Hi, and welcome to #TalkbackTuesday. This week’s interview is with Mr. Chandrabhan Nathawat. See his interview below.
Talkback Tuesday is a weekly interview with everyday people. It is always inspirational to look into the life of another person, and realize it is just as complex and large and confusing as your own.
Note: If you’re in India, be sure to see Chandrabhan’s The Big Bang Trip.
They have a curated road trip to Goa coming up in December. Registration is open till October 31, 2017.
1. For the readers, who are you, what do you do, and what is your current side project?
Hi, I am Chandrabhan. I am a novice writer, traveler and entrepreneur. So far, I have tried to found 4 startups. One failed, one never started, one is now doing well and one is The Big Bang Trip, which I am working on currently.
TBBT is a startup that curates road trip experiences to connect people. I am also involved with another startup called Sporting India Media. There, we cover all sports events that involve Indian athletes.
2. Tell me more about TBBT. What is the road trip experience you’re trying to provide for people? And what is your personal ideal road trip like?
My good friend Chetan and I were on a train, when we realized that people connect when they travel. Travel really helps us with a lot of our questions and doubts, and helps us open up. So we came up with the idea of curating road-trip experiences.
So we curate 8-10 days road trips across 3-4 places, inviting strangers to join us. The road trip has a motto of “Discover Places, Explore Yourself and Inspire Each Other”. We curate experiences like cooking together, lifeline sessions (sharing life on a graph), trekking, talks by influencers, letter writing, conversations and other fun activities. These help us open up, experience places, inspire each other and truly connect with other individuals.
So far, we have curated 4 such experiences. Our next two are in Goa and Pondicherry in December. My personal ideal road trip is travelling in an RV with 5-6 friends across the Himalayas.
3. And tell me about Sporting India Media. How are you bringing attention to Indian athletes beyond just the popular sports like cricket? What do you hope to achieve in the next 3 years with this startup?
At Sporting India Media, we cover all Indian sports. We bring updates about all events across the globe, [as well as] cover major national events from all sports. This does not include cricket. We’ve given our followers a space to get updates regularly.
We are also initiating interviews of 365 top Indian athletes to be covered each day of the year. This will help these people get attention and public engagement. Our 3 year goal is to officially cover the Japan Olympics and subsequently become the leading sporting media house of the country.
Senthil [Kumar] founded Sporting India. He has worked tirelessly to create such a platform for Indian sports. [Badhri] Vishal [Dhanekar] and I were independently managing our own sports page, incidentally also named Sporting India. So when Senthil wanted to make a Facebook page with that name, he found us. Subsequently, he invited us to join Sporting India Media, since our visions were similar.
4. So you’ve been involved with many new businesses and startups, making you a serial entrepreneur. How do you deal with the fear of failure? Do you have any advice for people who might be holding back out of fear?
When I started my first startup, I had no idea about entrepreneurship. I just left my job, had no savings and one day made the website and started “You and India”. I wanted to connect foreigners and Indian people of similar interests.
With no structure, I carried it alone, meeting some success, but [much more] failure and learning. I got to know who I am in the process.
Then I worked on 2 startups, one never got off the ground and the other took off. I was associated with it till January, when I realised that I still want to be in the travel domain. That is when I left that enterprise to focus entirely towards TBBT.
The biggest lesson I learned was that if I am resilient, I will create my own space in this competitive world. I also learned that you need people to make something succeed. The idea is important but good people and a good process are vital. My first startup failed because I could not find the right people.
Thirdly, you need to take care of your finances. If you cannot, you cannot grow. Do not start something for funding. Funding and investment have become the main goal of startups today. My second startup never took off because we made it for investors. We had no money initially, so after making the website, we couldn’t launch it.
Remember that patience, people, and process lead to a successful startup.
5. Great. Finally, do you have anything you’d like the audience to explore? It can be a business or movement, or it could be anything from a video to an idea.
People should take a road trip when in doubt. We have seen a few people joining TBBT who shared great life experiences. We all have these stories but we don’t ask others [about their stories] in our daily mundane life. Travel gives us a chance to do that.
I know someone who experienced domestic violence. She traveled with us and we learnt what real domestic violence looks like. We make passing comments about independence and logic on social media, but we have no idea how bad it is if we haven’t faced these issues.
One girl shared her story about how her brother stopped talking to her when she left home and got a job. Today, she has left that job and is following her passion of photography.
I love these stories. They make me feel so small. There are so many brave people and I crib about my internet connection, AC bill and not getting good food in my bed. I guess meeting more brave people on road trip will help me really grow.
If people wish to join us they should check our website www.thebigbangtrip.com. we curate one road trip every 1-2 months where we invite people to travel with us and connect with each other.
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Next, check out the previous interview from last Tuesday with Debbie Hyde and David Durant by clicking on the image below.