The Influential Entrepreneur who started off with Nothing
The success stories of businessmen are always an instant and definite source of inspiration. But, it is even more motivating when it comes to the triumphs of people who made it big literally with nothing. Manoj Tulsani’s groundbreaking business in the travel industry is one of them. He rose from a modest beginning to reach where he is today as the co-founder and CEO of the multi-million-dollar company – Rayna Tours and Travels.
Who is Manoj Tulsani?
Manoj Tulsani was born in India, at Ajmer – a city in the state of Rajasthan. He completed his graduation in commerce from the University of Mumbai. In 1999, at 21, he flew to Dubai where he started off his career in the trading industry as a marketing executive at Safeer Group of Companies and further honed his expertise until he became the Marketing Head at Time Machine Group of Companies. One of the major turning points in his career came after seven years when he decided to quit his full-time job with a stable and secured salary.
The Idea behind the Start of Rayna Tours and Travels
“Our business success story is not a usual one,” says Manoj Tulsani about the start of his venture. People usually launch a business in an area or industry they are most adept in. But what Manoj did was absolute opposite of this; yes, he decided to start his business in a spectrum where he didn’t have any prior background or expertise. The spark for Rayna Tours and Travel mainly came from Manoj’s unremitting love and interest in travel. This is how he kicked off his business from a small boutique inside a Dubai hotel (Flora Grand Hotel), together with his friend (Kamlesh Ramchandani) in 2006.
Main Challenges and Obstacles
Contrary to most businessmen who begin their business with a proper business plan, strong mentor guidance and safe funding source, Manoj had none when he started his business. The lack of an experienced team and the presence of the giant players aggravated their battle to survive in the industry. “Being a complete newbie in the industry, it wasn’t easy for us to win the trust of our targeted audience. We knew that we had some great idea to develop our business but didn’t know how to work them out,” Manoj recalls his early problems.
So, how did Manoj turn his venture into a massive success?
Manoj launched Rayna Tours with a simple concept: to arrange Dubai activities and tours for the guests staying in the hotel. “With constant obstacles, it was a phase of both worry and self-reflection for us.” As the challenges kept pouring in, they realized how important it was to take decisions on more reflective and long-term basis. Al though the beginning became worse beyond their perceptions and predictions, they slowly gained the momentum through the in-depth analysis of mistakes and failures while coming up with a scalable solution to tackle every unlikely situation.
Rayna Tours thus expanded from a single outlet to 15 plus outlets in a very short span of time. By 2009, Rayna Tours had cemented its positions as an industry-leading destination management company, with its main office at Old Labour Building, Abu Hail, Dubai. According to Manoj, “the more you succeed, the more you attract the attention of competitors and industry as a whole. This makes both customer retention and attracting new customers quite hard. It was at this point we decided to play it bigger.
” As an outcome, they strengthened their product and service portfolio and took every practical step that would help them to stand out in the industry. This not only allowed them to keep up with the market but also skip all intermediaries involved in the planning and execution of a holiday or a tour.
In less than a decade since the company’s establishment as the region’s top destination management company, Manoj announced the merger of Arabian Explorers with Rayna Tours, thus making it the ultimate providers of travel services in the region.
Manoj is a true visionary leader as he realized the role of technology in growing the business right from the beginning. That’s why,he launched a dedicated offshoot for the purpose, namely, Technoheaven Consultancy. Backed by an innovative and brilliant team, Technoheaven is now actively involved in the immaculate functioning of Rayna Tours’ two core web portals on B2B (www.raynab2b.com) and B2C (www.raynatours.com). It has also developed a wide array of exclusive travel apps, value-packed programs and incredible deals website to the make Rayna Tours’ services more accessible and enjoyable to a wider audience.
Over the time, Rayna Tours has attracted some brilliant, creative minds. Mr. Yasser Noman, who has a background of 30 years in the travel domain is the company’s Executive Chairman, while Himanshu Laul with the prior experience of running successful businesses, is the Managing Director.
Rayna Tours: Main Offerings
From a modest single outlet, Rayna Tours and Travels has become one of the major successes in the travel scenario, with Manoj Tulsani at its helm of its running. Besides its inevitable existence in Dubai, UAE (with its current office at ACICO Business Park Building, Port Saeed Road), Rayna Tours has its branches across the world, such as India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Israel etc.
Started off with just two of them, the company is now staffed by an overall of 600 plus employees. Speaking of its services, Rayna Tours specializes in planning and organizing every minute element of travel or a vacation, with specialist team to take care of the application of international visas, online hotel booking, arrangement of transfers, MICE etc.
Achievements and Recognitions
Throughout his business journey, Manoj’s unmatched efforts to satisfy customers’ needs at every level have been recognized and further fetched Rayna Tours with some coveted industry awards. In recent times, the company became the proud winner of Travelers’ Choice Award for two years in a row (in 2020 and 2021) from TripAdvisor. Rayna Tours is also the recipient of Arabian Travel Awards 2018 for Best Destination Management Company and Best B2B Portal, as well as Best Partners for Dubai Parks and Resorts (2017.) Apart from these, it has been recognized by some of the UAE’s top attractions including Yas Island, Global Village and Dubai Dolphinarium.
Manoj’s Advice for New & Budding Entrepreneurs
Manoj staunchly believes in the fact that you never get to know the intensity and inventiveness of your business idea unless you work hard to make it a reality. “Once you have an idea to sell, the main thing is to believe in yourself and keep your vision steady and clear. Be prepared to face your limitations and steer clear of any obstacle in the route by learning from every failure and mistake that keep coming your way.”
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