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 Sometimes The Best Discoveries Are The Result Of Simple Observations - Ajay Jain  

Date of Publish - Sunday, 4th March 2018

"I have spent over 4 years deeply understanding my customer. The Kunzum travel trucks have hit home run. The pivot took a lot, but worth it."

Introduce us to Kunzum! What inspired you to become a full time traveler and finally a successful travel entrepreneur?

In June 2007 I decided to be a travel writer. Travel is a fantasy for many.

My first journey as a ‘travel writer’ was to Lahaul Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, within a few days of my decision.

"Its really my passion for the world, its people and their phenomenal stories. Travel is life"

The trip included crossing Kunzum La- a spectacular junction in my journey – literal, and of life. I had never stood on such high ground; it seemed I was with the gods. The sheer beauty of the landscape and the overall experience just strengthened my resolve to pursue this profession,”

In 2009, I took up space in Hauz Khas Village, a market that attracts creative people from all walks of life and from many nationalities too.

One day, over homemade dosas at a friend’s place, the idea of the Kunzum Travel Café was born. We did the math and realised our downside would only be the raw material cost of the coffee, tea and cookies.

We were anyway running the space as a gallery with staff, which was trained to make coffee. The café did not have any additional overheads.

The place soon became the talk of the town, turning it into a hub for events. Over years several brands have worked with Kunzum Travel Cafe. We started club Kunzum to engage the passionate community.

From Kunzum travel cafe to the Kunzum travel truck, what led to the pivot? How did you arrive at it?

As the club Kunzum community grew, we realised the need to be the reason for our members to meet more often and travel more often.

We also realised how people loved to travel with like minded others. This gave birth to the idea of the Kunzum Travel Truck.

"People love to travel with like minded other. This gave birth to the idea of the Kunzum Travel Truck that corporate & families today book. They love it."

From Kunzum travel cafe to the Kunzum travel truck, what led to the pivot? How did you arrive at it?

The Kunzum Travel Truck is not exactly a pivot. Instead its a powerful value addition to the already existing set of services/ experiences that Kunzum offers.

Customers that have experienced the truck also say that it provides them with the freedom to travel at their own pace. The trucks have been custom modified to deliver luxury, comfort, ease, hygiene and a personal travel experience with people you love and work with.

The idea for the trucks emerged from club Kunzum. The members reached out with their ideas to make exploratory travel easier and happier. I took a leap of faith and invested in 4 travel trucks.

I call it a leap of faith because I went purely by my hunch. I did not have a large size validation of the idea. Also, the investment in the trucks was sizeable for a growing company. I took the risk.

"The Kunzum travel trucks were sure a risk. It all paid off. I am thrilled with our trucks running full capacity. We are booked for the next few months."

What inspired you to institute the CEO Traveler Of the Year Awards?

Growth marketing is a lot of creative experimentation and relentless testing of new ideas.

Growth begins at the product/ service level. Most startups still think its only marketing. It actually begins with the product that's supposedly solving a meaningful problem.

"Growth is not about marketing. It begins with the product/ service first"

For almost all technology/ new age businesses growth follows a similar journey of on-boarding - activation - engagement/ retention - referral/ word of mouth - revenue - churn.

Founders must figure out the customer journey and build growth tactics to ensure retention and growth at a low cost.

The growth marketing team must build a framework for rapid growth. This team is the mix of CRM, Marketing, Product and Sales.

Growth marketers address all possible funnels across the customer journey to ensure growth not just as new customer acquisition but actually growth in retention and word of mouth to ensure growth with low cost customer acquisition.

"Growth marketers address not just new customer acquisition but in retention and low cost growth as the overall lifetime value of the customer increases"

Author :
Karunakara M Reddy


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