A penchant for travel and a keen interest in business made Aditi Balbir single-handedly established a hospitality business that has since successfully scaled in a new segment. In 2014, she joined V Resorts, a woman-founded start-up in the tourism industry which aims to present curated properties for an experiential holiday. V Resorts has won several accolades including the CNBC TV 18 – Young Women Business Awards, Women Economic Forum, and the BW 40 under 40 awards. Aditi is not only a successful entrepreneur but also an angel investor, mentor, and advisor to female-founded startups in early-stage ventures. With an aim to work towards supporting women entrepreneurs, she is using her experience to benefit others in their entrepreneurial journey. Know more about the versatile Aditi in this interview with Storiyaan which includes travel, business, and more.
Questions and answers
How did you come up with the idea of V Resorts and what was your primary motivation behind this journey?
We realized a new market demand for weekend trips that were slowly evolving in the metros, so we wanted to create places that were easily accessible from these metros and were also pocket-friendly at the same time. That is how we came up with the idea of V Resorts.
As an enthusiastic traveller, could you elaborate on how travelling helps in eliminating or reducing your stress levels?
I feel traveling helps to break the monotony of everyday life, it creates space for me-time and gives you an unhindered time for introspection and self-fulfillment – traveling is something which has always helped me in feeling fresher and calmer.
As an entrepreneur, what would some of your suggestions be to those willing to set their own business?
My suggestions would be, to not be completely married to the idea of the business but also conduct a lot of research, feedbacks and look into how the product or service can be tailor-made to suit the target customer base.
What was the beginning of your journey as a mentor, and how did you overcome the obstacles that came your way.
I did not face any obstacles in my mentorship journey to date as mentoring is a two-way process; you provide your skills and advice to others and receive a lot of learning about a new idea, industry, or process. It has been a very interesting journey till now.
Could you elaborate on the idea of micro-tourism?
Micro tourism is about creating a small sustainable hamlet of tourism – which includes identifying a town or village where a resort can be set up around which the entire village economy can work. So, you can source your staff and other requirements locally, train people for guiding tourists for village walks, cultural events and so on. This ensures that the resort benefits the local economy and culture as much as it brings a new experience for the tourists.
What are some of the precautions you have personally taken to make the hospitality industry COVID safe?
Firstly, we ensured that there is no congregation in the lobbies and the tourists are maintaining the social distancing norms. Secondly, we arranged weekly medical tests for our staff, made masks and sanitizing strictly mandatory and lastly, we curbed any tourist-local interaction as the areas are very sensitive and we don’t want the natives to be infected in any possible way.