The idea of relaxation is changing for the millennials. Taking an adventurous vacation once in a while amidst all the work stress is considered a must-do.
In fact, corporates too are taking to adventure sports instead of traditional off sites that happened in hotels. Reports suggest that after yoga, PM Modi’s government is now considering promoting activities like mountaineering and rappelling. So, it is not surprising that India's tourism sector is set to grow at an average annual rate of 7.9% till 2023.
In a market that is growing at a CAGR of 45%, it makes perfect sense to start a business that deals with adventure sports in India. And that is precisely what Chirag Gupta, Gautam Yadav, Himanshu Aggarwal and Aakaar Gandhi are looking to do.
However, it is not like there aren’t enough tour operators or even Online Travel Aggregators (OTA) like MakemyTrip, Booking.com, ClearTrip and others where you can log in and find information about various tours nationally and internationally.
But, for a travel agent or even an OTA, where does all the information come from?
“There are no portals to discover the right vendors who provide campsites and adventure sports. So we thought why not address these problems and bring these vendors online. And that's when we started our research of how the problem of discovery, trust, experience can be solved - and now at a time when the industry is booming,” Chirag says.
To bridge this gap of finding the right vendors, Chirag, Gautam, Himanshu and Aakaar founded Deyor Camps in November 2015.
Deyor Camps curates campsites and adventure activities and provides them to customers. It is an asset light company where they connect vendors to customers, tour operators or OTAs, giving the vendors a chance to sell their product to a wider audience.
Say you are a travel agent and receive an inquiry from a customer or even a school or college for a trip. While travel agents can help you with booking your travel, s/he does not have a product ready. The product here is the adventure sport or the campsite. This is where Deyor Camps comes in. It provides the product to the travel agent.
So when a travel agent receives a query, s/he forwards it to Deyor which reverts immediately with the required product.
While Deyor Camps has a B2C model where a customer can log on to the website, look for the kind of adventure s/he wants and books it, the main focus for the company is its B2B business.
And why not? According to a global study, the tour activity market is worth a whopping $150 billion. And of this, 80% of the booking is still done offline. Many people still prefer meeting a travel agent in person to do their booking.
But a major part of the millennial crowd is moving online as well. To capture this market, Deyor has integrated with Booking.com and MakeMyTrip. When you log on to these websites and pick a camp or an adventure sport, that sport or camp is usually put up there by Deyor.
This makes Deyor a supply-focused company. “We do not focus on demand. Demand is controlled through OTAs and travel agents. We purely focus on the supply side,” Chirag says.
The team of Deyor Camps
Deyor has 35,000 travel agents on board and two OTAs. In terms of vendors, there are 600 camp and 1000 adventure sport providers. These vendors provide experiences in 70 locations across India.
Deyor also provides adventure sports and camping gear for which it has tied up with Decathlon and Wildcraft.
The fact that it has managed to bring on board so many travel agents in just a year stands testimony to the market that is worth betting on. In fact, as per an adventure tourism market study in India by the Tourism Ministry, revenue generated from domestic adventure tourist visits in 2015 stood at Rs 1297 crore.
While Deyor has an asset light business model, it still is very capital intensive. “For all the 70 locations we are present in, we have sent people on ground who've travelled to every location and brought vendors on board. Hence it is capital intensive,” Chirag says.
And for every vendor it brings on board, it has set a particular standard to ensure that the experience an end-customer has is clean, hygienic and beautiful.
For each vendor, Deyor charges a commission of 25%. And when dealing with travel vendors, Deyor charges them a particular price. The travel agent quotes his commission over and above that and then charges the customer.
Deyor Camps is expanding its travel experiences beyond India. Most recently, it sent a group of 225 to the Mount Everest base camp and a group of 100 to Bhutan.
While the focus this year will be on consolidating the Indian market, Deyor plans on expanding to Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia etc. In fact, one of its investors, Japanese VC firm REAPRA Ventures which recently came on board, will hep the company reach out to the right people in these geographies.
The next step after that will be to expand to East and South Africa. It also has 72 more OTAs in India that it is in the process of bringing on board.
While there are several offline and online players and vendors too who market their own campsites, Deyor does not see much competition in the adventure sports market.
“There is competition from players like Thrillophilia. But all these players operate in the B2C segment while we are in B2B. They may spend hundreds of dollars on attracting customers who might not even come back. We spend hundreds of dollars on building the right product, which we are confident will sell,” Chirag says.