stations, toilets etc. along the way, multiple routes, hotels (Agoda and Booking.com). One can also pick from ready-made road trips that have been planned by others.
In the next version, the team will add an entire community layer to the product integrated with access to road trip experts who can add value to each road trip with their tips and suggestions.
The response so far
The beta version of ScoutMyTrip was launched on October 24th 2016 and within short span of time it has more than 2000 users and over 600 trips have been planned; and the numbers are expected to go up significantly with further bug removals and beta enhancements.
The first users were from the large community of bikers and road trippers that the founders are closely connected with. They actually threw open a challenge to their network – asking them to plan a road trip from anywhere to anywhere in India. They got requests for Eastern Coast of the Himalayas or remote places in the beautiful North East. The users were surprised to find that ScoutMyTrip was rich in information in all these places. It was even able to show toilets and gas stations on most routes.
Part of Z Nation Labs
ScoutMyTrip was recently invited by Z Nation Labs, a Silicon Valley initiated accelerator program, for 6-week duration. Z Nation had a lengthy process to figure which startups they wished to bring on board ScoutMyTrip was one of 13 who finally made it.
There are 4 highly respectable stalwarts from varied industries on the advisory board of ScoutMyTrip.
Himani Kapadia, Chairperson at DigitasLBi, India has over 20 years of cross industry experience with management and leadership roles across sectors ranging from manufacturing, finance, media to digital marketing.
Vinayak Prasad, Executive Director, South Asia at VeriFone has been a part of the payments and financial space for the past 20 years in Indian, American and the Middle East markets and currently heads the South Asia business of Verifone Inc.
Narendra Sharma, Managing Editor – MotorOctane.com, has over 15 years of experience, mainly in the automobile industry having worked with brands like Mercedes-Benz, Fiat-Chrysler. He has also made motoroctane.com one of the fastest growing auto websites in India.
Nishad Ramachandran, SVP Digital Experience Group at Hansa Cequity is a creative professional with over 25 years in advertising. He is a creative technologist who supports digital analytics for some of India’s biggest brands.
The road ahead
From here on, the team is focusing on growing more users by consistently improving the overall experience. Revenue is also going to be key here and the team is working on partnerships with some of the biggest names in the travel space to bring their services onto the ScoutMyTrip platform; eventually making it a marketplace for all things road trips. Under Neeraj, the tech team is also building an ad network which will serve travel brands to reach more consumers around the world.
So after reading about ScoutMyTrip from the above, aren’t you readers excited enough to travel a road trip with this platform? Do tell us whatever you think. You can freely share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below:
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