Turning wanderlust into a career

By Papri Das

When Seeksherpa co-founder Dhruv Raj Gupta began his career with Google, he had no idea that wanderlust would take his professional life to a completely different arena. Both keen travellers, Dhruv and his partner Sukhmani noticed how eagerly they interacted with the locals on their college trips. ?It gave us an insight in their lives and allowed us to understand a new city better than any travelogue or guide,? says Gupta. 

 Moreover, the touch of familiarity that comes from knowing a local is something that a concierge at a five star can?t provide. ?When we visit a restaurant and the chef would come to speak with us or when the locals guided us on what to order, it was a whole new experience altogether,? he adds.

It was on trek to Triund when the duo finally woke up to the idea of launching a start-up travel site that is based off the same concept. ?We lost our way during the trip, until a dog guided us to the hilltop. This incident motivated us to create a platform where locals would get an opportunity to offer their skills and knowledge and travellers a chance to utilise these skills to have a better time,? Gupta informs. An avid traveller, so far Gupta has travelled extensively across northern India, Egypt, California, Nevada, Florida and New York. Speaking about this most memorable trip out of these, Gupta says, ?I spent three months in California. I mostly travelled by bus and train along the west coast. There, I met a variety of people, some of whom were complete strangers, some of whom I bonded with over conversations on cultures and traditions, which has inspired me greatly in customising Seeksherpa.?

 The one year old company Seeksherpa has already garnered positive reviews, and has expanded itself to different digital platforms as well. While that's good news for Gupta as an entrepreneur, the traveller inside him has taken a toll, unfortunately.?I don't think I've taken a long trip since I started SeekSherpa so whatever I've done before has been an effort to get to the SeekSherpa way of travelling,? he says. 

However, he's not complaining as he relives the travel experiences of all those who share their stories in Seeksherpa. ?We really like when travellers come out of their cocoon and talk about how the micro tour showed them places they would have never seen or about how they have been living in their city for 30 years, passed by the same things every day, until SeekSherpa came in and brought alive everyday moments,? quips the young entrepreneur.  

And that's not the only way Gupta satiates his wanderlust. ?These days, I have become a traveller in my own city. I have learnt and understood so much about Delhi alone that the traveller in me wonders whether travel is really about transporting oneself or about exploring one's surroundings,? he adds in parting.

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