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The journey of Meyome began with the desire to share an experience. India is a country whose roots lie in her villages. These corners are untouched little pockets of vibrant culture, and yet remain unknown to the hustling crowd of metros. Our journey began with a will to provide city-dwellers with a destination where they can spend their weekends with their family and friends or by themselves.

The Idea

The journey of Meyome began with the desire to share an experience. India is a country whose roots lie in her villages. These corners are untouched little pockets of vibrant culture, and yet remain unknown to the hustling crowd of metros. Our journey began with a will to provide city-dwellers with a destination where they can spend their weekends with their family and friends or by themselves.

With the advent of modern globalized civilization, we have lost our touch to the Earth. Mother earth has incredible healing properties. Activities such as walking barefoot on the soft dewed morning grass, using your own hands to plow, seed and sow plants or seeds can help reduce stress immensely. After spending the entire week hemmed within the cubicle, how very unshackling it must be to harvest vegetables, to cook them on an earthen oven, and after dinner, to lie down and gaze at the brilliantly starlit night-sky

About Chintan Patel | Meyome

An MBA Aspirant at SCMHRD (Symbiosis Pune) dwells from the farmer community in Gujarat. He decided to quit placements at his college and started on his dream startup. He’s the national finalist in more than 25+ competitions including some major names like Annual Investment Meeting (Dubai), 3M CII Young Innovation Challenge Award, IIM-C Launchpad & many more. He started participating in the entrepreneurship competitions and B-Plan awards for a break in rigorous study routines. Winning large number of these awards inspired him to think seriously about entrepreneurship and Meyome was formed.

Chintan Patel – CEO & Founder at Meyome

He believes in a country like India which has immense talent and intellect at the bottom of the pyramid but doesn’t have the platform to put it forward. Meyome wants to fill this gap for the ‘Agro Tourism’ Industry. It allows people to experience the local lives in beautiful rural areas eg. you might be sitting with the village Sarpanch, climb a coconut tree and eating some awesome local chulha food.

SMALL CHATS – Getting to know the real story
with Pritha Aash

How Is Meyome changing our scope of travel?
Meyome uses local properties and customizes the rural experience by training and employing local people. Chitan noticed there was a tourism center in his college. Despite the property being very beautiful, people weren’t aware of it and it occurred to him that many such properties were not reaching the right people. These lacked the vision and the budget to market. So he decided to make these known and let people experience the best parts of rural India.

Early Challenges?
Local language was a huge barrier. Local farmers weren’t willing to trust the idea. Communication in local language was very hard. We’ve been keeping our margins very low and helping them make more money now. This will help us build long-term trust with them. It’s also hard to make them try something new. We try to convince them with data but these situations are a little tricky. The way of life is different, their definition of privacy is different, so it is a little hard to sometimes create processes to train them to allow for optimized space and experience for the visitors.

What skills do you look for your team?
We have our team in place right now. We might start at aggressive hiring in 6 months. We look for people who love to travel a lot and passionate ones. They need to believe in the vision and understand the potential of the business plan. Good communication skills will also be a plus point, since connecting with people is very important in our venture.

How do you feel about taking Entrepreneurship up after MBA?
For all the MBA Students out there who are scared to start their venture because of the huge money spent (an average of 20 Lakhs in India), it’s my advice to not think of anything but to take the risk. Go and do it! Sometimes corporate experience helps but not all startups need it. Start, learn and grow. I directly started his venture out of college, no placement cell visits for me.

What are your next steps?
We plan to extend into Gujarat and North East. The village experience and local food have been a great hit for us, we will be adding more based on customer feedback. Presently we are largely found in parts of Maharashtra.

How is the Agro Tourism Industry shaping up?
Agro Tourism is a sub-segment of the Tourism Industry. It’s growing larger and challenging the much larger tourism industry in India. Agrotourism is an interesting segment because it allows cheaper travel with loads of new experiences (local flavor). This is the evolving choice of travel for the younger generations with a little apprehension. It is important to note tourism industry globally is growing at 4% while India tourism industry is growing at 10%. India is world’s 7th largest tourism economy in terms of GDP. Some government policies are encouraging the rural travel too eg. ‘Incredible India’ brand.

The agro-tourism is competing against the resort industry. The agro-tourism industry lacks in high marketing budgets compared to the resort ones. The local farms and properties already present are not well managed and marketed. That’s where Meyome is helping.

References – https://www.wttc.org/media-centre/press-releases/press-releases/2017/indias-is-the-worlds-7th-largest-tourism-economy-in-terms-of-gdp-says-wttc/