THE BRAINS BEHIND
Field Tripers is an experiential learning company which create and design programs that enable students to learn through exploration, curiosity and active participation.One of The Co- Founder of the company is Mr.Hitesh Gautam who is an Alumnus from IIT Delhi & IIM Lucknow, He handles product development & client relations as co-founder of Field Tripers.Mr. Nakul Wagde graduated with B.com in Taxation and won coveted best all round student gold medal in MBA. He specialize in B2B strategies, sales structuring & streamlining. He handles marketing & operations as co-founder of FieldTripers.
Tell us everything about your company, what does it do? What were the challenges of setting up and scale? How did you overcome them?
We started Field Tripers in Oct, 2014. Hitesh and Nakul both worked at Asian Paints and after quitting their jobs, they founded Field Trip Expeditions Pvt. Ltd. We always had an inclination towards doing something in education and with a passion for travel; we began our journey into the educational travel field, which later transformed into Experiential Learning space.Field workers create and build experiences for young minds, which gives them exposure to the vast opportunities that they can pursue as their career goals. Currently, the major portion of work relates to educational travel, but we are in the process of building new exclusive products like career exploratory program which will make us a completely differentiated player in the market.
The first few months were challenging. We remember…the challenges of convincing schools to undertake one of our programs. One of the biggest barriers in this industry is getting your first client, especially when you are not from the education industry. So, the idea was to make your product and pitch unique. We came up with customized, economical experiences like Euro Space Center. Our proposals used to be 10-12 pages which minutely detailed out the program along with learning outcomes for the students. This gave more confidence to the schools in our planning and execution capabilities.
Finally we got our first client in the mid-2015, and from then on the company has never looked back. We now have 10 schools, 2 colleges in 2 cities who are regularly and repeatedly working with us.
How did you come up with the idea and what was the Eureka moment?
Educational travel is the 2nd biggest group travel in India. If we use the international ratios for segmenting travel industry of a country, then educational travel in India is worth more than $5 billion.Rising disposable incomes of parents, the peer pressure of providing experiential learning to the kids, and the focus of schools in pushing such programs to differentiate/highlight themselves are some of major drivers of this industry. Outdoor learning programs like adventure camps, trekking and camping are witnessing tremendous growth.
These were some of the reasons which pushed us to explore this domain in detail. We interacted with lot of parents and schools to understand the major gap areas in this industry. Providing out of school experiences to students has always been rated as one of the most challenging tasks that school authorities usually face. The mismatch in the expectations and delivery has always been a problem apart from standardization and consistency of experiences.Our research made us more convinced about the need to start something in this field and that’s how it all began.
What is the one thing that sets you apart from your competitors and what’s your revenue model?
Our constant endeavour to come up with unique products and experiences sets us apart. Apart from selling our existing products, we keep doing official/exclusive tie-ups with international organizers which gives us an edge over other competitors. The latest product that we are developing is a Career exploratory program with few prominent colleges in Indore.We generate money by selling our programs. We are building a strong database of students and parents which we would be leveraging in future for our B2C programs.
How are you funded?
We are self-funded and a profitable venture. We are seeking investors to expand aggressively in other cities.
How does the product? A detailed answer to the workings of the product Or how does the platform work? How does your service work?
We customize learning experiences as per the needs of the schools. We keep updated about the contemporary needs of parents and the kind of experiences that they are seeking out for their kids. Besides our regular interaction with activity coordinators and teachers help us in understanding trends of the industry. This knowledge comes handy while designing our programs.The execution of a program from initial proposal to completion takes about 3-4 months. It involves different stages which includes, initial presentation, submission of proposal, awarding of contract, collections, planning logistics, student/parent presentations, execution of tour, and feedback meetings. We regularly track PSI (Parents Satisfaction Index) and have consistently maintained it above 9 out of 10.
What are your Future plans?
We have 4 Pronged Strategy;
►Covering categories (schools & colleges)
►Properties like MUN
►Network of tour operators
►Feeder for experienced tour manager
3.Digitalizing pain points
►Consent, collection, documentation
►Assessment of product /destination
4.Expansion in tier2 and tier 3
►Building sales team
►Partner and franchisee model
►#MeToo is a strong phenomenon
Tell us about your Competition landscape?
Few players specifically in educational travel: EdTerra Inizio Atlantis Research Youreka Inme. And 2000+ travel agents.