The global market of tourist activities is estimated at 125 billion dollars a year and continues to grow, quickly moving away from offline sales to the Internet.
Startup must2go.com is an online booking service for excursions and entertainment in 25 countries. The project received an investment of $ 1,500,000 from an investor from Saudi Arabia in June 2017. Now the team is developing the project in three countries: the United Arab Emirates, Russia, and Ukraine. The main difference of the project from existing platforms is the presence of live multilingual 24/7 support, plus its own B2B platform, which alows travel agencies and portals sell tourism products to their customers. Now there are more than 2000 tourism products in the project catalog, which are supplied by 150 partners – travel agencies and operators. Over 20,000 tourists took advantage of the application services during the first year of operation. Opening of offices in 35 countries is a plan for the next years. The project will cover the global market of the tourist entertainment industry worldwide. Launch a cryptocurrency mobile bank and the payment system CryptoTravelBank is the future goal for MUST2GO.
The core of the startup are acting businessmen. People with different competencies and different successful experiences. The first investor of the project was its founder Maxim Zhadobin. He invested 250 thousand dollars of personal funds, which became a heave argument in the search for an external investor.
“I am a serial entrepreneur, I have been in business since I was 20,” – says Maxim. – My experience is the following fields: energy service, design, construction business, retail sales and M&A deals. I have opened and developed a business from scratch. One of them captured the regional market of energy service and energy audit by 70%. I also closed M&A deals in the amount of $20 million in 1 year from the scratch without experience. I can say that all my life I was coming to what I am doing right now.”
The main asset is people
The founders of the startup are confident: business is a synergy of the people, those who build it and those who use the product. The team and customers carry the ideology of the project far beyond the limits of their environment. “It is better do not start the business without a bet on continuous development in the business,” says Ashot Arutunyan, Operations Director of must2go.com. “Work for me is the realization of my own potential and the transformation of my internal energy for the benefit of a common cause. Work should be a pleasure and colleagues should be real partners.”
Obligations are first preference
Developments in the tourism industry are often difficult to predict. So, the human factor, weather or technical problems can become the reason for the impossibility to fulfill the planned. In any force majeure situation, customer interest comes first. “In controversial situations, we are doing everything possible to make travelers satisfied,” says Partner Manager MUST2GO Yulia Shmelkova. – We understand that people have entrusted us with the organization of holidays, the time for which they should have a good rest and gain strength for new accomplishments. And interaction with the company should leave only the most pleasant impression.”
Always be ready for difficulties and challenge
The tourism industry is less developed technologically despite the total digitalization. This factor influenced the project development strategy. Its change entailed changes in the software, developing the product without direct analogues, which could copy the functionality. And this is not the only problem faced by the founders. “Often in our work we see the unwillingness of agencies to develop and grow,” – says Alexander Morozov, Head of the B2B direction in Russia and Kazakhstan. “They find their comfortable environment and do not want to move on, do not look at market changes, use the application of new technologies in their work. – “This is mainly due to fear or laziness. And as we know from practice in business if you stopped you are a corpse, so you have to inspire our partners for new feats.”
The MUST2GO business is developing in tough competition with American, European and Chinese capital and its expansion. The startup has established itself well in the highly-framed tourist entertainment market these days, drawing on the experience of the team, technology, and an extensive partner network.
“I love my job for the opportunity to build from scratch something magnificent, a branch-forming company in a single industry on a global scale,” Maxim shares his plans. – “Our strategy is quite simple. We plan to become leaders in the secondary markets in the next two years with much less resources, than our competitors spend. When our competitors move to the expansion stage in these markets, they will have to negotiate with us on our terms and conditions and either enter the capital or buy us out. And if our business model shows itself to be more efficient than our competitors, we will be able to compete for the next rounds of funding, which will be $200-500 million in one hands.”