I had the pleasure of meeting Deepa Krishnan when we were planning a trip to India. Our plan had been to create our own itinerary and book tours with local guides in each city we visited. I searched online in order to find guides, starting with our stay in Mumbai. Deepa’s company ‘Mumbai Magic’ came up at the top of the search. I did look at a few of the other company links but Mumbai Magic immediately stood out – not only was the website attractive but the information provided was exactly the type I was looking for. Actually, it answered questions I had not yet thought of which, I believe, is the sign of an excellent site. It was informative, attractive and laid out with ME in mind.
I spent quite a bit of time on the site, learning about her services but more importantly, learning more about what my trip would and could be like. Having never been to India before, I had read a few travel books and spoken to friends but the site made it all real – she outlined suggested itineraries, included traveler testimonials and had lots and lots of photos. I was also happy to see that she not only served Mumbai but all of the other cities we planned to visit.
2007-2008: Rs 2 million – at the end of this year, I finally quit consulting
2008-2009: Rs 5 million – my first year of full time business
2009-2010: Rs 25 million
2010-2011: Rs 42 million
2011-2012: Rs 62 million – this is the year that just ended this March 31, 2012 (FYI 62M Rs = 1.1+M USD)
In addition to establishing her expertise via the website, blog and travel sites, she also maintains an active Facebook presence, regularly posting fabulous photos and unique views of the beautiful cities she showcases. The combination of the powerful online presence, her well established expertise and her full on delivery of high quality customer service have helped her grow tremendously over the past few years and she is now poised to be in 25 Indian cities. Now THAT is a great success story!
- It starts with a content rich website filled with information your potential clients/customers/patients are looking for.
- Quick, personalized responses to email inquiries go a long way to help people feel comfortable doing business with you.
- Make sure that the person replying to the emails can communicate clearly – this is NOT only a concern for international companies! How often do you receive email that is incoherent or filled with typos? Sadly, my guess is that many of those were sent by American companies.
- Know your stuff – Deepa and her people live in India. They know what the weather and traffic is like, firsthand. They have visited the sites and hotels. This is a huge advantage over some international switchboard making a reservation for you. She knows and loves her destinations and it shows!
- Share your expertise – Deepa’s shared her knowledge and advice on numerous sites, establishing herself as a ‘go-to’ person for all things related to travel in India. This has, in turn, helped her sales.
- Go the extra mile – provide great customer experience on the ground, not just online and via email! Whether we were in Delhi, Mumbai, Agra or any of the other cities we visited, the people Deepa connected us with were all attentive, helpful, polite, professional and unbelievably patient (the traffic there is insane – and they patiently navigated it in a way that I repeatedly found amazing!)
- Be social -sharing online via blogs, Facebook and other social media help spread your word and amplifies your message.
- Love what you do – Deepa loves India, loves meeting people and is quick to share suggestions, recipes or whatever is needed. This is a helpful trait in most businesses but even if you are a more reserved person, customers can tell when you love what you do and it is contagious!
Thank you Deepa, for generously sharing your insights!