With an extravagant mix replete with festivals, landscapes, architecture, traditions, cultures, spiritual beliefs, and flora and fauna, India soars beyond the easy descriptions of a the travel experienceproviding the memories that will keep blazing long after the traveller has left the shores.
Conceptualising, tailoring, and curating the best possible travel experience to this geographical wonderland is Serene Journeys, a well-conceived venture of Robindro Saikhom, and edicated, idea logical travel professional who by happenstance detoured to a journey that led him to his passion and pushed him to customise trips for like minded people that would suit their lifestyle, interests, needs and budget.
ABOUT THE WANDERER AT HEART
Robindro Saikhom, Founder, Serene Journeys, is a wanderer at heart. Travel has been a passion for him since his days of college. Serene Journeys is a result of this passion. An ardent supporter of the LGBTQ community, he believes in organising tailor-made tours for his travellers across the demographic spectrum with equal treatment for all. His expeditions take him to diverse and unique destinations ensuring an ideal trip. This wandering fellow experiences the tour first-hand, satisfies his touristy whims and fancies, and only then makes it available. He does it before you do it!
With Serene Journeys, you can enjoy the unique cultural traditions, ancient forts and monuments, wildlife, and so much more stress-free.They organise group tours as well as personalised service to create the appropriate, customised itinerary. Robindro and his team of travel professionals, organise all local transportation, hotels, guides, visits to monuments and other attractions. They only use knowledgeable, local, English-speaking guides and drivers. They are happy to recommend restaurants, organize shopping, and all other manner of extracurricular activities. They can even find medical assistance at inopportune moments.
In an exhilarating conversation with The CEO Magazine, Robindro talks about his professional detour to being a traveller, his plans, business model, experiences, passion and more;
The CEO Magazine:Walk us through the journey of 'Serene' what's the story?
Robindro:I have always cherished discovering new places and seeing what makes them tick. Once I started gaining the experience and fell in love with travelling completely, I realised it was time to turn my passion into my career and I started my venture, Serene Journeys. The first time I arrived in Delhi 8 years ago, my first stint with travel happened with a travel agency that specialized in inbound to India for LGBT travellers. There was a constant rush to curate new and thrilling experiences and taking these travel plans to the next level. So here we are today doing just that..
The CEO Magazine:You claim the 'best possible travel experience' how do you ensure that?
Robindro: We promise the best travel experience by discovering /understanding, our customer. Like any service business, the better you know your customer the better you can meet their needs and hopefully exceed their expectations. We take painstaking care to make sure we know what they want to see, why they want to see it, how they want to get there, etc. More than money my clients are investing their valuable 'free' time with us. We want to make every minute count.
The CEO Magazine:What was your rationale behind your career move?
Robindro: To provide a higher level of services and controlling my own destiny. I have worked hard in curating new, exciting programs, researching new properties and promoting business on social media. For me, the challenges we strive to overcome are in terms of gaining exposure, amplifying our network, ensuring that the right message is conveyed and reaches the target audience.
The CEO Magazine: 'Valuing travellers from all the communities including LGBTQ', tell us more about it.
Robindro: Today, the scenario is drastically changing and people are becoming more accepting and understanding towards the idea of LGBTQ, Of course, the transformation in transit is good, but it we have not reached the destination yet. My mission with the gay community is to educate my service providers as to how gay people like to be treated. In other words, the same as everyone else. That means no funny looks when they treat each other in endearing ways or any other uncustomary behaviour. No one including members of the LGBTQ community appreciates or encourages stares and snickers.
The CEO Magazine: Do you feel the idea and the meaning of travel have changed over the years?
Robindro:The idea and meaning of travel has transformed over the years for several reasons. But, to top it all, as the world gets smaller and accessible every day, the travel horizons are broadening and that's a good thing. Thanks to the internet we as travellers have so much research available that by the time we get somewhere we know everything about what we'll see, where to travel, where to stay etc. So while there are always new places to see there's readily available information about every corner of the earth.
The CEO Magazine: Does competition scare you or motivate you?
Robindro:The latter for sure when it comes to other travel organizations, service providers, travel agents, etc. We know we go the extra mile. Competition from the internet gives me a bit of pause because there is a tendency for the customer to try to control things and do it themselves. And information on line makes it sound so easy. Usually, the traveller to this part of the world realizes after the first attempt that they need help. But what if this is their one trip to India?
The CEO Magazine: How do you feel the industry has transformed over the years?
Robindro:It's quite exciting the new experiences available. It works so much in favour of someone who is trying to do the extraordinary (like Serene Journeys). There are always ways to do it better. People today are looking for new experiences and we are here to make sure we curate programs matching their desires. We like to go with the flow and against the tide, all at once. It's important to make a mark, getting known among the travel lovers and ensure that they comprehend the USP.
The CEO Magazine: How does the ethos for team and business churn out for you?
Robindro: Service is the top rung of the ladder in the travel business. Our services have to be of the utmost calibre. Once you have aced the service game it will automatically smooth over all the other little hiccups that inevitably popup.It also is vitally important to have a deep and mutually respectful relationship with people you work with at the same time ensuring that they are comfortable in making you aware when you are going in a wrong direction or require improvement.
The CEO Magazine: Has travel changed you over the years?
Robindro: It has. I have always believed in working hard, treating people fairly and kindly, and hanging in there. I followed my dreams and turned my hobby into my career combining my self-taught photography with it. This combination has proved tremendously positive in my life. As a result, I wake up each day planning a new trip or reminiscing on an old one.
The CEO Magazine: What kind of business model have you applied to grow?
Robindro: The business model of Serene Journeys does not come with a stringent plan because I'm pretty much a sole proprietor. If I had to name one tactical track I've taken it would be relying more and more on social media to float the boat. It's inexpensive and reaches far though the messaging space can get crowded.
The CEO Magazine:What are your immediate plans for the company?
Robindro:In the next coming years, we are looking forward to continue what we are doing today. We also are looking to reach to more travellers and expand our customer base with a more enhanced, tailored, and expansive product line. We are hoping to get repeat business and tap on the potential market. We are always looking at bringing on new destinations but also expanding new opportunities at our traditional stops.
Robindro wraps saying, "At the end of the day, I want each traveller to have as much fun exploring as I do. I have been exploring India intensely for many years now and still have so much to see and do. So to all who listen I say "India is calling, let's answer the call together!"