“ If you want something to change, you have to do it yourself. There will be many challenges, there will be many lows, but you just have to keep pushing. Push as hard as you can, push yourself to give everything every single day. There will always be problems when you are starting out, and even as you keep going along on the entrepreneurial journey, but I believe that every problem comes with a solution. All you need to do is think a bit harder maybe. Apply yourself, focus on the problem you are trying to solve, and you will surely find a solution. “
This is what I used to repeat to myself every morning when I was gathering the courage to become an entrepreneur, once again. The decision to start Thailandwale was a difficult one, but I knew it had to be done if I was to ever find value and meaning in my life. But, even as I knew that I had to start this, I was still terrified.
You see, I have been in the travel industry for 14 years now. A few years back I even started a travel venture of my own by the name of Jetsup Holidays. My biggest reason for leaving it was because we functioned as the middlemen - since we did not have a lot of control in our hands, our clients ended up suffering. My reason for getting into this industry was to make my clients smile, not suffer.
But, even as the fear of history repeating itself gripped me, I knew this time it would be different. Thailandwale was going to be as different from my first venture as possible. Thailandwale was going to have a single-service model where we only focus on getting clients to Thailand - a land that is filled with mysteries and wonder.
I felt ready. I felt determined. I felt confident. That was all I needed to go ahead and make my dream come true. I signed the dotted line and Thailandwale became a real company.
Fast forward a few years from the day I decided to start Thailandwale, and here I am, making my dream of making clients smile come true, even in a world where the travel industry is facing many challenges. Don’t get me wrong, we also faced our fair share of challenges when the pandemic hit. People were not just scared to travel, they were also terrified of travelling to any East Asian countries, as they believed that the pandemic spread was more rampant there.
We had to bide our time, keep the employees engaged, and make sure that we were prepared to get the operations up and running the minute things were opened back up. Little by little, we began to claw our way back to the top. After numerous lockdowns and an environment of fear and confusion, the thought of getting back into the travel industry felt like madness. Many people told me that it was a bad idea. People said that I should just take up a job during this time or start a venture in some other industry, but I knew my spirit would never be satisfied with a generic 9-to-5. Even when all my colleagues and peers in the industry were wondering about job security, I was plotting my return.
But, disaster struck just as I felt ready to be back in the game. The second wave hit, and this time was much worse than before. The entire country was brought down to its knees by the pandemic, and it felt as though the economy was never going to recover. However, as the old saying goes “good things come to those who wait”, and wait we did, while trying to come up with ways to keep the spirits and preparedness high. Thankfully, our government made sure that the entrepreneurs and dreams of the country could still dream. This time, there were no extended lockdowns. There was a vaccine and there was hope.
In India, we are proud to have been a part of one of the largest vaccine drives of the world, and it is because of how relentlessly the population was vaccinated that the travel industry is getting back on its feet. With more and more Indians being double-vaccinated, people are beginning to think about holidays and are coming back to us.
Just a few days ago, I spoke to one of my oldest clients. He is an ad man who frequently takes his team to Thailand, and has booked our packages many times to do so. He told me “It’s people like you who are going to rebuild this nation.” and my chest swelled with pride when I heard those words.
Adversity is a part of any business or industry. There is no work in this world that is completely challenge-free. Yes, some people may see fewer challenges while others drown in sorrow. But, what’s the most important aspect of being an entrepreneur? It’s the ability to get up and rise and work again. One thing that the last two years have taught me is that patience is an extremely important virtue in entrepreneurship.
You can never really predict what the next challenge will be. After all, who among us could have even predicted a global pandemic that stops everyone in their tracks? The trick to surviving in any industry is making sure that all challenges are met with a calm attitude and an open mind. All that matters is whether you can regain your self-esteem and confidence when you need it the most, and make sure that you are ready to come out of any situation with a better skillset and bigger vision than ever before!
The world is still recovering. India is still recovering, and so are we. Thailandwale has come back with a renewed vigor, but one thing remains absolutely paramount - the goal of helping people enjoy fantastic holidays in Thailand, with better services and even better experiences!