UdChalo: Online Travel Portal Makes Travel Accessible For Defence Personnel
Civilians of India in the present era cherish all the benefits of digital or technological advancements. But, have you ever pondered about our soldiers who are stationed at extreme locations of our nation? While they sacrifice their lives for the safety of our nation, they do face some pain points, one of which is their travel to their hometowns and back during their leave period. Sky-touching prices and unavailability of tickets has always been a problem for this personnel while trying to book their tickets.
Identifying this focal point and operating in the area of travel for Defence personnel, Upcurve Business Services Pvt Ltd, with its brand ‘udChalo’, founded in 2012 by two AIT graduates is registered under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Govt of India is an accredited member of IATA. udChalo was aimed to innovate a platform that helps the Indian Defence personnel and their dependents to travel at utmost ease and has committed itself in bridging this gap by offering tech-based travel solutions by aligning with all major national travel partners. Following the incredible motto, ‘Service for Services’, udChalo is flying with multi colors by making life simpler for our ‘National Security Ensurers.’
Our story showcases the odyssey of this organization and celebrates the intent and success of udChalo.
Catering to more than 2.8 million serving Defence Personnel, Veterans and Their Dependents, udChalo provides a convenient and cost-effective means to travel from their remote job locations to hometown. Due to the nature of their jobs, Defence personnel are stationed at far off locations with minimum access to digital platforms and internet services. In order to offer better services to the forces, udChalo has 60 plus booking offices extending from Uri to Imphal, covering the length and breadth of the nation. These booking offices are operated by Veterans/ Veer Naris/Dependents from the Indian Armed Forces community. Whether the soldiers need their assistance in making a personal reservation or make an inquiry about the cost of travel to their hometowns, the udChalo 24×7 Customer Care Centers are just a call away. Easy payment options, reservations by phone and customer outreach with the help of their flagship program, JudChalo, keeps udChalo ahead of the curve.
The dynamic duo and the brains, Varun Jain and Ravi Kumar, AIT graduates jointly founded udChalo.
Varun Jain, Founder, and CEO is a technocrat with over 16 years of experience in travel & technology, he has worked with Persistent Systems and is also the founding member of Tavisca Solutions Pvt. Ltd.He is quite passionate about new Ideas evaluation, conceptualization, and execution of innovative technology solutions in travel and consumer space. At Upcurve, he manages the management strategies and technologies related to growth and scale.
Ravi Kumar, a Graduate from Army Institute of Technology Pune, has worked with Faurecia Automotive, Dassault Systems before founding this platform. At udChalo, he currently manages the Defence Relations, Vendor management, and Operations departments. It was 2011 when he decided to follow his instincts and aspired to do something more, that eventually made him an entrepreneur. For his achievements and contributions to the travel industry and Armed Forces, he was recently conferred with the ‘40 under 40 most influential Asians’ award.
WHAT GIVES US AN EDGE OVER OTHERS
Talking about the workforce, Varun Jain, CEO says, “When you love what your company does, it becomes easier to work harder and give that little bit more. Our organization ensures a friendly, positive and equal opportunity for all and today generates employment opportunities to 200 plus employees of which a majority are Army Veterans, Veer Naris and Dependants.”
He further states, “We have a very active HR team that runs multiple events periodically ranging from team building, ice breaking, fun, learning, and health to keep the workforce energized and fresh.”
udChalo has 60 plus booking offices across defense locations PAN India and runs two call centers in Pune and Mohali, employing personnel from the Paraplegic Rehabilitation center. The organization also has close ties with the forces and conducts regular engagement and educational programs.
On building a robust trust of the clientele over the brand, Varun Jai, CEO adds, “When you take care of your customers, they give more than their business; they become your ambassadors. Our organization values of People centricity and Integrity always help us to stay true to our promise of ‘Service for services’.
NOT LOSING THE GRIP OF TECHNOLOGY
You can’t ignore the advent of technology in any sector in these contemporary times. udChalo also moves on the same line to synchronize its pace with the miracles of technology. They recruit and are always on the search for the best talent that believes in giving back to society. By moving their platform to cloud and using newer technology models such as serverless programming and leveraging the toolsets of cloud, they have stayed with the times, managing to keep their costs under control.
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP
According to the magnate, Varun Jain, the crucial distinguishing factor between a Manager and an Entrepreneur is that the Entrepreneur doesn’t wait to be told about goalposts. At udChalo, they promote an entrepreneurial attitude where all leaders are encouraged to build their own goals and targets which are aligned with the company’s goals and at the same time they have a few goals that complement other departmental and organizational goals.
The quality of a good leader becomes visible on the periphery when his or her team is able to discover the next set of goals and work together to solve the same without much guidance from the leader.
Some of the quintessential qualities of a successful entrepreneur are:
- Self-awareness of strengths and weaknesses
- Being a good listener
- Ability to find and hire people better than yourselves in their fields
- Strong Self-belief
- Be grounded
- Tip: Before becoming an entrepreneur, be great at your job. When you are great at what you do, you have a stronger and greater belief in taking on challenges that entrepreneurship is all about.
Varun, the connoisseur, is inspired by a multitude of people from books and real lives. The man who has touched his bosom and made an everlasting influence in it is Mr. Mahendra Yadav, Co-Founder, and CEO of Tavisca Solutions Pvt Ltd.
Varun states, “If I would take one thing from Mahen as everyone fondly calls him, it is to be fair and respectful towards everyone who comes to work with you. People are the true jewels of any organization, and if you treat people with care, they will give you more than you ever imagined.”
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
- Best Employment Generating MSE in the Small – Services segment- SIDBI ET MSE Awards 2019
- Rated among India’s 10 Most Promising Online Ticket Booking Companies in 2019 by Silicon India
- Entrepreneur India, ‘Travel startup of the year 2019’
- Go Air 2016-17 business contribution award
- Indigo 2016-17 and 2018-2019 business contribution award
- TBO west India 2nd largest consumer award
- Recognized by AG Branch, Army HQ.
- Commendation by Commandant, SSB BLR. Maj Gen Joshi.
udChalo began by offering exclusive air travel to the Defence personnel and has extended its services within the hospitality space by recently partnering with Oyo and Fab hotels to introduce a new hospitality service offering of 10,000 plus hotels to all Defence personnel.
udChalo is working towards providing the Defence Personnel and their families with a single platform for all their travel needs, with an aim to truly make their lives simpler.