“Success never comes as gift,
you have to struggle for it. I have found success through some of lifes
worst conditions”. Raju India
Born to the son of an Indian army officer outside of Jaipur, Rajendera
Singh (Raju India) has always believed that being a good man and doing
good for others will bring good onto himself. While Raju has been
running Incredible Real India Tours for over 16 years now, it is not the
path he had expected.
Raju’s formal training is in Electrical engineering. After his study,
Raju struggled to find a job. When Raju was 21, his father retired from
the army and decided to start a transportation business with a partner.
This business failed miserably. “We had a big loss in that business
because of our innocence; we did not have any business background so
were not experts in what it mean to run a business. My family had lost
everything. After this incident my father became very insecure. He had
lost his hopes and dreams; there was nothing left at this time except
the help of God.”
Because of this transportation business, Raju had learned to drive a
car, which is a very difficult skill in India. Raju decided to drive a
taxi for a travel agency as the last hope for his family to survive.
However, it was very hard for Raju to drive a taxi in his city of Jaipur
due to being part of the Warrior caste (high society), where a taxi
driver is not a respectable profession. “Most of my friends who played
with me in my childhood stopped to talk with me.”
In 1992, Raju decided to move to Delhi to work far away from his
society’s eye. With no money of his own, and no money available from his
family, Raju borrowed 2000 rupees (almost $70 at the time) and a tank of
gas in order to work as a taxi driver. This was the start of his career
in the tourism industry.
At first, living in Delhi was very difficult. Raju lived off of less
than a dollar per day, sending money to his family as their only means
of financial support. “That time was really hard because I had never
lived without my family. I was feeling very lonely in Delhi. Sometimes I
was treated by local people and police like I came from an enemy
country. I was too small in this big world without any guidance. It was
not so easy to establish myself in this unknown market.”
For the first month, Raju showed up at a travel agency every day,
sitting and waiting for a job. “It was impossible for me to go back at
home without money, they were in worse condition then me. Day by day I
felt more and more hopeless that I would not be able to find work.”
Finally, Raju got a break. “One day, one of the people in the office
asked me if I want to give a tour of Rajasthan. It was really impossible
for me to believe his words; I could not say anything to him. He asked
me how much I would charge for a 15 day trip. I told him to pay me as he
wished; they gave me work for next 15 days. I went in my car, I cried a
lot, I never cried so much in my life before -- it was tears of
happiness, I was never so happy before in my life. I got 12,000 rupees
($240) from the company and 8,000 ($160) rupees as tip. It was my
beginning.” After this, Raju was able to pay back the 2,000 rupees and
the tank of gas he borrowed.
Through Raju’s 10 years as a tourist taxi driver in Delhi, he gained
experience and geographical knowledge traveling all over the country,
making contacts and learning about the best places to take visitors. His
next break came when he took five people from Olesa (Spanish) tourists
on a tour, who entered his name in a tour guide book and a newspaper.
Another Spanish group introduced him to the “hi-tech world” and made a
small webpage for his emerging tourism business. Raju was starting to
become successful on his own, gaining tourists from Spain by word of
mouth rather than through a travel agency.
Raju’s business idea was very different from other large agencies. He
decided to apply his belief that doing well for others brings good to
oneself to the design of his travel agency.
“I was one of the leading people in this driver's community who really
change the entire system of Indian Tourism. Before, tourists traveled in
India only through big travel companies. But I made my own tourist taxi
drivers organization. We did not use the corrupt commission system so
many other agencies were using. We had strong values of good service,
hard work, and discipline. Because of these beliefs we were able to keep
our prices low, provide excellent service, and compete with the large
travel agencies. Sometimes people did not believe we were real because
our prices were so good!”
Through the word of mouth from many happy clients, Raju was able to get
enough customers from Spain to begin to officially build his company.
Although business was hard and very competitive at first, Raju
maintained a positive outlook and remained patient that good would come
to him. “I keep patience because I know this is beginning and our
professional level services will prove us. I decided to give our best
services and I always tell clients that if you are happy please tell to
others if you are not happy please tell me so we will not repeat the
same mistake again since we are here for you and your people and
Today Raju lives with his wife and two children back in his hometown of
Jaipur. Incredible Real India Tours is a thriving and successful
business who now serves clients from around the world, including whole
Europe, the UK, America, and Canada and of course, Spain.
Peace be at your home and in life too.
Washington D.C., USA
Thanks Raju to give me opportunity to
choose your business as a subject to give presentation in my university
for my annual exams.