Vishal Hanmattekar, Co-founder The Blueberry Trails, is also a travel photographer and loves to document the lives and experiences of destinations he travels to. His passion for travel photography and Sudeepta Sanyal’s (Co-founder) passion for travel writing made them start a travel blog with an aim of sharing their travel experiences and tips to fellow travel lovers.
Vishal says, “Following some great response we started conducting weekend trips. We also realized there was an inherent gap in the market when it came to personalized holidays. There were mainly providers of cookie-cutter holidays in the market and the trends showed that the modern traveler needed and wanted more than that. Thus, the traveler had to choose from either that or planning it himself. We wanted to give travelers a third option: a personalized trip planner with local experiences to choose from.” And so The Blueberry Trails as a tour operator came into existence.
The highest point in the journey was in 2014 when they launched their Outbound product to cover International destinations. This has now grown to cover over 42 countries around the world and contributes to 70% of their revenue.
Vishal also talks about the lowest point in the journey so far,” We had a time when a majority of our team had left around the same period due to various reasons and we had rebuild the team from scratch. That was a tough period for us and it definitely made us stronger. “
On his preparation for his current role he says,” My priorities are to stay on top of the industry trends and the constantly changing Travel industry scenario by being in touch with the happenings and building networks with people related to the field. I also stay in touch with the customers and try to understand their changing needs so that we can deliver exactly what the customers would desire from their holidays.”
His success mantra,”Do something you love and are passionate about, only then can we find success in what we do. When we are not passionate about our work, we can’t really give it our all and everything becomes a struggle. “
His advise to people who dream of making it big,” It’s very important to dream – only then can we achieve them. Of course that needs us to believe in our dreams and give it everything we got.”
The Blueberry trails had Kalki Kochelin tweet to them about how she really loves their way of travelling. Recently, Nirmika Singh, singer-songwriter and the editor of Rolling Stones magazine, travelled with them to Scandinavia.