GUIDDOO- YOUR PERSONAL TOUR GUIDE & TRAVEL PLANNER
Darshan Sharma is the Head of Marketing at Guiddoo. Guiddoo is your personal tour guide that brings History, Culture and Arts to your pocket. You can follow him here
What is your startup all about?
Guiddoo is a travel technology startup providing Tour Guiding and Travel Planning solutions on mobile currently and on hand free technology like Google Glass and Ocolus VR in the near future for B2C and B2B customers. It has already reached 60,000+ downloads on the play store and has 80 world famous monuments covered all across the globe.
Just to let you know Guiddoo has been featured in a lot of places most notable being CNBC TV18 Young Turks, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Times of India, NextBigWhat, Tnooz, Wamda and such. Guiddoo just won the Red Herring Top 100 Asia Award in Hongkong and The Global App Summit Award in Dubai and is not on its way to WIT Singapore where it is the only company from Asia and Middle East. After which it will also be present at THE SUMMIT Dublin, Ireland for the Alpha Program.
Website – http://guiddoo.com/
Tell us a bit about yourself personally.
Words fall short when you have to describe yourself and not talk about others but I’m going to give it a try.
I’m an all-time strategist, leader, communicator, multi-linguist of technology driven business, fluent with geek, marketer, design consultant, editor, sales person but a difficult client, insomniac, solitary traveler to parts unknown, prefer working in night listening to Kings of Leon, Arsenal fan, Agatha Christie lover, Arsene Wenger admirer and many things which follow.
Guiddoo was in its womb when I started this journey and it has been a path breaking one. From the Initial Design, to the first Word ever written, to the First Monument ever visited, to Guiddoo Beta Launch, to its Final Launch, to see it reach 50k downloads, to see it on CNBC TV18 Young Turks, From Bombay to Dubai Internet City in5 Program. I was all there because everyone has Big Ideas. Execution is what matters and we at Guiddoo Execute.
Where are you from, what motivates you?
I’m from India living in Dubai currently (Handling the Dubai operations).
What motivates me is Possibility – The possibility of changing the way people look at travel, the possibility of seeing a world where accurate information will be available to a user just when he needs it and in his pocket. Technology has great powers and if used for the right reasons it can make the world a better place to live in.
What interests you about the travel/transport space?
Travel the word itself is just so vibrant in itself. Every person who travels is an example of what travel can do to humans. Have you ever seen a dull traveler? Hell No..!!
Travel helps you be what you are and not fake it and this is one reason I started travelling and I’m glad I did cause its cause of Travel and the things that I have learned I’m what I’m today.
“Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.” – Francis Bacon and I’m happy that i started it at a very early age cause it definitely gave me some life changing experiences.
What got you into it?
I was with Mr. Vineet Budki (who is known as the spine of Guiddoo) on one of his earlier projects when the idea of Guiddoo came up and as it was travel I quickly jumped into it. The feeling of working for a team of believers who plan to disrupt the travel space with technology is that one thing that motivated me to get into it.
What problem are you trying to solve?
We at Guiddoo want to give our fellow travelers a product they can use while they are planning and also when they are travelling. It is a smooth transition from planning to execution and we want to make sure its hassle free. We plan to get rid of all the barriers a traveler might face while planning and traveling –
Initial Planning – A solution that lets you plan your whole itinerary and save it for your international trips
Language – 11 languages with Audio Guiding
Information – Accurate information through our highly researched content which has been specially designed to grab a user’s attention
Offline Usage – Guiddoo works completely offline. We understand that international roaming is not something every user is comfortable with and hence we introduced offline viewing which is activated once the media is downloaded and lets you enjoy the whole tour without an active internet connection.
Discuss failure or setback you’ve experienced and how you got through it. What’s the key lesson?
My Biggest Setback – Getting Kicked out of an Engineering college when it was the only thing you wanted to do is something that can tear you apart for years to come. The day it happened to me I never complained or even though about it. The first thing I did was I picked myself up and went into the wild world to understand what they exactly need and that’s when I started working in banking sector. After which I enrolled myself into media and first day of my college I was glad I was kicked out.
What do you want our audience to learn from you?
What’s gone is gone and will never come back so don’t cry over in fact don’t even think about it and just look at what lies next. Positivity and self-motivation can take you places. Always believe in Karma because whatever you give to the universe will someday come back to you so just give what you want in return.
What’s next for Guiddoo?
With Guiddoo you can expect an all in one tour guiding and planning app which will get rid of all the books and the irritating tour guides you have met till date. A customer support which is always ready for anything positive or negative the customer has to say so that we together can build a product which has everything that a traveler would need.
Next steps are really exciting as we get into a phase of revamping the Guiddoo design and introducing some amazing features which no travel app has. A travel app stays in a mobile phone till the user is traveling however with our new changes Guiddoo will be one of those permanent members in your phone. We are also launching an Indiegogo campaign to raise $100,000 to give our users a new and improved tool for travel and in return plan to give travel vouchers to backers.
Link to our Campaign – http://igg.me/at/guiddoo
What’s your best piece of entrepreneurial advice in one sentence?
Startups are never built when you work 9 – 5. It is that little something which can never be defined that you need to believe in. You and your whole team should have that belief and positivity and if this happens nothing can stop a genuine effort going unnoticed.