So my wife Chelsea and I are buying our first car. We run Immersive Trails, which is a purpose-driven immersive cultural travel business. While applying for car loans we have been getting more than usual scepticism from the loan officials. They try to ask, often in roundabout ways, about how we are still in business over the last 2 years of COVID19 related disruptions in the travel business. They ask for our business bank statement and business IT filing, to make sure we are indeed in business and raking in the moolah. A Toyota dealer had also audaciously asked whether the secret of my identity and finances lay accross the border in Bangladesh. To understand why Bangladesh, and not a Swiss Bank or Lichtenstein or Cyprus, you need to be aware of the current talking points in right wing politics in India. I leave it to you to explore that in your own time.Continue reading How to Buy a Car in Kolkata if You are a Bengali Non-Tech Entrepreneur Who Started From Scratch!
There is a lot of anger brewing over the last year among everyone who’s livelihoods depend on Indian travel businesses, which contributes to 8% of the total employment in the country and a whopping US$234 billion towards India’s total GDP. The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the tourism sector in India, as it has done throughout the world. It forced many large and small businesses to shut shop and hundreds of thousands lost their livelihoods. It was rather shocking for me to receive a call from a renowned tour operator one day, selling, not tours, but PPE kits and sanitization solutions.Continue reading Innovate, Empathize, Remove Conjecture: The Post-Covid Way Forward for Indian Travel Businesses
Immersive Trails Co-founder and wife Chelsea McGill and I have been to several tourism meetings in the last 4 years about branding and marketing Bengal. The two topics of discussion were common in these meetings.
1. Branding and marketing targeted at the “inbound”
2. Tourism=Durga Puja
In our limited experience in building an experiential tourism company from scratch, I think this has been our Achilles Heel in branding Bengal.Continue reading Tourism in Post-COVID19 Bengal- Rebrand, Empathize, Go-Micro