Going Places, with Resolve
It was in April 2006 that Aurvind Lama, a software engineer by training, was first introduced to the world of startups. During an internship in Germany, he met two men who were living the entrepreneurial dream. His conversations with them validated the assumption he had formulated at IIMA, that internet is going to be the future of business and that he should do something on his own. These happenstance encounters while Aurvind was off getting a taste of the post-MBA corporate world ultimately led to the founding of Travelyaari in 2008.
Back from Germany and during his second year at IIMA, Aurvind started his research. He zeroed in on the travel industry. The space’s unorganised nature appealed to Aurvind and he, along with his co-founders, Partha Sinha and Prateek Nigam, began working on building a platform that enables users to reserve bus tickets online. In the last 10 years, Travelyaari has grown into one of the largest online bus booking portals in India, managing more than 1.5 lakh transactions a day.
Aurvind believes that this decade-long vigil has made him more mature and has helped him become more patient and a transition into a more meticulous decision-maker. Having grown up in a protected environment and worked with large corporates, it took him some time to get used to the way of life as an entrepreneur. Managing relationships with transport agencies and other diverse stakeholders in the unorganized travel industry led him to pushing himself beyond his boundaries.
He has risen above the challenges the world has thrown at him. He has faced and triumphed over days when cash was hard to come by, the competition was stiff and his team was small. His belief is that an entrepreneur lives for the sprinkling of joyous moments over a vast expanse of difficult ones. This belief has lightened his own dark moments. He proudly remembers the times when a long-awaited and coveted government agency became their client. The point when Travelyaari became profitable is one amongst the many cheering moments that make him work harder.
“Focus on the basics and build a viable business, don’t get carried away by the noise in the ecosystem.”
Aurvind believes that single-minded determination and a good team are necessary for any entrepreneur to overcome challenges and to ultimately succeed. Keeping himself free from distractions and sticking to the basics in a difficult unorganised market have been the two lifebuoys in his journey.
Aurvind is well on his way towards fulfilling his dream of building a self-sustaining, process-driven, and profitable venture. He has enjoyed every day of his journey. It can only get better, he says!