BENGALURU: Mysuru being a tourist place, software engineer Vinay Parameswarappa decided to quit his plum job and start ‘Royal Mysore Walks’.Vinay started off with walking tours in 2009 and gradually expanded the business by introducing Cycle Tours and Open Jeep Tours.Presently, he offers more than 25 different packages such as Tipu’s Trail in Srirangapatna, The Malgudi Tour covering RK Narayan’s stories and The Culinary tour that includes cooking with local families and Silk, Artisan and Yoga tours. They conduct five different tours daily from 6.30 am to 9 pm.
Earlier this year, he launched similar tours in Coorg and even has plans to extend it to Bengaluru in May.
Vinay, who has done a MBA from the University of Oxford with specialisation in entrepreneurship, shares his journey with City Express. He says, “When working for Dell in Singapore, I got an opportunity to travel across Southeast Asia. I was impressed with how well the travel/tourism space had evolved in these regions. I was totally smitten by the idea of Singapore Walks. What really shocked me was Singapore as a country with a mere 40 year history received more number of tourists than the whole of India, a country with a history of 5,000-year-old civilisation. I felt we must better package and market what we have in India. So, I decided to quit my job and founded Royal Mysore Walks.”
“With Mysuru city growing rapidly, there is lot of opportunities for those who want to invest in Mysuru and I took a call to start business from Mysuru. I faced several challenges while venturing into this business. Acceptance of the idea, marketing the concept and attracting talent were some of the major challenges. We haven’t availed any government schemes as this is a cash flow business. We believe chasing the customer than the investor.”
“We have seen a growth of experimental travel companies in the country and it is a very encouraging sign. Initially, we faced several challenges as it was a new concept and we needed to work extra hard to communicate what what we intended to deliver. Today, with an extended network and with all pervading social media, we are expanding our business. We are fortunate to have an extremely passionate and a motivated team, that makes all the difference,” he adds.
“We work with tour operators, corporate houses and educational institutions, both international and Indian, as our tours are educative, entertaining and fun for students. As per the guests’ feedback, our start-up is on par with the best tours in the world and we are among the top three travel ventures in the country based on Tripadvisor reviews.
I believe the wave of entrepreneurship will solve problems,create wealth and jobs and make a difference to our society,” says Vinay Parameswarappa.