Goutham Ravi, Founder at Xafari (Gohash Travel Pvt Ltd)
Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Goutham Ravi: It was in early 2018 when on a road trip to Pondicherry. We had passed many a 'decent looking' restaurant when we were'nt hungry, and when we were, we could'nt find one.
So without choice, we ended up at a small, thatched eatery run by an old lady and serving authentic hot dosas prepared on woodfire. It not only turned out to be great food, but just talking to the lady about her story was an experience in itself.
The eatery was one that would not even get a 2nd look from travellers. But why not? It was clean, inexpensive, fresh food and totally authentic.
That was when it struck me that there is no platform that existed, that showcased these small establishments and tell their stories to travellers.
Great Companies: What are the various Services provided by Xafari (Gohash Travel Pvt Ltd)
Goutham Ravi: We are primarily a Travel platform (Mobile App & Website) connecting Travellers with off-beat Places and Rural small businesses that cater to tourism. We do this by:
1) Showcasing rural small business by curating their stories, providing them a dedicated space on the platform and by promoting them to travellers
2) Curating & Publishing Travel Articles that inspire travellers to explore the unconventional in rural India
3) Providing travellers information about a large reporisoty of Places to Visit. Each of these places have content curated in-house containing detailed information, stories, local legend and folklore.
Great Companies: What makes Xafari (Gohash Travel Pvt Ltd) different from hundreds of other similar service providers?
We are the only travel platform that showcases the stories of small rural businesses in India and directly connect them to travelers who appreciate unconventional tourism.
Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?
Goutham Ravi: The travel industry has been crippled by the pandemic. We started the conceptualization and drawing board work just prior to the pandemic and have had to persevere through 2 COVID waves before we could launch, and are now faced with the 3rd.
This has in-turn delayed our monetization and subsequent investment to expand. We are currently on the lookout for like minded investors/angels to sustain the business.
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Xafari (Gohash Travel Pvt Ltd)?
Goutham Ravi: Our vision is for Xafari to be India's number 1 travel brand and we plan to achieve that by: Showcasing interesting stories in every corner of the country by building the largest database of Places of Interest & Rural businesses.
Creating a fraternity of travelers who love exploring the unconventional in rural India, and who proudly identify themselves as a Xafarian.
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Goutham Ravi: Always think strategically and execute tactically. Concentrate on building a good brand, then a successful business is more likely to follow.
Website : https://www.xafari.in/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/xafari.takeadetour
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/xafari_takeadetour/