An Interview with Manoj Tulsani – CEO of Rayna Tours and Travels
In this Q&A session, Manoj Tulsani,co-founder and CEO of Rayna Group reveals how he started and grew his modest business to a massive success in the travel industry.
- What is your background?
I am a commerce graduate; I started my first job with Dubai’s Safeer Group of Companies as a marketing executive in 1999. I next joined Time Machine Group of Companies where I stayed till I became the Marketing Head. Later, when I decided to start my own business, I switched from trading industry to service industry.
- When did you start Rayna Tours? Where did the idea for Rayna Tours come from?
We started Rayna Tours and Travels in the year 2006. The idea to start Rayna Tours actually came from my passion for travel and interest in meeting and mingling with new people. Back then, most related service providers in the industry offered hotel and flight bookings but they almost ignored the key aspect, i.e. to arrange activities and tours for the visitors traveling to Dubai. And our mission initially was to fix this vital shortcoming by designing pocket-friendly services and unique packages that would satisfy every traveler’s preference.
- How did you materialize your ideas into a venture?
It all began by choosing the right location. We saw the birth of our venture from a small outlet inside a strategically located hotel in Dubai, namely Flora Grand Hotel. Our initial customers were the guests who stayed in the hotel; we arranged activities like safaris, sightseeing tours,and other iconic Dubai experiences for them at affordable rates. It was well-received by the guests and the outcome was quite incredible. In a span of less than two years, we opened a chain of about 15 travel outlets in Dubai’s popular hotels and resorts. And it didn’t take too long for us to mark our name in the industry as a leading Destination Management Company. In 2009, we launched our main office at Old Labour Building, in Abu Hail, which almost after a decade has been shifted to a larger office inside ACICO Business Park Building, at Port Saaed Road, Deira.
- What were the biggest challenges you have had to overcome along the way?
There were quite a lot of them.We set up Rayna Tours and Travels small by sourcing all our personal savings and we didn’t have a proper mentor or a solid business plan or background or the right team to grow our business. The greatest challenge was probably getting our targeted audience see the potential of our concept. Moreover, it wasn’t easy to compete with the giants in the industry. So, we crafted our offerings differently in such a way that they are simple, straightforward and absolute value for money without any hidden fee. And this is the real base of our business success.
- What does Rayna Tours specialize in?
Rayna Tours’ initial clients were limited to just hotel guests, but it is now a reliable platform for all types of travelers across the world to effortlessly plan and execute their dream holiday or travel. Whatever our guests are looking for to compile their travel – be it hotel reservation, flight booking, visa application, MICE or transfers, Rayna Tours has high-end choices to well take care of every aspect of a travel. We also help both small and mid-sized travel business, individual tour operators etc, to grow their presence through our dedicated B2B travel portal, www.raynab2b.com.
- How is Rayna Tours different from other related service providers?
First of all, we are an ISO certified company which indicates the high standard quality of our products and services and packages. As a customer-centric company, we always put our guests’ requirements first and hence our team can go any length to enrich the customer experience on round the clock basis. With a vast line up of cruise vessels, vehicles and a huge desert camp, we don’t have an intermediary to implement most of our best-selling services such as cruises and safaris. We are our customer’s number one choice; the proof of which is many awards and recognitions that we have received over the time via unbiased public voting and five-star customer reviews, mainly Traveler’s Choice Award from TripAdvisor and Arabian Travel Awards (for Best B2B Portal and Best Destination Management Company.)
- Running a business in a competitive industry is an extremely tough task. So, how do you deal with failures and mistakes?
Yes, we have had to undergo many failures and challenges in our business journey. But, we never take it personal; instead we believe in SWOT analysis where we analyze our strengths and weaknesses while identifying our opportunities and threats. This not only allows us to know our strong points but also work on our inadequacies and limitations.
- What is your favorite part of being the CEO of Rayna Group?
The most amazing part of being in this position is that not every day is same or mundane for me. There may be lots of ups and downs with a diverse set of challenges and risks to tackle on day to day basis, but it is certainly rewarding as I can respond to my clients’ needs directly and even rectify the mistakes in our own unique ways.
- What is your valuable advice for the up and coming entrepreneurs?
To become an entrepreneur is both a daring and scary adventure. But, you really don’t have to be; once you know your passion and find your market, just have belief in yourself and further set your goals and vision right. And of course, be attentive and adaptable to the ever-changing market demands and learn from every mistake or difficult situation. Most importantly, always listen to your audience; be it positive or negative reviews, it will promote for the growth of your business. Remember that no business can reap success overnight; be prepared to make sacrifices and it is worth it once the results began to show.