Graduating from the Founder Institute – Experience

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I am excited to share that I have finally graduated from the Founders Institute Hyderabad Chapter and this is just the beginning of starting a successful technology business. The Company “Outlife Adventure Travel Pvt Ltd” is now officially a Founder Institute Graduate Company.

The Founders Institute Journey at the Hyderabad Chapter has been a fast paced one for me. It feels great to graduate from a very serious and practical program that has taught me what it takes to make a successful company. Just like the real world problems of a startup, The FI program assignments puts the founders in similar challenging situations with all the business assignments and pressure to complete it in one week. The Assignments helps to focus on the startup idea and accelerate the growth from an idea stage into a validated company in just 4 months time and teaches key practical aspects of building a successful business.

I was able to successfully validate one of the 3 ideas I had chosen to work on initially and I launched Outlife – an Adventure Travel Marketplace out of the Founder Institute and the MVP can be seen at http://www.outlife.co

Outlife Adventure Travel is a Online Market place which  helps  individuals,  groups and corporate  solve the problem of not finding options to break their  monotony or to take part in meaningful activities over the weekend or to go out for a team outing with colleagues. The Market place caters to Adventure Travel, Adventure Sports, Adventure Experiences and Experiential Learning for Corporate, schools and Colleges all over India.

All the Listing of  Itineraries from Adventure Tour operators are checked for their authenticity and our Team of  inhouse outdoor experts  experience and curate the entire itinerary before listing it on the marketplace.  We plan to bring about 1500 different adventure and outdoor related experiences from all over India on the Marketplace.

For me the adventure travel marketplace was  not the first startup and I was already bootstrapping  “Outlife Adventures Pvt Ltd”  An Adventure and Outbound Training Company www.outlife.in and running a self sustainable not for profit Great Hyderabad Adventure Club www.ghac.in .  At the Founders Institute I got to learn many new things that were required to make successful a company.  Lot of things keep changing in the business and startup world and the Founder Institute keeps it curriculum updated all the time through feedback and collaboration from among the successful companies and Entrepreneurs and the various FI chapters around the world.

In these 4 months the founders work putting in over 30 hours per week into practical assignments on customer development, Idea Validation, Revenue model, Sales Traction, Branding and Marketing and Pitch their idea to a group of mentors and investors week after week and get rated on their performance and idea. Those who are unable to constantly score above 3 out of 5 either get a difficult special assignments or are asked to leave the program. Almost half of the 26 entrepreneurs who got selected to the Hyderabad Chapter left as they were unable to cope up with the demands of the course or were  were eliminated as their ideas were weak. The founders were initially shortlisted after a 1 hour Predictive Admissions Test that shortlists talented entrepreneurs based on the desired behavioral traits of successful entrepreneurs. Passing out as a Founder Institute Graduate is a seal of approval, signifying that company’s founders, mission, model, and plans are validated by the Institute,  Chapter directors, experienced mentors and CEO’s of successful companies.

The FI program gives a cutting edge by refinement of a viable idea into successful execution in just 4 months time with the business building assignments, mentor feedback, advisor sessions and work group meetings. The biggest lesson for me was to witness the difference between having a viable idea and making a successful company.  So effectively a meaningful and viable idea is nothing, unless a founder knows what he is talking about and what he is doing and understands which direction he is going. Execution is much more important then just a viable idea and the FI curriculum helps one focus on the execution with the business building assignments week after week over the 4 months.

The most powerful method for refinement at FI is the feedback from the program directors and the mentors who visit each session. The mentors are drawn from different successful startups and backgrounds and immensely contribute with objective and constructive feedback and rating to help the founders succeed. The mentors also meet one on one out of the sessions to help the founders with their startups.

During the 4 months all founders were placed in small work groups which keep changing every month and the founders also meet twice per week to discuss progress and challenges with each others businesses outside the FI sessions. Working with similar minded entrepreneurs in the program is great motivation and simply awesome. These out of session meetings are equally powerful way to brainstorm and ask for help wherever needed from other talented founders in the program.

At the Institute I learned its not just enough to be good at what you do but one has to be equally good with telling others what you do and thats where you learn to pitch effectively. I learnt how to deliver effective investor pitches, how an investment deal should be structured, how to protect intellectual property, why a company road map is crucial, how and when to approach investors and partners, how to hire and fire people, How to develop sales traction and Outreach. This is not a inclusive list and I could talk about hours about all the great advantages the Institute gives to the founders. However I recommend that you go to the Founder Institute website at www.fi.co and read all the benefits of being a graduate founder of FI.

For me the most important part of the Institute is the talented founders that you meet. Once you join the Institute you become part of a network of fellow founders that can help you with your business all lifelong.

Another important lesson was to realise that working with good and talented people can only make your company successful in the long run. so make sure to hire the right people because Good Employees are expensive, Average Employees are very expensive and nobody can afford bad employees.

Let me also tell you that the program is hard, very hard. Its equivalent to walking on fire.  Only 4 graduated out of 26 founders at the Hyderabad Chapter. Many founders don’t start a company and don’t graduate. The program requires a commitment of many hours a week and founders have to show results with their startups. You continuously hear in the program about the problems many founders are facing and you see many founders quit and many companies fail.

If you have a viable  idea and want to create a successful company and be a successful entrepreneur and are ready for an amazing ride of your life  creating your dream company, then join the Founder Institute.  apply at www.fi.co

regards

Diyanat Ali

Founder Graduate

Founder Institute Hyderabad Chapter – 2014

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Adventure Travel and Safety

As per the Wikipedia definitio, Adventure travel is a type of tourism, involving exploration or travel with perceived (and possibly actual) risk, and potentially requiring specialized skills and physical exertion. Adventure tourism is rapidly growing in popularity, as tourists seek different kinds of vacations. According to the U.S. based Adventure Travel Trade Association, adventure travel may be any tourist activity, including two of the following three components: a physical activity, a cultural exchange or interaction and engagement with nature.

Adventure Travel is addictive as participation in Adventure Travel  gives the adrenaline Rush, the excitement and a thrilling experience which cannot be felt in any other activity. There is a great demand for different adventure experiences among the middle and high income groups in India. Lot of corporate also use adventure team outings to enhance team building, team bonding and development of high performance teams for its workforce.

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The Adventure travel Market Size in India is estimated to be at 600 Crores and growing at 30% annually. With this fast paced growth it becomes more important that both the adventure enthusiast and the adventure operators are aware of the current safety standards required to ensure safe conduct of the activities.

While many adventure operators adhere to prescribed safety standards and the Government of India has given proper guidelines and instructions to adventure tour operators to ensure safe conduct. Having said that one must realize that today the potential risks in adventure travel are much higher. In an attempt to stay ahead of the competition, adventure companies are offering increasingly risky, tougher and exotic adventure experiences.

The Rapid commercialization of the adventure travel industry and the increasing competition to cut price can sometime lead to safety issues as the recommended and standard guidelines are not met by the adventure providers as they either lack the technically competent staff or do not follow recommended  safety implementation and checks.  In such cases the risks and chances of accidents can get much higher.

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Hence it becomes more important for the Government and the industry to work together to ensure that the adventure travel industry in India grows at a steady and safe pace.

Activiy Safety Guidelines: Every activity has its own specific guidelines for safety and a Good practice means ‘the actions currently accepted within the sector to manage safety’.

Operating at a standard lower than good practice will not meet the legal responsibilities and endangers safety and human lives. Good practice will often be activity specific, although there will usually be similarities between activities that manage similar risks and hazards

The adventure seeker and enthusiast should be aware of these inherent risks and should carefully select the activity based on their physical and mental capability and after taking advice from a verified and experienced provider or qualified operator.

Not everyone is suited for all adventure activities hence consulting your doctor is the first step to do before you can start with any adventure activity.  It’s important to start small and then slowly participate in difficult and more thrilling adventure activities as one gains experience and adapts. Many new enthusiasts put their lives into unwanted risk by undertaking difficult adventure experiences beyond their physical and mental limits. It’s also very important to inform the adventure provider about any medical ailments that one’s suffers from if any so proper precaution and assistance can be provided.

One way we at Outlife makes adventure travel safe is by manually curating all adventure experiences offered on the marketplace by sending a team of outdoor experts who not only verify the genuineness and technical competency and capability of the adventure tour operator but also go through the entire experience to make it safe and comfortable to the adventure seeker and enthusiast.

While the growth of adventure tourism in India is growing by leaps and bounds and the average Indian is also coming forward to take part in the thrill adventure Travel in India offers.

There is a huge potential for foreign adventure seekers to come to India due to the varied terrain India offers for all activities based on land, air and water. India needs a mandatory national and state policy on safety of adventure travel and strict implementation and monitoring of the adventure operators to offer safety as per international standards.

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Top 10 Adventure Travel Destinations in India

Top 10 adventure travel destinations in India you did not knew about

It’s important to spice up your life with a tint of adventure every now and then.  It not only keeps you on your toes, but creates memories to be cherished forever.

We bring to you a list of these adventure getaways, close to home.

Gulmarg-

You can indulge in skiing, sledging, ski bobbying and heli skiing at Gulmarg.

Jodhpur-

Jodhpur is an idyllic destination for sand dune camping, desert safari, camel camps, elephant safari, flying foxs, dirt biking and mountaineering.

Auli-

Auli is known as the best skiing destination in the world. During the winters, you can have fun trekking and skiing beneath the falling snow flakes.

Duldhar-

Clad with perfect white snow, you can enjoy sports like, ice climbing, mountaineering, trekking and lake tracks here.

Jaisalmer-

Jaisalmer, is also known as the Golden City. Go nomadic amidst the Thar desert and opt for desert safaris, jeep safaris, hot air balloons, camel safaris, and paragliding.

Goa-

Indulge in some exotic water sports at along the sultry beaches of Goa. You can opt for water surfing, scuba diving, water skiing, and beach parasailing amidst the raging waters.

Periyar Wildlife Century-

You can go for hiking, biking, trekking and camping at the Periyar Wildlife Century, surrounded by green Kardmm Hills.

Tajpur – 

Paragliding, rafting and rock climbing magnetizes beckons adventure seekers here at Tajpur.

Shillong –

Adventure sports like scuba diving, kayaking, trekking, mountain biking, camping and river adventure scuba diving, kayaking, trekking, mountain biking, camping and river adventure are most famous in Shillong.

Andaman – 

If you wish to dive into the coral blue waters then add Andaman Islands to your bucket list. Snorkeling, scuba diving, trekking, hiking, parasailing, windsurfing and waterskiing are a few adventure sports you can enjoy at the Andaman.

Source Article : http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/TRA-top-10-adventure-travel-destinations-in-india-you-didnt-know-about-4702446-NOR.html
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Solving Problems with Adventure Travel in India

Outlife Adventure Travel Pvt Ltd is a startup dealing in Adventure Travel space and is part of the Founders Institute Accelerator – Hyderabad Chapter at IIIT Campus.

Outlife Adventure Travel aims to help groups and corporate solve the problem of not finding the right and trusted option to go on a adventure travel weekend or a vacation or a team outing with colleagues in India.  This we are doing by listing over 1500 diverse adventure travel itineraries from authentic, verified and curated adventure tour operators. The Operators are curated by an inhouse team who not only checks the credentials of the operators but also goes through each itinerary.  Safety is the number one priority for us at Outlife.

Currently we are doing the MVP which will be followed by the Beta and the first full feature release over the next 4 months with over 1500 adventure travel experiences across India .

Watch this space.

Diyanat Ali

Outlife Adventure Travel Team

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