Chetan Yallapurkar

Published on: June 2013
Introduction (In his own words)

I am an avid traveler, adventure junkie & entrepreneur from heart. My education has mostly been in residential schools, away from home for past 12 years. I completed my Engineering from MS Ramaiah Institute of technology & am an alumnus of IIM-Lucknow. Have worked with top online travel companies like & as Travel consultant. I believe in my life, winning is important but to me the journey is more meaningful. I constantly pursue what makes me feel happy and what could make others happy in the process too. I love to travel as much as possible to experience the best of places, write about how I feel and click away at those places to showcase the beauty that exists. I am now the Founder of start-up called Honeymoon Havens.
chetan yallapurkar,entrepreneur
I believe in talking to people. I asked myself as to what I can do in terms of serving people. I loved traveling. After my engineering, I got an opportunity to understand about entrepreneurship. I was academically very sound and efficient. So, there was always a kind of confidence and zeal which was actually a problem. I had a lot of offers in hand. Usually, people good in studies are very likely to get into a job. I didn't like the concept of a job. That's when we started a company way back in 2009-10 and that was into adventures. I am a very adventurous guy. I love scuba diving, bungee jumping and all sorts of things.

Then, I worked with That was the biggest breakthrough for the fact that I understood the industry. As an entrepreneur, ideas fascinate, things look very bright initially but the worst part is about the processes. I got the privilege of meeting the CEO of for 15 minutes and that was the turning point.

I like people smiling. I like them being happy. I am a kind of a guy who likes to make people happy. But in travel, not many things are there where you can make people happy. It's a typical travel. So I decided to do something unique. I found my friends who were getting married and some who were about to get married. I came out with an idea of doing something in the space of honeymoon. In the first month itself we had good number of clients. Since bringing two individuals together and making it more special for them is a lifetime affair, a whole idea from out-of-the-box thinking came out. Honeymoon is the most romantic side of life, where you can always make people feel special. That's how I started.

What is the unique thing that you have in your business? Why do you think that people should approach you?

We are not a typical travelling company which does the package and other things. We are people who understand the couple first. We understand who they are, where they come from, what their dreams are etc. A lot many times an individual carries a lot of dreams but when a situation demands him to achieve or be at that dream destination, three things come to him. One, "I don't have leaves from the company." Second is financials, where they say, "I wish I had enough funds to go to Switzerland or any other dream place." Third thing is that they don't have clarity. Whoever is about to get married, I make them understand that it is still possible by a systematic planning. If the couple is planning a year in advance to travel to their dream destination, then it's very logical because the expenditure can be afforded by monthly savings. Couples spend lavishly on food, hall and other stuff at weddings. I always advocate people to keep something for their dreams, for their life and for their happiness. I take up a personal conversation. So it's very unique. We don't do honeymoon packages for everyone. We do honeymoon package for those who understand that it's about special moments. We arrange for candlelight dinner, scuba diving etc. We make them have an amazing time.

Adventure filled romantic love: A girl is usually scared of heights but she actually would love to try it out once. The best way to try it out is with someone whom she is relying for the rest of her life. So that's where "Honeymoon havens" comes into picture. We suggest people the best destinations. Honeymoon havens specializes in taking people to unknown destinations where you and your better half are only there.

If someone comes three months before the wedding where in the funds are already allotted, I still make sure that they get that experience, they get that support as a travel planner of knowing how can they save money and still get that experience. Within the budget, we make it so special that the girl doesn't know what the guy has planned for her. A small cake, a wine, champagne, a candle-light dinner at the hotel is what she asks for. People are talking to others about our concept and helping us out. So that's what I believed in. People should talk good and the word is spreading.

We are only four. We are a small company with a lot of passion. We are not doing it for the entire world. We are very choosy. We are going to the first circle contact.

How did you guys come together?

We didn't know each other before but today we are friends. In a conversation that we were having, we understood that the passion was alike. There was a point where we shared our future vision. These four people are unconditionally with me.

Childhood days:

My childhood days were very tough. I was a very notorious kid. My parents had a real tough time convincing me to study. I always liked being the centre of attraction. The turning point came when my parents decided that this kid needs a better place which is a hostel. It's been 14 years since I am away from home. I did my schooling in "Shree Rajeshwari Vidyaniketan", which is a residential school near Hulkoti (a place in Karnataka). While I stayed away, I understood the importance of my parents. I valued education. After my class 10, the biggest turning point was when I joined Coorg public school. It was India's 4th best residential school then. So, my parents actually sacrificed everything they had only for my future. I was truly moved. I topped my college in the 2nd year of my Pre University.

When I was in my first year PUC (Pre-University College) in 2003-04, we went to Manali adventure camp. It was a 15 days camp. I was a very lean guy with no confidence and belief in myself. When I went to the camp I was with 15 to 20 people from different places. In those 15 days, I had a real test of endurance and mental stability. We had to climb a hill of around 8000 feet high with a heavy bag behind. I was doubtful about my strength but managed to complete the trek three hours prior to the person who was second to me. They wanted us, as a group, to stay together and climb. Till one point we were doing that but I was feeling that I was going slowly. After sometime, I decided to go fast. From that part it took about 6 hours to reach the final point. I was about to reach the top and when I turned back, there was nobody. I just had a narrow slip which is a scary thought even today. I managed to finish it. I had that tear, which came very naturally to me. The confidence that came in me that day was huge. From there, the kind of life I have lived is a testimony to the confidence that I gained. I was a PCM topper and CET and achieved a free seat in MSRIT (a college in Bangalore), I then did Network marketing for 3 years which was a fantastic experience. I knew again that it was a challenging path to convince people. I was enjoying life with each phase. I finished my engineering. When you started, did your parents hold you back or did they encourage you?

They didn't stop me. I spoke to my dad and told him that I am a kind of guy who believes in myself and I knew the path I was choosing. I assured him that I wouldn't do anything wrong. My parents are very supportive. After my MBA from IIM Lucknow, I started getting lucrative projects from abroad which look amazing because that's the safer side. But my parents have always given me freedom and that has been my strength. They know that it is not just about the money because I know I can make money anyway. They understand that I am very clear about my path. It's the clarity with which an entrepreneur speaks to his parents which becomes the differentiating factor.

Are you looking to expand your business? How are you going to do it?

At the moment, we have some amazing requests coming from Pune and Mumbai. It is a very good market. We also did a package for Bansali family i.e., Sanjay Leela Bansali (Famous Director of Bollywood) family. We have some amazing clientele. I am trying to build a brand as of now. Once we achieve it, we will go only through word of mouth. Our marketing channel will be only that. So, we would want to expand very organically, but a little slowly. We are looking for an investor very soon. We presently are looking at a small fund which we require to expand ourselves in terms of online operations where we are trying to build a very sober system.

Your message to our readers:

Ideas are always fascinating. Best way to move forward is by having more rejections, readiness to accept the negative comments. Whenever somebody criticizes my work, I always look as to how to make it better. Take negative things in a positive way and be very clear. Having clarity is so important.
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