For the perfect getaway

For the perfect getaway

Travel portal

For the perfect getaway

In an era when people are stressed out throughout the week trying to balance their personal and work lives, a weekend getaway is one of the few solutions to keep one going. Tapping in on this market is the portal ‘Life Is Outside’ (LIO), started by Bangalore-based brother-sister duo Vipul and Yamini Kasera.

“The idea came about when we saw people falling short of options regarding things to do over a weekend. Though there are tons of exciting destinations around the City, most people end up spending the weekend at a mall or catching a movie since the information around these getaways isn’t readily available. We saw an exciting opportunity in this space and decided to launch LIO,” explains Vipul, who looks at marketing and business development.

“LIO was initially incubated at Indian School of Business after I graduated from there in 2010. Yamini joined me in February 2011 and took over the operational side of things,” he adds. The two criteria that are considered are budget and distance. “Looking at these two factors, the slider on the webpage finds the best combinations. Transport cost is not included as people tend to drive down themselves for a short break,” notes Yamini.When it comes to the revenue model, they don’t charge the online clients but the providers for whom they are driving business.

“Our customers get a better deal because we use revenue-per-booking or annual subscription models with our providers. We include a diverse set of options in each destination to cater to the different profile of customers. In Coorg, for instance, there are at least 30 different properties listed, including resorts, homestays and campsites. These are reviewed by our team, which then compiles the recommendation for each place,” says Vipul. LIO’ started in Bangalore but has now spread out to 12 cities including New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. Vipul states that the weekend getaway market is only going to grow further.

“This market is nascent and growing. Across most Indian metros, people are opting for visits to nearby places over elaborate, high-budget trips, which is why we see business throughout the year regardless of the season. Our clients range from expatriates to local professionals to people visiting the City.  Since we’re in the short break space, we also work with several companies like Tesco, Accenture, Cisco etc to handle their team outings,” he informs. Which are the most sought-after getaways around Bangalore? Yamini replies, “Earlier, hill stations like Coorg and Ooty were popular.

Of late, wildlife destinations like Bandipur, Kabini, Masinagudi and Wayanad are picking up.” What are the Kaseras’ plans for future? “We are currently getting a million plus visitors a year and have done sales of about 2.5 crore this year, so the idea has been validated by the market. We’ve recently started offering ‘babymoon’ packages, the concept of which is popular in the UK and USA. Pet-friendly packages are another offbeat theme that has seen a lot of interest,” concludes Vipul.

Check out the next time you have a dull weekend ahead.