HoneyGuide your wanderlust: shifting the paradigms of how people travel in Nepal

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HoneyGuide your wanderlust: shifting the paradigms of how people travel in Nepal

 

Imagine trekking above 3000m, locked up in the extravagance of mountains, consumed by the serenity of the sight. And then your phone beeps with a notification informing you that you are in an avalanche prone area and asks you to move quickly. Lost in the tranquillity of nature in the thin air, you forget your muscle aches and wish to keep exploring more of it. Then you receive another notification in your phone telling you it’s time to give your body some rest because you have walked more than you should. So you try to find a lodge. Your phone has the lists of lodges near you in your phone again, and you manage to find one that also has Wi-Fi. When you’re on your way to the lodge, you see a beautiful flower and your phone tells you it is ‘Purple Stalked Gentian’. ALL THANKS TO HoneyGuide Apps. 

HoneyGuide, the app, shares similar symbiotic relationship with travellers as HoneyGuide, the bird, shares with humans and animals. Just as the bird guides the animals to honeycombs to feast on the honey, the app will walk you through most beautiful nooks of the country and tell you, the otherwise untold stories, about birds and animals or paintings on the walls of beautiful monasteries or the mountains you may come across during your travel. And it is all offline providing well-researched minute details delivered in an interactive way to craft the most out of the trekking experience. 

That experience and that journey would not have been possible without the journey of making the app itself.

 

When ideas resonate

It was at a friend’s wedding where Abhisekh Pande and Ashish Shrestha, the co-founders of HoneyGuide Apps, talked in lengths and breadths about doing something in the travel sector and creating better travel experiences for people. They both had been travel enthusiasts. While Abhisekh was more into culture, history and anthropology part of it, Ashish was more into nature, wildlife and adventure. It was for the love of travelling and an idea to shift paradigms of how people travelled in Nepal that they came together.

 

Unfolding gaps

How people receive content has evolved, and Ashish and Abhisekh formulated their idea on that premise. They believed the millennials – mostly those people who reached adulthood around the turn of 21st century – want technology to bend around their needs. In such hyper-local trend, guidebooks started being irrelevant to people who want information about anything they want to know without the pain of turning around hundreds of pages of guide-books, or reading dozens of blogs and articles to hardly find anything of matter that solves their current problem. These guidebooks were not only giving less information, but limiting the experience of people reading it. Ashish and Abhisekh were able to see that although guidebooks such as Lonely Planet had content, the context they were pushing it in wasn’t relevant. As Gary Vanyerchuk, an entrepreneur based in Belarus, says “Content is the king, but context is God.”, companies like Lonely Planet are doing far worse today than in the early days (Source: http://matadornetwork.com/goods/lonely-planet-guidebooks-decline/) 

With that, the idea for a disruptive innovation was born. “If we think about covering trekking in Nepal within one app, it’s still big for us. For instance, we like to think about everything people trekking to Everest need. We want to provide one stop solution to them,” shares Ashish, “If we look at the world wide, it is very small but that is the way to go. It is not the volume but how we can give a new thing to a small group of people. Such products are products that have heart. We believe that is the trend, and that is where we are headed.”

 “If we look at the world wide, it is very small but that is the way to go. It is not the volume but how we can give a new thing to a small group of people. Such products are products that have heart. We believe that is the trend, and that is where we are headed,” says Ashish.

Investing time

Ashish and Abhisekh devoted two years on research to develop HoneyGuide. Ashish set out for treks to gather content for the app while the team also referred to various secondary sources such as research papers. It also wasn’t just about the content, they also needed to figure out what kind of information different people needed and ‘how’ HoneyGuide can provide people exactly what they want. “For someone trekking during October, giving them information about Rhododendrons won’t make sense or make them feel bad because they will not see it anywhere. We need to give them the information they want and that’s relevant for them,” says Ashish. They invested this time in understanding the consumer's perspective as well. During this Abhisekh was also working in his father’s travel agency while Ashish was into research full time.

 

Economic engine  

HoneyGuide is a bootstrapped startup and hasn’t already started generating revenue from its apps. It launched as a free Android app in 2nd October, 2015. Currently the app is on public beta —incomplete Beta software released to the public for further testing. The iOS app is currently on review and is expected to be released in about 3 to 4 weeks. They couldn’t build an  iOS app early on due to lack of skilled developers. The iOS app will be set for purchase which is the revenue source of the app. Soon after the iOS app release, people will have to pay for the Android version too.

  “Content is the king, but context is God,” says Gary Vanyerchuk.

What lies ahead   

HoneyGuide apps will certainly not limit themselves to the trekking routes of Nepal. They are also looking forward to help create this experience for people who are travelling in different places within Nepal as well. They see a huge prospect in an app which navigates travellers to explore the authenticity of various places other than the trekking routes in Nepal which has more experiences to offer than a guide book possibly can. But it doesn’t stop there again. In future, HoneyGuide apps wants to reach out to the international market. They want to explore through various other countries and also capture its richness for all of us to reap.    

HoneyGuide apps is not just going to open avenues for travellers to have a beautiful time around the Himalayas but also comfortable, safe and a complete experience. So, if you are a traveller seeking for similar adventures on your next trek, HoneyGuide your wanderlust. 

The Easter Egg: You can try out the preview version of the new app for free. Click on the link below:  

http://honeyguideapps.com/blog/practical-information/free-app-preview-trekking-nepal

 

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