Over the past few years, entrepreneurship has snowballed and today, almost every other millennial wants to be an entrepreneur. And, why not? It sounds fancy and you become your own boss. If you search on YouTube for something like “Entrepreneur lifestyle”, you will definitely see some guy getting up from the bed, having an English breakfast, getting ready and driving to his office. And a huge number of people are getting influenced by that.
However, that is not the complete truth. To run a business of your own, it takes tremendous dedication and hard work. It is not always just about the idea, money, or having your own luxurious cabin; sometimes entrepreneurship is about doing something that you love and eventually, turning that love into your source of income.
So, I decided to spread the word for one such entrepreneur who turned her love for travelling into a company that today plans some of the best trips to different parts of the world.
Meet Roshni Agrawal, Managing Director and Founder of Wings and Wheels.
Born and brought up in Sambalpur, Odisha, Roshni belongs to a family with a business background; she used to be the most pampered child in the house. “I did not have a life like a roller coaster or something with a lot of struggle. I would say I am a very blessed kid with loving and supporting parents; both in terms of taking my decisions and financial support,” said Roshni.
Roshni is a BBM graduate with a specialization in Finance. Even though Roshni was a bright student, she was a little sceptical about her career and confused about what she has to do in future. So, she started studying more about the market scenarios and eventually, she figured out that it is completely job-centric. It was something that made her give a second thought about her career. “I am not the person who can do a 9–5 job; that is not my cup of tea,” said Roshni.
The Odisha-based girl is also an avid traveller — she has a predilection for travelling. By the age of 20 years, she visited more than 25 nations and loved each and every one of them. She was so much in love with travelling that when she used to plan trips for her family, she used to spend hours researching about places, making sure that they don’t miss out anything (even though it’s something not really famous). “I inherited this habit from my dad; he used to do the same,” said Roshni. For Roshni, it’s not just about visiting a place and sightseeing; for her, it was about experiencing the culture, the lifestyle, and the uniqueness of that place.
How A Stranger Became A Mentor
It was September 2015; I was travelling when I met this guy named Ado Dedovic and had a conversation with him. He is the CEO of Fresh Futures group, Australia. As our conversation kept going, I found out that he is a counsellor for students and has a propensity for helping them. He also told me that he was developing an application, which would help students choose the right course, depending on various attributes.
I was completely fascinated by the whole idea and when I told him the same, he offered me an internship program at his organization and I started working. However, just after a week, I started to feel that this is not something I can do and I spoke to Ado about dropping out of the program. But, Ado didn’t let me; he was sanguine about my skills even though I wasn’t able to take on the work. So, he asked me to take my time and work. At last, I submitted my work (though it wasn’t on time, there were no errors).
This whole incident motivated me; it acted as a driving force. I was so pumped up that I started working day in and day out to finish my every work on time. I am glad that Ado didn’t let me drop out; otherwise, I would never be able to face failure and would never be able to have the audacity to start my own venture.
The Birth Of Wings And Wheels
The story behind Wings & Wheels dates back to the days when Roshni was running a Facebook page with the name Wings & Wheels where she used to write about travel. And every time she used to post something, she would call her father and tell him about it.
“When you love what you do, you don’t have to run behind success; it comes to you by its own.”
And it happened to Roshni. Watching Roshni doing wonders on Facebook, her father once decided to give Roshni the onus of planning a very important trip and told her not to worry if things go wrong as he will be there to take care. This acted as an igniter for Roshni; she worked meticulously to make the trip quintessential.
That trip planning was not just a project for Roshni, but it gave birth to her company. She completely enjoyed what she did — from planning the entire trip to looking at the happy faces after the trip. So a few days later, Roshni decided to take things further and started her own company. Incorporated on 8 January 2017, PKA Wings & Wheels Vacations Pvt Ltd today is one of those travel planners that always keep travellers and their requirements at the top of its priority list.
Whether it’s a trip to a Southeast Asian country or any European nation, Wings & Wheels plans it the way you want. It’s not just abroad, the company also delivers the best-of-breed trips all across India.
“Every time I plan a trip, I always make sure that I understand the requirements and expectations of the travellers,” says Roshni. “I don’t believe in planning a trip for 100 people and make huge money. I would rather plan a trip for 5 and make sure they have the best time of their lives”
Furthermore, Wings & Wheels take a special approach to planning solo trips. “When it’s a solo trip, travellers are always sceptical about everything, especially when it’s an international trip. So, we at Wings & Wheels take a different approach to make their trip smooth and hassle-free,” she added.
As Roshni walked me through her entrepreneurship journey, she also explained how the industry is right now, “Nowadays, people are being more open to travelling and exploring places, and have also realised that it is an important part of life; they are taking out more time from their busy schedules to travel. And with every passing year, the travel and tourism industry is getting bigger and better.”
In Colloquy With The Young Entrepreneur
How does it feel being called as an entrepreneur?
It is absolutely amazing; there is no doubt in that! But, at the same time, it is really challenging. You can easily get that “Entrepreneur” title, but it is really difficult to maintain that.
One of the biggest challenges that I face is the coordination with my team; sometimes I fail to meet their expectations and sometimes they fail to meet mine. I know how to plan a trip and I am really good at that (no doubt) but I don’t have any experience in running a company. So, sometimes it takes a little longer to solve an office issue.
Talking about the good side of being an entrepreneur, when you fail you don’t have to blame anyone else. Entrepreneurship is full of risks, you have to take risks and you have to both expect and accept failure; there is no other way to grow and learn. For me, failure is a gain-gain situation as I always learn.
Tell me about a day in your life. Does your work affect your personal life?
To be frank, both my work and personal life goes hand in hand, there is no much difference. There were times when I have even worked for 24 hours without a personal life, so I don’t think I have figured it out yet how to differentiate between both.
But again, one thing is there, no matter how busy or hectic the schedule gets at work, I always make time to travel. In these two years of Wings & Wheels, I have always managed to take time out to travel — I have travelled to more than 12 countries and a lot of places in India as well. Travel is something I love from the deep core of my heart, and because of that love, I have Wings & Wheels today.
What is SUCCESS for you?
Success for me is being able to do something that I enjoy doing. In terms of my company, success is to see a traveller who is satisfied with what we have planned. For a company, nothing can be bigger than customer satisfaction. So, I always feel great seeing someone who trusts Wings & Wheels and gives us the chance to plan their trip.
Where do you see yourself a couple of years from now?
To be honest, I haven’t really thought much about it. But, I really want Wings & Wheels to become the “confidence” in people who want to travel. It’s like, every time you want to go for a trip, Wings & Wheels should be the first option that comes in your head.
Word Of Advice To All The Aspiring Entrepreneurs Out There
You just have to get started with what you like doing. But at the same time — in terms of practicality — you have to be 100% confident about what you are going to do or want to deliver. And if you don’t have that confidence, then don’t just stop right there, utilize your skills and energy to look out for the ultimate solution.