Turning one’s passion into a business venture needs a lot more than an aspiration. A vision, coupled with the right skills and resources can lead one to success. Young entrepreneur Veda Reddy has successfully made a mark in wildlife tourism with her company PlanetWildlife (PW). After completing her education from top schools in the UK, Veda, with support from her family, started this niche travel company which specialises in wildlife, nature, adventure and offbeat holidays. Headquartered in Hyderabad, PW also has offices in Cape Town and Perth.
Content at having come this far in realising her dreams, Veda shares her journey thus far:
Discovering love for wildlife
Travelling per se is my greatest passion and to me an ideal holiday is the one that takes me close to nature. My interest in wildlife was nurtured by my father who is an avid wildlife photographer. As a child I travelled with him to some of the most remote parts of India. I am lucky to have had the opportunity, at a very young age, to explore various parts of the world including many countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, Oceania, etc. Today, I travel to see wildlife and in the process I meet many interesting people and learn of their experiences. All this has made me the person that I am.
Favourite wildlife destination
Though there are many favourites and many more in my bucket list, if I have to choose then it would be Kanha National Park and Kabini Tiger Reserve in India and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
Challenges in organising a wildlife tour
One needs to have complete knowledge of the product and understand the finer nuances of wildlife travel and nature. Along with being great fun, wildlife tours are about gaining knowledge about bio-diversity, local cultures and traditions. When we organise a wildlife holiday, we include in all these elements into our plans to make sure that the experience is rich for travellers and they come back with a new perspective. At PlanetWildlife, we have an excellent network of naturalists and tour leaders from across the world, be in Africa, South America, the Poles or Asia and they add great value to the entire experience.
From the operational side, since our holidays are to some of the most remote parts of the world, we need to make sure that every small detail is pre-arranged and taken care of; for example, wildlife holidays are mostly all-inclusive and most of things such as airport transfers, meals, entrance fees and activities like safaris. Also, the travel consultants at PlanetWildlife are wildlife experts and logistics managers rolled into one.
Change in Indians’ perception towards wildlife tours
I see a huge difference in the attitude of the Indian traveller since the time I started Planetwildlife a few years ago. Having said that, the market for wildlife travel is still quite niche but there is a growing interest.
We have people who want to travel to see wildlife but also ask us about conservation initiatives.
The Indian travellers are becoming more responsible and aware of the bio-diversity challenges and are willing to travel to offbeat destinations. Many of them are consciously opting to go on eco-friendly holidays.
The stereotype that being eco-friendly means backpacking or comfortless vacations has changed and many people can see that we can provide high end luxury even while being completely eco-friendly.