How often do you travel? And how do you plan the itinerary? Though the idea of travelling sounds very much enticing and adventurous, it does take proper planning and arrangement — especially if you are travelling with family.
The concept of solo travelling has sprouted amazingly in the last decade; however, people still remain cautious while they plan group travelling or tours with family.
And Kunjal Karaniya’s venture Unplugged Moments is filling that gap and that itch of caution by helping curious travellers in planning their tours bewilderingly well!
Offbeat venture for offbeat trips
When I first heard of Unplugged Moments, I found it just another website that plans and books your travel itinerary, but it is much more than what you would be thinking. “Unplugged Moments is not a traditional travel company as we cater only to references, customised travel planning, and we specialise in self-driven road trips. The travel planning is thoroughly detailed by keeping the needs and desires of travellers,” Kunjal, the founder of Unplugged Moments, says, who has travelled to 35 countries herself.
Customising the entire tour for each client is time taking, and most importantly it involves dreams, emotions and experiences which Kunjal makes sure that her clients don’t remain deprived of.
From journalism to travel
It was not easy for the young entrepreneur to start this journey on her own. The 33YO Mumbaikar hails from a Gujarati family who had a colourful childhood with loads of relatives, travels and food. Though entrepreneurship was in her genes, as her father and brother also own a business, Kunjal went on to become a journalist. “Doing a job didn’t quite come easily for them as hardly anyone in our family had chosen that path and on top of it, a job as a journalist was totally alien and worrisome for them initially,” Kunjal pursued BMM & LLB and worked with various publications, broadsheets and magazines. Her parents proudly told the world that ‘‘their daughter is a journalist’’.
After working for ten years and reaching the pinnacle in journalism, Kunjal decided to quit overnight and start something of her own. All these years of her life, she was constantly exposed to one thing — travelling — and that had been her passion. Road trips and offbeat places were her callings, and even her friends used to take travel tips and advice from her. “I somehow knew that this has to be it — so after a push from my husband, I started my own boutique travel company Unplugged Moments. I had a blog under the same name which I converted into my business,” Kunjal continues.
“I rolled out my website and did some marketing activities to let my network know about the venture. Fortunately, the response was positive, and it still is,” Kunjal started her venture in February 2017 and had been planning and preparing since December 2016.
Love for travel and travel planning
Kunjal finds the travel industry explorable and exciting. And why not? You get to meet all sorts of people who come with a bag full of dreams and hope to experience something new. “I see now people travelling in the true sense and not just being a tourist. They are open to exploring new places and ideas which is very positive and exciting. Also, travel has become a priority over many things owing to the busy life,” she speaks as I scroll through her website.
On asking about her regrets, she says, “No regrets! I have always cherished all of my failures and success. Also, I have most times made my own choices. It’s always a learning experience.”
It was a critical move for Kunjal when she decided to quit her well-established career to follow her passion for travel and travel planning. It took her six months to acquire her first client; she did feel low in between but never thought of quitting. “And the feeling is amazing, I feel proud when I look back,” she proudly shares. Unplugged Moments is a proud caterer to 200+ clients and innumerable memories.
“I invested my own earned money since it didn’t require much funds — initially saw thin margins, but gradually it picked up. But it has never been about profit only! Travel being my passion, I always want my clients to live travel and come back with beautiful stories,” Kunjal used her journalism skills to excel in the travel industry. She plans to venture Unplugged Moments further into new segments like charter, luxury and group tours.
India is witnessing a startup boom, and the conditions look favourable. It is always a struggle and competitive world, but one needs to keep doing their best. Kunjal’s tip to aspiring entrepreneurs is just to keep moving. ‘Take that first step, rest will follow. Keep doing your best’ is what she says. “Just trust yourself and go for it. There might be hindrances but once you set in, give in your best shot and the world will surely appreciate and applaud. Times have changed, women entrepreneurs are taken seriously; hence its perfect time to dive in,” she understands the essence of being a woman entrepreneur and knows what it takes to be one.