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IthakaTales - A Mobile App That Provides You Travel Experience in Various Formats

We are looking to engage our local partnerships and showcase the talent of the people who create our content to differentiate us.

IthakaTales is a pocket travel guide as a mobile app that provides you travel experience in various formats, ranging from images and text to self-guided audios. It provides freedom, ease of access and flexibility as well as gives room to explore various travel aspects on the go.

The startup was founded by Rachna Pande and Nupur Aggarwal in July 2015.

Shubhangini Aggarwal Interacts With The IthakaTales Team And Spoke To Them

How did the entrepreneurial bug bite you?

Rachna : After working in large consulting firms, I made a move to a startup in manhattan. I loved it and I knew I wanted to do more of it. When I moved back to India, I decided to make it happen.

Nupur: Throughout my career I have had an opportunity to work in start-ups to mid-size to large corporations. And I have always felt at home in Startups, I enjoy rush of figuring it out. It's always dynamic and adventurous. It was always in my long term plan to start my own venture, so I finally took the plunge.

What is your Product or Service offering to the Customer?

Travellers more and more want to be serviced 100% online. They are also look more and more for an experience when they travel – not just information.

IthakaTales Is a mobile app that provides an experience for travelers who want to explore on their own. And I don’t mean providing generic Wikipedia type facts and figures, but really crafting information around an experience.

Currently the app we have launched, an MVP allows you to take beautifully crafted audio tours. We have partnered with musicians, artists, historians and locals to provide you an experience that is fresh and contemporary. Even when talking about heritage. You can download the app, select a city and a tour/experience you want and just start walking !

What are the special key features of your startup?

Our content – served by the best in the country. For the Qutb Walk through A Theatre in Stones, you get a prominent historian, talking about India's history, art and architecture. The Sufi Heart of Delhi we have a prominent Sufi and journalist from Delhi, Sadia Dehlvi taking us on the tour. All on your phone, For free.

Our technology is scalable and we are designing for India where we are addressing some of the challenges of densely populated areas or fort walls by developing our own interactive maps.

What were the challenges you faced while setting up the business?

The kind of content currently available is not good. If we used the crappy content available – we would have a crappy product. We decided to understand how to craft content that we could serve in interactive formats through technology. This was an uphill climb but we have created some great partnerships to help guide us solve this in a scalable manner while still maintaining authenticity.

How is your business model different from the existing ones?

We are truly marrying beautiful authentic content with tech to serve it in an interactive manner.

Who are your clients? How do you look at expanding your startup?

Travelers who are looking to explore deeper. Travelers who are curious about the places they visit. We have found that these come in all shapes and sizes. The way they interact with technology is different but they all appreciate the kind of experience we are providing.

We also see some great synergies with bloggers, photographer who want to be inspired when they travel. Not just see the sites but allow it to trigger their creativity.

What is your marketing plan in terms of being recognized by your customers?

We are looking to engage our local partnerships and showcase the talent of the people who create our content to differentiate us.

We haven’t hit on the perfect marketing plan yet, we are doing a lot of experiments around how to reach our customer right now and trying to understand how our users want to be communicated to.

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