This case dates back to 2017 and revolves around three budding entrepreneurs studying in a prestigious university in Haryana. A collaborative initiative by Abhishek Ganesh and Shine Varghese Saji to make the Onam festival in their university a huge success among their fellow mates initiated their journey of entrepreneurship. The three entrepreneurs got their first lesson that students are ready for a service if it is interesting and enjoying but not at a very high price. They studied the market and observed that there was a lack of substitutes providing high-quality but affordable travel services. With the three entrepreneurs gelling successfully, they decided to form a company that offered relaxing weekend gateways at high quality but at an affordable price. So, the company, The Great Expedist came into existence as a Partnership Company under the treasurer's name, that is, Anurag Bansal and started business from 5 February 2017. The aim of the company was to provide varied experiences to their customers including adventure sports, team building activities, historical learning and a comfortable stay that delivers a unique travel experience to students at an affordable price.
As every new initiative brings challenges along with it, the entrepreneurs had to face resistance from vendors, hoteliers and even students from other universities. But with their sheer grit backed by full support from their university entrepreneurship cell, they overcame the challenges smoothly.
But the issue of pricing was of prime concern for them. With students being a price-sensitive market coupled with vendor issues, they found it difficult to earn revenues. So, they decided to opt for mark-up pricing and offered 15% mark up on the costs incurred by the company in arranging for hotel, travel and other logistic arrangements. With passage of time and enhancement of negotiation power, they decided to offer more value-oriented services at similar price points. This enhanced their profit margins due to increase in volume of sales.
The targeted promotions and positive WOM were making them popular but the issue of customised service seemed a challenge. Each student had a different set of priorities in terms of travel, stay and food offered. The company wanted to enhance their profits so either the negotiation had to be great or the price to be enhanced. This issue landed them in a dilemma. They wanted to diversify, promote and research all of which required a lot of money. They even thought of diversifying into the senior citizen category. It was a lucrative segment with huge profit margins but with its own set of huge challenges too. So, they are stuck up with a dilemma. Should they negotiate with vendors or should they increase the price of the service package? Should they stick to their current target group of students or diversify to the segment of senior citizens or a completely new segment?
We acknowledge our heartfelt gratitude to The Great Expedist team comprising Shine Verghese, Abhishekh Ganesh and Anurag Bansal for allowing us to write this case about their company.
Dasgupta, S. and Grover, P. (2019), "A Road to Adventure with Happiness: From Students to Senior Citizens", Ramesh, M.A., Grover, P. and Dasgupta, S. (Ed.) Start-up Marketing Strategies in India, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 39-55. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78756-755-920191004
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