Parik Laxminarayan and Alex Metzler reflect on a decade of Enchanting Travels and look forward to creating magical vacation memories for many happy years to come.
“What made you take the plunge to start a travel company without any experience in that industry whatsoever?” asked one of our smartly dressed former MBA classmates who is now a Partner at McKinsey. We were presenting our journey at our ten year INSEAD MBA class reunion in France.
We simply answered that living with the feeling of “what if” would have eaten us alive and therefore, we took the plunge with the knowledge that the worst that could happen would be failure.
The best that could happen is where we have reached today – having built an exciting global travel company spanning 31 exotic countries around the world, employing enchanters from 18 nationalities from different walks of life and sharing the joy of travel every day!
Numerous memories flood our minds as we reflect on the past 10 years of the journey.
In the early days, we remember walking the streets of Munich and Bangalore to find our first offices, doing an airport pickup in the middle of the night ourselves after receiving a call from a frantic guest who was stranded after a “missed transfer”; making our own travel proposals (unsurprisingly our first proposals from 2004 look amateurish compared to what we have today); negotiating waitlisted room clearings; selling trips; solving “crisis” situations while coordinating trips.
We would write our cheques manually to all our hotel and partners for payment late into the night and find ourselves building our own website with almost no technical skill.
Of course, we also enjoyed going on thrilling test trips to stunning parts of our destinations including our first one to the Sunderbans in India, where our boat got stuck in the mangrove forests because our boatman underestimated the mud in the riverbed!
That first trip gave us an insight into the many encounters we would deal with as we built Enchanting Travels.
We would be lying if we said the journey was easy.
Every day presents a new challenge but what keeps us going is three things:
1. Seeing our team members grow and make a life for themselves through an engaging employment opportunity is deeply satisfying.
2. To hear from our guests that we have been able to enable life-changing travel memories and help them understand what happiness really means is truly uplifting.
3. Being able to share and live the joy of travel in so many exotic parts of our world every single day is hugely rewarding.
In 2024, if we’re lucky enough to be asked to share our thoughts on the 20 years of our journey, we’d love to look back on having built a highly successful, profitable and efficient organization that is respected for staying true to its values.
While many things will change, develop and grow, we’re sure that the one thing that will never change is the genuine care and passion for sharing the joy of travel with people and through that, in our own small way, making the world a better and happier place.
Thank you for being part of this wonderful journey – ten years of Enchanting Travels and counting – with us.
Parik & Alex
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