Holidify : Plan your tour with destination discovery

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Holidify is an NCR – Delhi bases startup which is India’s first destination discovery website that helps travellers find the right destinations according to their preferences and help them plan their holidays in a hassle free manner.

Holidify aims to make discovering your next holiday destination as much of an eye-opener as your vacation itself. They help you break out of the monotony of the same vacation spots you have known for years and open in front of you, a world of possibilities. With their interactive map interface and powerful filters, you can plan your vacation like never before.

Techaloo got a chance to interact with Rohit Shroff, Co-Founder @ Holidify, let see what he has to share with us.

Techaloo : When did you start your journey?
Rohit :
We have been working on this idea since June 2013. We launched a prototype in a month and circulated amongst our friends and people who understood startups and travelling. The initial response was very encouraging and a lot of ideas came in. That was when we decided to jump in properly and got more people in the team (interns and freelancers) and started building the product.

Techaloo : How did this Idea come to your mind?
Rohit : Being a regular travel ourselves, we used to face difficulties in choosing places to visit for our next trips. We used to find a lot of information over the internet, but it was unstructured, unorganized and difficult to find. We brainstormed on how we can possibly solve this problem and the idea of a map-based Graphical user interface supported by strong filters and structured content started making sense. We didn’t want to make it completely crowd-sourced because that’s one of the main reasons why so much information is still unstructured. So, we decided to go with an in-house content team who would do a deep-down research before writing our own content.

Techaloo : Why the name Holidify?
Rohit :
Holidify sounded like a perfect name for our website. It is short, easy to pronounce and there are no confusions in spelling it. It also has this great connect with the word Holidays and our whole idea is to simplify Holidays. It was suggested by a friend (Jayati) and we all unanimously decided to go with the name.

Techaloo : What was your vision/mission while starting Holidify?
Rohit : Mission is to ensure that information is available to everyone in a very structured and accessible manner.

holidify

Techaloo : What hurdles did you face while starting?
Rohit :
Building a team has been the major challenge. But we have now formed a strong team of 5 team members and another 6-7 interns are working with us.

Techaloo : How are you different from other websites e.g., mustseeindia, ixigo etc.?
Rohit :
Our focus is on well representation of content and also delivering the right content in front of people. We believe that it is NOT always about selling you packages and booking flights and tickets. It is also about inspiring you to travel. It is also about helping you find the right destinations to go for your next destination. It is also about giving you the right information about the place like activities, sightseeing options, actual photographs, etc. It is about making all the information available in a simple, structured and personalized manner.

 

Techaloo : What are the benefits of map based travel offerings?
Rohit : It isholidify a great way to explore an unkown area. It gives information about the location, possible geography, interesting places nearby. It also removes the bias of any kind of sorting that typically happens in a list view. This makes discovering a little known place like Chamba equally likely as Shimla which would encourage tourism of lesser known places.

Techaloo : How does the whole process work at holidify?
Rohit :
It is extremely simple and intuitive. People visit the website, they click on the map to see the possible options and then they can use filters to refine results. After that the user can read all about the destinations like sightseeings and things to do in that place, shopping, restaurants,local cuisine, tips and reviews by other travellers, actual photographs, best time to visit, staying options and how to reach there.

Techaloo : Are you getting traffic from foreign countries as well, who wants to explore India?
Rohit :
Yes, a lot of traffic is coming from abroad as well. They are finding our website extremely helpful as map based interface is great to explored unchartered territories. Most of them are the ones who have some Indian friends and want to explore India sometime.

Techaloo : How many destinations have you covered till date?
Rohit :
We have around 300 destinations with around 2000 activities and attractions listed on our website. We are going to double it in the next 3 months.

Techaloo : What is “Surprise me” and “Weekend” features?
Rohit : Weekend is a special section for those travellers who are looking for a destination which can be covered over the weekend itself. A lot of corporates and students prefer multiple weekend trips rather than a single longer trip because of the availability of leaves. So, this section helps them find places near their locations in a very easy manner.

Surprise Me is a pretty cool feature which returns one destination by choosing it randomly from our database. This is a useful feature if you have no preference in mind about the kind of place you want to go. It’s also fun to read about various places and be a virtual explorer.

Techaloo : Have you got any kind of funding? Or are you planning for the same?
Rohit : No, we haven’t raised any funding yet. We have put in our savings till date and we are planning to stay bootstrapped for another few months and focus entirely on building a great product.

Techaloo : Are you planning for some mobile apps as well?
Rohit :
We are already working on a separate mobile and tablet website. Mobile apps will be followed shortly.

Techaloo : What do you think about techaloo.com?
Rohit : I think it’s a great medium to encourage entrepreneurship, especially among the youth of our country. The interface is nice and the articles have been nicely categorized.

Meet the team Holidify:

holidify

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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