Monica Arun

Thinking out of the Box

After working in India's top travel companies for around 20 years, Monica had to give up working to enter a different phase of her life, motherhood. However, she decided to balance home and career by working from home using her previous experience. Thus ‘Globetrotter Travel Club LLP’ came into existence in a storeroom in the parking lot of her building complex.

A Mumbaite throughout, I shifted to Bengaluru due to my husband's change in job in 2011. After working for India's top travel companies for around 20 years, I had to quit my job to enter a different phase of my life, motherhood. After flying high for so many years, my son grounded me to be at his service. He demanded all my time and attention. For a few months, my life only revolved around my son. My priority completely changed. I could not think of anything beyond my son. Motherhood has always been challenging, fun, exciting, all at the same time. Being a ‘mommy’ is a full time assignment. However, I always felt something was missing.

So, in 2012, I decided to put to use the skills that were lying undusted on my memory shelves. I realised that I was capable of handling both home and career. Many people in the complex we lived in travelled during vacations. I started small-time by advising people on their travel plans and, as I know many of the overseas hoteliers and suppliers personally, would also book for them. By word of mouth, I started getting many more clients and then there was a need to have an office and more staff to handle the increasing business.

Being a mother to a one year old, it wasn't an option to step out of the residential complex to work. However, as they say, where there is a will, there is a way. I realised that there was a storeroom in the parking area of the complex where all the junk was stored. I spoke to the members of the society and convinced them to give me that space on rent. They were kind enough to agree and my entrepreneurship journey began as I registered my own company and named it ‘Globetrotter Travel Club LLP’.

I decided to encourage other mothers from the complex to start working for my company. One such woman from the complex took charge of setting up the entire office and furnishing it while I took care of my kid. I offered the mothers the option to work for flexible hours and I made it an informal office environment with certain accountability and responsibility. This way, I built up not only a platform for them to work and still take care of their little ones, but also gave them a travel career. As I wanted to register my company as LLP, I needed a partner and I made my sister who is also a homemaker, a designated partner in our company.

As we had recently shifted to Bengaluru, we were staying in a prime residential complex, which had around 425 families. I started making new friends with moms who have kids. Being a holiday specialist, I started advising a whole lot of them as to how to travel and activities to do with kids. Due to my strong contacts across the world during my working days, I would go one step further and even book holidays for people - all from the comfort of our house. As appreciations in form of positive feedback started flowing in, I became more ambitious and wanted to start being a travel agent once again.

Apart from work skills, extensive globetrotting has given me practical insights and helped me create a wide network of partners across the world, many of whom have now become my family friends. Hence, I thought of creating a bouquet of travel products that would serve not just my immediate clients, but the industry at large. Being new to Bangalore with no contacts, keen to learn ‘business skills’ and to network with more entrepreneurs, I became a member of most of the women entrepreneurs and travel related groups. During weekends, I started attending many professional headstart meets. This helped me sharpen my business skills and through contacts, I started getting individuals and companies as my clients and I managed all this without any fancy advertisements.

Many travel agents push their clients to destinations where they get more commissions. We, however, being personalised travel planners, work for the clients and give them a value for money. As a travel professional, I am a personal travel advisor for charting out our client’s travel plans as per their budget, pace, style and interest. We work with our clients to create memorable holidays, holidays that are fun and flexible.

It was the desire to combine passion for travel with years of experience to create something with a personal stamp. Globetrotter Travel Club was set up for developing & selling tailor-made, personalised travel-solutions. I have done my share of cubical time in the outbound ranging from individual travel to group travel. During this time I have learnt to design travel products, negotiate vendor contracts, handle MICE groups and lead operational teams. Here, I gained wide exposure on planning travel itineraries. I am a certified destination expert of Fiji, Switzerland, South Africa, Hong Kong and many more destinations.

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