“Success never comes as gift, you have to struggle for it. I have found success through some of lifes worst conditions”. Raju India
Born to the son of an Indian army officer outside of Jaipur, Rajendera Singh (Raju India) has always believed that being a good man and doing good for others will bring good onto himself. While Raju has been running Incredible Real India Tours for over 16 years now, it is not the path he had expected.
Raju’s formal training is in Electrical engineering. After his study, Raju struggled to find a job. When Raju was 21, his father retired from the army and decided to start a transportation business with a partner. This business failed miserably. “We had a big loss in that business because of our innocence; we did not have any business background so were not experts in what it mean to run a business. My family had lost everything. After this incident my father became very insecure. He had lost his hopes and dreams; there was nothing left at this time except the help of God.”
Because of this transportation business, Raju had learned to drive a car, which is a very difficult skill in India. Raju decided to drive a taxi for a travel agency as the last hope for his family to survive. However, it was very hard for Raju to drive a taxi in his city of Jaipur due to being part of the Warrior caste (high society), where a taxi driver is not a respectable profession. “Most of my friends who played with me in my childhood stopped to talk with me.”
In 1992, Raju decided to move to Delhi to work far away from his society’s eye. With no money of his own, and no money available from his family, Raju borrowed 2000 rupees (almost $70 at the time) and a tank of gas in order to work as a taxi driver. This was the start of his career in the tourism industry.
At first, living in Delhi was very difficult. Raju lived off of less than a dollar per day, sending money to his family as their only means of financial support. “That time was really hard because I had never lived without my family. I was feeling very lonely in Delhi. Sometimes I was treated by local people and police like I came from an enemy country. I was too small in this big world without any guidance. It was not so easy to establish myself in this unknown market.”
For the first month, Raju showed up at a travel agency every day, sitting and waiting for a job. “It was impossible for me to go back at home without money, they were in worse condition then me. Day by day I felt more and more hopeless that I would not be able to find work.”
Finally, Raju got a break. “One day, one of the people in the office asked me if I want to give a tour of Rajasthan. It was really impossible for me to believe his words; I could not say anything to him. He asked me how much I would charge for a 15 day trip. I told him to pay me as he wished; they gave me work for next 15 days. I went in my car, I cried a lot, I never cried so much in my life before — it was tears of happiness, I was never so happy before in my life. I got 12,000 rupees ($240) from the company and 8,000 ($160) rupees as tip. It was my beginning.” After this, Raju was able to pay back the 2,000 rupees and the tank of gas he borrowed.
Through Raju’s 10 years as a tourist taxi driver in Delhi, he gained experience and geographical knowledge traveling all over the country, making contacts and learning about the best places to take visitors. His next break came when he took five people from Olesa (Spanish) tourists on a tour, who entered his name in a tour guide book and a newspaper. Another Spanish group introduced him to the “hi-tech world” and made a small webpage for his emerging tourism business. Raju was starting to become successful on his own, gaining tourists from Spain by word of mouth rather than through a travel agency.
Raju’s business idea was very different from other large agencies. He decided to apply his belief that doing well for others brings good to oneself to the design of his travel agency.
“I was one of the leading people in this driver’s community who really change the entire system of Indian Tourism. Before, tourists traveled in India only through big travel companies. But I made my own tourist taxi drivers organization. We did not use the corrupt commission system so many other agencies were using. We had strong values of good service, hard work, and discipline. Because of these beliefs we were able to keep our prices low, provide excellent service, and compete with the large travel agencies. Sometimes people did not believe we were real because our prices were so good!”
Through the word of mouth from many happy clients, Raju was able to get enough customers from Spain to begin to officially build his company. Although business was hard and very competitive at first, Raju maintained a positive outlook and remained patient that good would come to him. “I keep patience because I know this is beginning and our professional level services will prove us. I decided to give our best services and I always tell clients that if you are happy please tell to others if you are not happy please tell me so we will not repeat the same mistake again since we are here for you and your people and families.”
Today Raju lives with his wife and two children back in his hometown of Jaipur. Incredible Real India Tours is a thriving and successful business who now serves clients from around the world, including whole Europe, the UK, America, and Canada and of course, Spain.
Peace be at your home and in life too.
Washington D.C., USA
Thanks Raju to give me opportunity to choose your business as a subject to give presentation in my university for my annual exams.