Founded in 2006, Rayna Tours is a destination management company based in UAE licensed by the Government of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
Over these years, it has established its offices across Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Malaysia, and India.
Presently, the Destination Management Company has over 500 multilingual travel professionals. And continues to expand its presence to other countries in the near future.
And increase its services with new and innovative ideas.
And here is what he had to say:
What made you and your friend Mr. Manoj Tulsani quit your successful careers in the trading industry and start your own business?
It was while working at Safeer Group of Companies that I met Manoj. I was working in the Purchase section; however, Manoj later went to work with Time Machine Group’s marketing section.
But we still continued our friendship and finally got to that point where we shared the same ambition of venturing into something of our own. The two of us were determined, driven and had vast experience in the trading industry.
We performed quite very well in our respective jobs too. In fact, the idea of new business, along with the migration to an altogether new industry, actually came to us when we decided to join force. And make the absolute best of all our strengths to bring our desire (to work for ourselves) to fruition.
Why did you choose this field particularly?
I started working from the age of 15 and became a worker at STD / PCO and later a tour guide, before coming to Dubai in 1998.
I think working in these diverse backgrounds right from a young age greatly influenced my thoughts and dream which was to get on to a front-line position, so that I could establish a positive cycle, inspire people around me and create more job opportunities.
And as for Manoj, he, besides a travel enthusiast and great at connecting with new people, was rightly at a stage in his professional life where he was all ready for an exciting career jump.
As we started Rayna Tours a decade ago, it was scary but we both were excited and quite certain that we would excel in our new roles and space in the service industry.
How did you strategize marketing when you started Rayna Tours to grow your business in UAE?
Manoj and I kicked off right with the identification of a solid customer base. Our travel counter was inside a hotel and luckily, our idea of arranging Dubai tours and activities to the hotel guests ensured that we are on the right path.
This innovative concept was soon well received and fetched us some amazing customers who would recommend it to others. As a result, we opened 15 more travel counters within Dubai’s popular hotels in less than two years.
After a while, we expanded it in a bigger way, brought in more talents onboard, invested in our own resources, and over the time established ourselves as one of the UAE’s prominent destination management service providers.
As we continue to thrive, we have placed more emphasis on customer satisfaction and quality services in every step and this is probably the greatest reason that helped us to attain these significant milestones quite early on.
This has further made us worthy of many prestigious awards including Arabian Travel Awards (for Best Destination Management Company and Best B2B Portal).
And Best Performer Award (from Yas Island), Best Partner Award for Dubai Parks and Resorts.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced? How did you overcome it?
It’s not one as we had to sail through quite a lot of challenges, especially during the early days of the startup.
We didn’t have any entrepreneurial background, and the lack of industry knowledge plus the absence of a proper business plan and mentor only added fuel to our initial business hurdles.
But we systematically worked through each of them, while bringing up a meticulous solution that is in line with our business goals, customers’ needs and market trends.
Although we still continue to experience immense highs and lows, we always have something compelling up our sleeves to tackle any given challenge or circumstance.
A piece of advice for young entrepreneurs?
Don’t be plagued by fear if you’ve a great idea or an innovative concept in mind.
Jump in and show the courage to turn it into a fruitful business. There will be a hell lot of challenges; but be yourself and completely ignore all negativities around you.
That said, be sure to listen to your customers’ criticisms and suggestions as only through them you’ll get the concrete feedback to better or perfect your offerings.
If you had a chance to do things differently what would that change be?
We had to deal with tons of challenges post the launch of Rayna Tours in 2006. But I think all those obstacles and upheavals have shaped us to become what we are today.
So of course, I wouldn’t want to change a bit.
How do you approach failure?
I had lost my mother at a quite early age. This had immensely impacted my own inner strength, so I feel that no tumult or obstacles that transpire in the business come closer to this irrevocable loss.
Moreover, I think there is no business without failures and challenges. And you’ll fail only at that moment when you make up your mind to quit or stop trying. No matter how big or small a failure is, take it as a lesson. Or an opportunity and this will eventually show you the way to the success.
Who are your main competitors in your field?
When we started off, our target market was quite untouched. About 1.5 decade into it, things have tremendously changed as massive competition is evident in every sector of the travel industry.
However, we have never let this competition affect or compromise the quality or pricing of our offerings.
Despite the competitive and dynamic landscape, our core mission has always been the same right from the beginning: to impress our customers with outstanding services and offerings.
This, apparently, has helped us to rose up to our customers’ unique demands and expectations in every phase of our business growth.
Who has been your inspiration for all these years? And what kept you doing this?
It’s not a particular person or a situation; we draw inspiration from many things around us.
Despite the chances of its failure, it’s really inspiring to see a startup or an entity that works conscientiously with nothing but by just firmly relying on its innovative ideas.
Apart from this, conversation with creative minds, receiving positive guest feedbacks. And meeting anyone who is versatile and has the knack to excel under pressure greatly inspire us.
What excites you the most?
The industry has evolved a lot, thanks to smart innovations and high-end technologies. This not only brings in incredible opportunities for the incredible growth of the company. But also takes out all intricacies, making the travel a whole lot easier and simpler.
Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
What are your plans for the next three years?
Rayna Tours got started with just two of us. But we’ve now grown into an award-winning company with a workforce of over 600 employees. Going forward, our strategy is to expand our footprint in more destinations and globalize our brand.
We already have a presence in close to 10 countries, including our main office in Dubai and branches across the UAE.
How is Rayna Tours different from other startups in UAE?
Rayna Tours is a lot different from most other service providers in the industry. We’re more than a one-stop-solution provider of destination management services.
Being active on both B2C and B2B markets, what we aim is to promise as much value as possible to our guests, agents, partners and all other parties involved.
We’ve channeled our services and packages in such a way that most of them don’t involve a middle-man expense. This allows our clients to book cruises, transfers, and safaris, among others, with the best price guarantee.
Do you have any plans to start your services in Indian cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad?
Although we don’t have any immediate plan to set up a full-fledged branch in Bangalore or Hyderabad, we already have an active presence in the region through our enthusiastic marketing team.
How did you find us? Any feedback for us?
We found your website through Google while searching for the keyword ‘Interview and success story submission’. With some inspiring entrepreneurial success stories.
cofounder.ae is quite informative and helpful for youth and budding talents, looking for an opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship.