Shivaram, Product Manager at Pickyourtrail reminisces about his journey with us.
It was October of 2018 and wedding bells were ringing at my home. All of a sudden, every person I met had the same question for me: “Where are you guys going for the honeymoon?” With two months to go for the wedding, I realised I needed to quickly decide on the destination.
I googled the go-to destinations for that season and I was also looking at the different travel planning options available for me. At the same time, I was being bombarded with all sorts of destination suggestions by my friends and relatives about where I should go, what platform I should pick, what budget I should set aside, etc. Naturally, things got a bit overwhelming and confusing.
That’s when I remembered that one of my friends had recently joined a travel startup. So, I immediately pinged her to learn more about that company, and that’s how I got introduced to Pickyourtrail. And within a couple of minutes of talking to my friend, I got a call from one of their travel consultants.
As soon as he started talking, I knew that this guy knew what he was talking about. This just wasn’t the usual sales pitch.
He asked me all the right questions and gathered information about my interests. Based on this, he provided suggestions on the possible places to visit. In the meantime, I explored their website and I was really impressed with their customised itinerary planner which was way ahead of its time and that’s when I decided to go forward with Pickyourtrail.
But there was a major obstacle ahead: I thought it would be difficult to persuade my parents to get me married to my girlfriend. But trust me, that was the easy part when compared to the efforts that I took in convincing my dad to choose PYT over other tried and tested options.
Being a 50’s kid, my dad was always (sometimes still is) skeptical about buying something even as simple as a t-shirt online. So, booking my honeymoon (my first international trip), through a website was a big deal for him. I explained how PYT works to my dad, walked him through the website, and even showed him the customer reviews from their Facebook page, which really helped me in winning him over to my side.
Once my parents were won over, it was time to discuss our itinerary. We thought it would be best to meet the team in person to minimise the delay on the back and forth communication, and the PYT team was more than happy to have us visit. So, on a fine Saturday morning, my fiancé and I went to their office.
My first impression of the office? Vibrant, quirky, and energetic. Even though it was a weekend, I didn’t see any frustration. The first thing that I asked my travel consultant as soon as we sat down was “Are there any open positions that I could apply for?”.
Unfortunately, there weren’t any open positions that matched my skill set in the organisation. He then started explaining in detail about the different itineraries and what each of them offered — he also told me what each of them didn’t offer, which showed me that the company focused on customer experience more than revenue.
We finalised on a 5 day trip to Mauritius and he explained the next steps. Pickyourtrail also gave us flexible payment options rather than 100% payment, which really came in handy considering I had a lot of upcoming wedding expenses.
Just a few days before the wedding, I received a surprise package from Pickyourtrail — two customised passport covers with our names engraved. I was really touched by this gesture. It might not be a huge deal for many, but they had gone the extra mile and I loved it. The team had also sent me all the necessary vouchers and documents along with a checklist of all the things I should take for the trip. Throughout my honeymoon, the team was always available in case I needed anything. They also put me in touch with their local partners who were really friendly and approachable. On the whole, Pickyourtrail made sure that our trip was more than memorable.
As soon as I came back from the trip, one of the customer happiness team members called me up to get my feedback on my vacation. Again, it was not just for the sake of having a record on the books, but to really understand what went well and what went wrong, so that they can provide better experiences for their customers.
Since then, I followed the progress of the company keenly, read their blogs, and their social media pages. I could really see myself working here as I believed I shared their work ethics and principles.
So I considered it incredible luck when I saw that PYT was hiring for the position of associate product manager. I applied without hesitation, and I got a call from the HR the very next morning. A series of interviews later, I was finally a part of Pickyourtrail.
It still feels like yesterday, when I walked into their humble office space to plan my honeymoon, but now I am sharing my experience on how I went from being their customer to an employee.
A lot has changed from then to now — they have moved into a state-of-the-art office, completely rebranded the company, and have grown almost three fold. But one thing that hasn’t changed all this while is their passion, commitment, and the thirst to unwrap the world.
I’m enjoying every bit of my time here, and I truly believe that we will make it big. #WWMIB