Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Trabblr!

Ever heard the story of the man who gave up a well earning job at a global corporate to go roaming around the world! Crazy? No! The man is on a journey of self-discovery. Away from the machinations of the modern life that person is trying to find the reason for his existence, the answer that will make the purpose of their life clear. And when they find that answer, it changes their life forever! Discovering-Mumbai (DM) met one such interesting individual who travelled across the world in search of his true calling! Did he find it? Yes, he did! His name – Hersh Kumbhani and he is the co-founder of Trabblr a truly innovative company that lets you explore your city in a unique social way!
Trabblr co-founder Hersh at the Koli Seafood Festival in Versova

Hersh moved to India at the age of 13 after having lived in USA and Dubai. He went to Mahindra United World College of India (MUWCI) post which he went to Cornell University for a degree in Applied Economics and Management. With a keen interest in finance, he thought that a career in Investment banking was the best choice for him. He worked as an I-banker for almost four years before he finally decided to hang up his boots and go travel the world! Ashish, his business partner and co-founder grew up in Mumbai. The two met at MUWCI. Ashish has done his MSc in Advanced Computing from King’s College, London. Having worked for over a year as a software engineer for a financial analysis company he soon realized that entrepreneurship was his destiny. He started a bill and expense sharing web-app called WeSplit, post which he helped Hersh set up Trabblr.
Trabblr co-founder Ashish
Trabblr was created with one goal in mind, to help people discover unique experiences around the world while building new relationships with real people”, says Hersh. Both the guys believe that even though we live in a world defined by online social networks, all the ‘likes’ and ‘tweets’ cannot replace the fun of tangible things like meeting new people and sharing some good moments. Trabblr is for people who are bored of going to the same place with the same people. It offers them an opportunity to try out new things, discover their city in an entirely new way and with new people. It makes the idea of trying out new things a little less intimidating. For travellers it offers a means to make their trips more meaningful and immersive. They can meet other travellers or engage with locals which will give them an altogether different experience, helping them understand the local culture better. We think this is a revolutionary idea! All you have to do is log on to Trabblr create an event or just join those created by other users to go meet new people and try out things you’ve never done before.
Trabblr was born out of the experiences Hersh had during his days of globe-trotting. While travelling around the Balkans in 2010, Hersh, who had by then travelled extensively through South East Asia and Western Europe, realized that visiting the main sites and dining in famous restaurants simply did not excite him anymore. He wanted a deeper experience, he wanted to explore the places in a different and more engaging manner; and that he knew could not be done through any guide book. The only way to get such an experience was to interact with locals. But how does one find such people who are ready to meet strangers and show them their city and culture? Hours of internet search resulted in futility. He could not find any existing platform which fit the bill perfectly. “That’s why Ashish and I built Trabblr - to help bring people together to explore cities around the world in a way that is transparent, safe and fun”, says Hersh.
Armed with the idea Hersh went about setting up Trabblr. His biggest challenge – he didn’t have the necessary skill sets to design a platform like Trabblr. This is where Ashish with his software engineering skills helped out Hersh. The fact that Ashish was as excited about Trabblr as Hersh went a long way in helping to bring Trabblr up and running! The guys were equally excited and nervous the first day when Trabblr went live. How would people react to it? Will they even use it? These and many more questions haunted both of them as they eagerly waited for the first feedbacks. The first event on Trabblr was when a large group, including Hersh, went to the Koli Seafood Festival in Versova in January. Initially the guys used their friends to generate some traction but soon Trabblr started receiving a lot of users who were seeking new experiences and looking to meet new people. Today Trabblr is a growing community with lot of requests coming in for starting Trabblr in other cities too. “We’ve been lucky to have users who continually give us feedback.  That means that we’re doing something right because it shows that people care enough to take time out of their day to contact us to share their ideas and suggestions” says Hersh.
Pics from Trabblr events
For Hersh, the journey has all been about following his passion. Giving up a well-paid job in an investment bank is certainly not an easy decision. “I didn’t really have a plan for what I wanted to do next.  All I knew was that I wanted to get out and see the world”. For Hersh the logic was clear and simple, he was sure that travelling around the globe will give him more clarity about what he wanted out of life both personally and professionally. He travelled to some well-known tourist trails like Spain and France; he also went on the less travelled path to countries like Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cambodia. All of these places have had a significant impact on his life. The best part was that his notion that travel would give him more clarity in life turned out to be true and his backpacking finally led him to setup Trabblr! That journey came to an end with Trabblr, but now a new journey has begun for Hersh. His sight is set on achieving great heights with Trabblr and we would like to wish him all the best for all his future endeavours!
You can check out their website and all the events that are available for you to join at - Trabblr.com

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