WOW Club,Women on Wanderlust:Travel Biographies

8:15 PM



WHAT IS WOW CLUB?

WOW wants to take women to the ends of the earth, without the baggage of husbands and fathers.Women on Wanderlust (WOW), a travel club exclusively meant for women. Started in 2004, WOW was the first company in India to start a club that organised trips exclusively for women, irrespective of age.

IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT THE WOW CLUB




Founders: Sumitra Senapathy
Company: WOW(Women on Wanderlust)
Since: 2005
Big idea: WOW provides experiences and companionship (when women travel in groups) that often turn into friendships.A mix of regular and off-beat destinations with women-specific activities thrown in.
Charges: Depends on man-hours and resources put in
Staff strength: 14 people.
Initial investment: Nothing.
Investments so far: Rs 5 lakh.


SO HOW DID IT ALL HAPPEN..THE START!


 1)Founder Sumitra Senapaty started her career with the hospitality industry and switched to writing when she tired of her job.

2)In New Zealand to write a travel piece 10 years ago, she ran into a club of women travellers from London in a restarant.

3)Senapaty discussed this idea with her family; and they encouraged her to start a similar venture in India. “But I sat on it for a year. I didn’t have the confidence. And I was in a comfort zone. Finally, in 2005, I decided I must do it,” she says.

Sumitra Senapaty--> Trained in hospitality --> Worked in Media -->Freelance Writing --> WOW Club


AND THEN WOW Happened..



1)Senapaty planned a trip to Ladakh and decided she’d go ahead with even two clients.

2)She put up an amateur-ish website and spread the word among family and friends.

3)Soon, 23 people had signed up, mostly mothers and grandmothers of her children’s friends.

4)They formed two groups and had a roaring time. “We did it right the first time and that helped a lot. The women themselves spread the word,” she says. There was no turning back.

5)As we now know, WOW's first trip was to Ladakh.This was followed by Egypt.

6)It was a pioneering effort that I wrote about and it got written about by the media as well and the rest is history.

HURDLES ON THE WAY



1)Operating Challenges: Booking air tickets in advance means a lot of funds get tied up in non-refundable deposits. Senapaty’s client database is 10,000-12,000 now. “But for all trips to work out smoothly, I’d want it to be at least 20,000-25,000 people,” she says. She can’t match the advertising budgets of bigger travel companies.

2)Managing Groups:People tend to get late and miss flights. Senapaty explains to them that hers is not a travel agency and everyone gets equal treatment. “Otherwise there is a mentality that if you have paid for it, you can throw your weight around,” she says.

In February this year, WOW organised a trip to Morocco for 33 women. “I was worried that if 33 women get delayed by 5 minutes each, it would add to quite a bit. So I wrote to them that you should stick to the time and, if you miss a connection, you have to pay for it. I was zapped, everyone came on time. There was a sense of collective responsibility,” she says.

3)The problem of up scaling & Spreading the word: Even today, the challenge is the same- how to let more and more women know about wow. and how to distribute the product on all india basis- the problem of up scaling.


HOW SAFE IS "ALL WOMEN TRAVELLERS"


WOW is more concerned about safety than any other travel organization. We cancelled Egypt at a sizable expense even though the group was ready to go. As a policy we keep away from countries that are not absolutely safe.


TRIPS SO FAR..


Greece, Kenya,Egypt,Israel, Europe, China ,Ladakh,Andamans, the list is endless.....


UPCOMING TRIPS



1)The groups that are ready and complete include Morocco, Bhutan, Cruise to Greek islands, Italy. here again the list is long....... We plan to do South America next summer - Brazil, Argentina & Peru

2)I may add here that our groups are in five different categories:

 a)foreign women tourists coming into India
 b)fixed departure group travel for women
 c)young mothers with kids below the age of 12 (sons & daughters)
 d)customized tours on request from a bunch of women friends, and relatives
 e)solo women tours wherein we find you a suitable travel woman partner or partners for a tour, a service to women who due to what ever reasons are unable to join our group tours, are alone and would like to have a travel companion, who is compatible, so that they may have safety, companionship, and avoid paying the dreaded single occupancy charges.

FREQUENCY OF TOURS



We do about 35 group tours in a year, covering over 25 exotic destinations around the globe, about 10 tours are within india,  rest are international.


WHEN NOT ON ROAD..!!!


When I am not on the road, I shuttle between Delhi & Bangalore, since I have homes in both cities, additionally I am a wife and mother of two teenagers, a daughter and son. I love my work! Gives me immense satisfaction to have created a unique travel platform for women.


Good counsel: “Believe in yourself and take some risks if you are convinced about your venture. Go all out and work hard for it.”


TO BE A MEMBER OR JOIN THE WOW GROUP


Simplest is to visit our website: www.wowsumitra.com or call on 91-11-46151901,09717929944 or 09891655054.


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2 Comments

  1. Hey there! You can have a look at WOW's new website!

    http://www.wowclub.in/

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW Club are bunch of rude unprofessionals, liars and cheaters.They surely know how to ruin a holiday. Be safe and avoid travelling with them.

    ReplyDelete

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