Every success venture has a story behind it, we too have a nice story. The journey of an enterprener "Our Story at Paradise Holidays! Though I wanted to become an entrepreneur, I never had the plan to start a tourism company. It was in 2009 when I was working with Ramaiah college Bangalore as Lecturer, one of my friend Mr. N.L.N Murthy asked me about Kerala and told me that his friend wanted to go for honeymoon. I literally had no idea about any of the tourist places in Kerala though heard about it. I told him that I have a taxi car at home and shall give you on rent. The driver will take you for sightseeing and will help you to book hotels. You pay me only for the vehicle.!
Next day his friend came to meet me and asked me to give him a package. He has done some research about Kerala and had quotations from other operators. I tried to convince him to get a trip for my car but could not, I had to tell him that I will give quotation next day.I started !! (I always claim, God asked me to do this, otherwise I would have got a trip for my car)!
I googled, researched, got quote from hotels at Munnar, Thekkady, Houseboat and finally prepared a package which meets his expectations. I named the company as Paradise Holidays as suggested by my friend Mr. Fasil. It was a 5 days package which we still use as 5MTH where the guest stays for 2 night at Munnar, 1 night at Thekkady and Overnight stay at Houseboat. While preparing Itinerary I tried to prepare in a professional way. I sent this quote to all my friends list in mail box. Some of them forwarded to their friends, some deleted.!
Before I could finalize the deal of Murthy’s friend, I got an email from Mr. Srihari Belur which was forwarded by my friend Mr. Ajith K.P. and I called him. I met him, explained about the package and convinced him. I got my first advance of 2000/- over a cup of tea at a restaurant at Bangalore. Later Murthy’s friend also booked the same package and we continued one by one. My father Mr. M. A. Raveendranathan has taken care of guests when they reach Kerala and his contribution was inevitable to build up the brand. He used to meet every guest, explain every details and made them comfortable like home which is our success mantra. From beginning we tried to follow ethics, and professionalism.!
Meanwhile I got job at TATA Technologies, Pune and was deputed to TATA Motors for projects.!
Moving from teaching to IT gave me lot of free time (I have been hearing that IT job takes your entire time and you do not get time to spend even with family, but the culture was so good at TATA and always ask us to leave on time, teaching requires lot of homework if you want to teach properly) that too at Pune with out any friends where Bangalore was like my hometown. I slowly started to concentrate more on business and used my complete time after job to bring this up.!
I started working from home and my home became our first office at Pune.!
As my father was taking care of everything at Kerala, I was able to concentrate only on business development and slowly we started to learn. For both of us this was a new field and had to learn everything by own. Slowly we started to grow.!
I wanted to quit my job and wanted to be an entrepreneur but as usual family was totally against it. I know you are doing well in business and you will do it, but don’t quit job until I tell you. This was my fathers words. In Kerala getting a marriage proposal from a good family with good qualification is impossible if you are a businessmen irrespective of how you perform & was very easy for a TATA staff.!
I got engaged with TATA tag in 2010 and marriage was fixed for 2011 mid (big gap of 1.5 years) as we wanted her to finish MTech. before marriage.! Enjoying life with would-be, I tried to give lights about business and every time she refuses and wanted to go only for teaching. We were doing good at business and all of a sudden I lost my father in 2011 February 7. I was in Kerala at that time for a short holiday. I had two choice either continue job or come back to business. If I continue at Pune I had to wind this up as with out a strong hand in Kerala, I cant do anything sitting in a different place. All my staff, drivers, I had to literally do injustice to them. Meanwhile I met my would be father in law and asked his advice, he also told me to come back and continue with business. I felt that day came and my father asked me to come back, I never went back to Pune.!
Lot of responsibilities, everything in middle I felt blind, my mother gave me full strength and stood behind me and again put same hard work and prayers! At the time of marriage Sreedevi was working as Asst. Professor with an engineering college and after few months she decided to quit dream job to stood beside me in business as well. It was a relief for me as she was a quick learner and was well adopted to take responsibilities one by one. We started to dream together in business as well in life, for us Paradise is the first baby and used to have our talks, chit chats in and around Paradise itself. She started meeting every guest on arrival and started to handle our operations team, which helped me to concentrate on business development. By 2013 she and her team moved to an independent own office – we called it CRC (Customer Relationship Centre), which was a new concept in tourism where we receive every guest on arrival, meet them, explain entire itinerary with lot of hands on tips to be shared. Currently we have our corporate office in own building of 4500 sq. feet and another three offices where one is at Cochin, Pune and Hyderabad.
During the course of growth, we wanted to keep society with us and were always willing to extend our helping hand to needy, but in an unorganized way. To make it organized, in the year 2015 we formed a trust under name Raveendra Foundation where every staff at Paradise is a member of this trust with elected governing body. Currently we have contributed enormously for education of poor children, helping hand for medical treatments, school kits, school bags, umbrella etc. to govt. schools. Very recently we have donated a smart class to a govt. school and donated an ambulance to the village where our corporate office is located.
Meanwhile we have started homestay to provide authentic experience to our guest where we have 6 A/C rooms. Our Learning center caters to staff training on life skills where we are providing training to hospitals and corporates. Our travel desk takes care of vehicle booking for marriages and excursions with own fleet of vehicles including luxury bus. Including hired vehicle we now manage more than 200 vehicles.
Currently I am the Chairman of Raveendra Hospitality Private Limited, Patron for Raveendra Foundation, Managing Director for Paradise Holidays & Paradise Homestay, Director for MAD Rooms Pvt. Limited, conducting Life skill Training and is a CBT consultant.
I bow myself towards my father Late Mr. M. A. Raveendranathan with out him I would not have built this brand, Ex. Vice Chancellor at M. S. Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences Bangalore Dr. S. R. Shankapal who has been my mentor, my inspiration and a lot above words can convey, my uncle S. S. Pillai where I used to see an ideal businessmen from child hood and my brother in law Dr. Sudeesh Kumar who supported me during my difficult times and gave courage to come back from Pune.!
The story continues with lot of happy guests. We thank all our well wishers.
Ratheesh R. Nath
Director, Paradise Holidays Cochin!