By Tamara Pupic
Vineet Budki and Nidhi Varma, founders of Guiddoo World, present their Social Startupz initiative
Vineet Budki and Nidhi Varma, the husband-and-wife founders of Guiddoo World, a Dubai-based travel technology start-up, believe that informal professional networks and communities are as important to start-up founders as formal entrepreneurship-oriented institutions.
Their recently launched grassroots initiative, Social Startupz, envisioned as a series of monthly informal meet-ups, is to serve as an important source of support to local entrepreneurs starting their businesses, going through challenging times, or needing an introduction to investors, mentors, as well as media representatives.
“As a start-up, we at Guiddoo have always been lucky to meet the right people at the right time and hence decided to help other start-ups in the Middle East by creating informal but themed gatherings of start-up founders, investors, corporates, media representatives, and many more,” explains Varma.
Their first event, Start-ups on a Yacht, held in June, was attended by more than 50 entrepreneurs, business angels, venture capitalists, and journalists.
“We also plan to have start-ups demonstrate their products live to the attendees so that others can understand their business models in action, which is much better than being presented on paper,” says Budki, adding that Guiddoo sponsored the yacht while Careem offered discounts on their rides to the event attendees.
Since launching in 2013, Guiddoo World has been offering in-destination content to travellers on the move. Their iOS and Android mobile apps, downloaded more than 150,000 times, provide step-by-step audio and video guides to more than 50 tourist sites worldwide.
“I personally believe that miracles are created outside one’s comfort zone,” says Budki. “The current economy is indeed providing that scenario because both entrepreneurs and investors are outside of their comfort zones, but nevertheless they continue pushing to build new start-up concepts that are very different from traditional businesses.
“My advice to other entrepreneurs is that one must always try to focus on the golden rule of any business, which is that revenue minus cost equals profit. At the same time, they should aim to innovate and experiment to achieve the highest customer experience along with strong loyalty.”
Guiddoo World was the People Choice award runner-up at the 2016 Phocuswright Travel innovation Summit in Florida, an annual celebration of start-ups and established businesses that demonstrate groundbreaking travel industry solutions.
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