Pune, Mar 13. The theme for today’s meet was adventure sports. The speakers for the meet were
- Commodore V. G. Praveen from Inland windsurfing and sailing academy.
- Anita from Templepilots (A paragliding club)
- Rohan More from Japalouppe (A horse riding academy)
One common thing evident about all the speakers was the passion with which all the speakers spoke about their respective profession.
Inland Windsurfing and Sailing Academy
The session started V. G. Praveen’s presentation. His “Inland windsurfing and sailing academy” is located at Varasgon near Panshet dam in Pune. There they conduct sailing, kayaking and windsurfing activities. They are associated with the Yachting Association of India Praveen has been into sailing and windsurfing for past seven years and started teaching five years back.
How did he start his academy?
Well started Sailing from a club in Pune, which organised a camp once in a year. Later on he moved to Goa to get a formal course in sailing, windsurfing. When he decided to start his academy he looked out for second-hand equipment and he found out quite a few sellers for that. There was a very peculiar associated with the purchase, all the equipment required repairs and the spare parts were not available in India. To add to the trouble the spare parts were not interchangeable and hence he had to go to Thailand to buy new equipments. Currently the equipment is exempted of customs.
When he was asked as to why there aren’t many adventure sports enthusiasts in India, his answer was:
- The general prejudices in the minds of people, that adventure sports are dangerous.
- All the equipment required for their water sports activity has to be imported; hence the overall cost for the course is expensive as well.
Where can you organize water sports?
For kayaking: A place where the water is calm and there is not much wind, like lakes.
For windsurfing: The water body should be more than three kilometres in diameter otherwise it is not enjoyable. Also as the name implies there should be sufficient wind for windsurfing.
How do they promote their academy?
Through their website www.windsportsPune.com and word of mouth. They have taken no effort in doing the promotion for their company since there is a very niche segment of people who have interest in water sports and according to him it’s not possible to attract these people through advertisement campaigns.
Since this sport is very niche there aren’t many people involved in this business.
Adventure sports enthusiast should be looking forward to this as a wonderful opportunity, since in coming five years there would be a new generation who would want to get involved in adventure sports and they would be earning enough to pay handsomely for adventure sports.
If a person follows basic instructions o the course, there is no risk involved in water sports. Till date there has been no mishap in his academy.
Anita spoke about Templepilots and was very vocal about two things, their passion for flying and safety measures they practice at Templepilots
Templepilots is the only registered school for paragliding in India. They started 14 years back. Anita quit her corporate job to help her husband formalise his hobby of paragliding into a well structured course with a good business vision.
Keep the Aspidistra Flying
This is an interesting excerpt about Avi (founder of Templepilots) from their website:
“…his (Avi) being in the top three in the NDA entrance, winning the prestigious Presidents Gold Medal and being chosen for the IAF as a Fighter Pilot came so naturally that it seemed as if he were destined.”
“Anita has a background in advertising and pure marketing. Having done her MBA she abandoned her Corporate career as a Senior Brand Manager for TATA Home Finance.” Well Anita testified that she is enjoying every bit of Templepilots and never once did she regret quitting her job.
Looking at their success story and along with their decision to quit their jobs (most people reading would die to get that kind of jobs) for the sheer joy of flying, one would simply say “Keep the Aspidistra Flying”.
Templepilots is experiencing competition created by them. Yet since the space is really wide more competition can still sustain without much adverse effect on the business.
Obstacles in scaling up:
There are not lot many instructors willing to take up the job. It takes around two years for them to train a person for the job of instructor. All equipment required for the flying has to imported, also there are no tax exemptions for the imported goods.
Level of physical fitness required for flying:
If you are physically fit to drive a cycle, you can fly. You should not have any back aliments.
How did they promote their flying school?
Anita is the one who does all the promotional activity for their venture. So when they start Templepilots. Anita randomly caught hold of groups in a cafe or any other public tweeting places and told them about flying and Templepilots. The good thing that happened for them wa s that their initial students were influential people of the society and hence the word of mouth publicity was very effective from the very early days.
Their track record has been so far very clean with no mishaps.
Is there any scope you running into a tree? Well if you aim for it, for sure you can!
This was a witty reply to the above query by Anita. Moral of the story (in her own words), paragliding is safer than driving on Pune roads (I would like to bear witness once I am done a course of paragliding). Also as promised by any other adventure sport, it keeps you fit.
Japalouppe is a Horse riding club located in Talegaon Dabhade, an hour’s drive from Pune.It’s a mother and son venture. Started by his mother Lorraine Morey and later on assisted by her sons Rohan and Nikhil.
Japaloppe is into training for horses riding, consultation, breeding and allied services for horses. Right now they are the biggest players in Pune and recently they have started another training school at Ranchi.
Rohan was born and brought surrounded by horses. His father and grandfather are involved in the business of breeding horse. He is a third generation horseman.
How did he start his business?
So Rohan started his business by borrowing money from his father. At some point of time he did want to quit the business since at an early age (about 25 years) he was not able to manage the business. The only motivation at that point of time was his passion for his horse riding school. Slowly he managed to turned the tide and right now they are doing great business and profitable as well. Currently they are catering big corporates and schools in and around Pune.
Japalouppe not only conducts training for beginners, but also grooms up students for competition. They have resorts and
So Rohan talked about the different Market segments in his line of business.
- Single horse owners: Not much of the competition since they own a single horse and their business operations are ad hoc in nature.
- Riding schools to train riders for competition: So there are a lot of riding schools which exclusively train students for competitions, which is a very niche market segment.
- Generic riding school: This is the segment Japalouppe operates in. This accounts for the largest pie of the horse riding schools, which has a formal structure to its training. Major portion of their business comes from the camps which they conduct for the students in the summers.
Japalouppe not only conducts training for beginners, but also grooms up students for competition. They have resorts wherein they offer a complete joy ride for the trainees or weekend euphoria for enthusiasts.
Written by Chaitanya Mahatme