Online market for travel booking has seen a boom in the recent times. Travelling to any place across the globe is no Online market for travel booking has seen a boom in the recent times. Travelling to any place across the globe is no more a headache. With so many apps already streaming in the market to book tickets and hotels, pack bags and do so much more. While eliminating hassles is always welcome, US-based startup Holidayen also cuts down all the hassles involved in planning a trip. It prepares personalized trip itineraries within seconds. This startup is a brainchild of Tarun Madan, a student pursuing entrepreneurship at University of Texas, Austin. He validated his idea via a comprehensive market research.
While searching for innovative ways in which travel can be conducted, we loved the Holiday concept and immediately reached out to its founder Tarun Madan. Tarun soon reached back to our Tech Journalist and divulged more about Holiday.
SFM: Could you Introduce your team to us?
T. Madan: I am a Chemical Engineering graduate from IIT Roorkee and University of Texas at Austin where I was a part of Texas Venture Labs, an accelerator at McCombs School of Business. Previously, I had co-founded Pledge for Green, an initiative for creating and spreading environmental awareness.
Mitanshu Garg is a graduate from IIT Roorkee, who had previously created Virtual Stock Market and the SCM Buddy app.We have interns working with us and get design inputs from Design Mantra.
SFM: Bringing automaticity in travel itineraries, how difficult was it to develop an app like Holidayen? What were some of the challenges that you faced initially and how did you overcome them?
T. Madan: Running the startup and developing the product with limited resources has been a big challenge – we are currently bootstrapping and have had to build a product and generate user traction with a small team in the quickest possible time without compromising on our ultimate vision. Hiring the right resources was another challenge.
We have incorporated lean startup methodologies, launching with a minimum viable product and iterating as per user feedback and response. Absolute prioritization of activities by talking to our users has helped us to focus on the high value-add jobs to be undertaken, which is critical when resources are limited. Also, we have hired interns to help with product development.
SFM: Why did you choose the Android platform to develop your app? What are some of the best features on Android for app developers according to you?
T. Madan: The Holidayen apps will be available on both major platforms Apple and iOS in the future, but we decided to begin with Android first for a variety of reasons. Android is the principal platform in the smartphone market and is also rapidly growing to become the leading app store. Openness of the Android market in terms of acceptance of app also shortens the span of development to deployment. We are also one of the earliest entrants in Android market space when it comes to trip planning apps.
SFM: Holidayen has been maintaining a blog for quite sometime now. How important is blogging according to you for travel startups especially? Did you get a considerable amount of users from the blog?
T. Madan: Blog and social media both are very important for engaging users. We have seen both media providing us with engaged and inquisitive users, keen on exploring our platform. Blog posts are also prone to going viral providing the much needed attention and userbase, something which every startup needs.
SFM: How important has social media been for Holidayen all along? Do you think that you drove in a lot of traffic through social media?
T.Madan: Social media has been a good way to connect with our users, understand their requirements and keep them updated on new product features. As I mentioned with blog, social media has also been one of the sources providing us with users very keen on exploring Holidayen. Going forward, as we will be ramping up our marketing efforts, social media will be a component of our advertising plans.
Holiday is also available in Google Play store for making itineraries on the go. To create automated itineraries, hop into Holiday. After all, there are more sweet reasons to actually travel than to sit back and just think about places where you could be.