Many Miles to a Start-up

Two college kids, an empty wallet, and big dreams. Sponsored by JetPrivilege.  
Photo: Rawpixel/ iStock
Photo: Rawpixel/ iStock

While the rest of our batch was busy preparing for the upcoming placements, Amit and I were plotting other plans. Our classmates always looked at us quizzically wondering what the two of us were up to, as we would sit in a corner of the mess discussing our venture over endless cups of chai and excel sheets. Our parents had no clue of our idea, and were hoping we would land cushy corporate jobs. We, on the other hand, hoped to start an online business connecting home chefs with a larger audience. India was undergoing a food revolution of sorts, and we were confident our venture would succeed.

But success was a far off dream at that point. With a small sum saved up from our summer internships and other assignments, we had big dreams and empty wallets. Once our parents got over their initial disappointment of us not having taken up regular jobs, they came forward to help us with their savings. Maybe it was our passion that swayed them or it was our sheer luck, but our corpus began to grow slowly and steadily. Friends and classmates too contributed to our idea.

After earning our degrees, we went back to our respective hometowns and began to build our business. I was living at home in Hyderabad, and Amit was with his family in Ahmedabad. While we discussed ideas and did all our planning, using Skype and email, there were times we still needed to be together. We had individual strengths and we were best when we pitched to clients together. Potential investors wanted to meet the team behind the idea, and not just one of us. Train journeys were too long and flying was expensive. That’s when we decided to each enrol with JetPrivilege. Initially, I was sceptical of the idea, but Amit convinced me of its likely benefits. He said we could collect JPMiles not just on air tickets, but also when we stayed at partner hotels, went shopping, dined outside, on our phone bills, and more.

Six months after leaving campus, we had to fly to New Delhi to meet a potential investor. Thus began our JPMiles collection. After that, we would plan our trips such that one trip would fund the other thanks to accumulated JPMiles. As our venture grew, so did our confidence in funding our travel bills this way. We would set targets for each trip and decide on the number of miles we each had to gather. Domestic trips gave way to international ones, and we continued to fly courtesy our JPMiles. On a business trip to Dubai, we decided we had earned the right to indulge ourselves and extended the trip by two days. Amit and I are both adrenaline junkies, so we went skydiving and spent a night camping in the desert. Later, on a business trip to Beijing, we extended our stay and climbed up the Great Wall of China. We didn’t feel guilty as we were able to travel and live our dreams without dipping into our business funds. Thanks to JPMiles, such small luxuries were completely taken care off.

Time flew and before we knew it, it had been four years since we had started out. Our business was growing and was now sustainable. We had acquired families, a slight girth around our waistlines and many, many memories, thanks to the numerous trips JPMiles had made possible for us.

Much to our surprise, one day, we got an email from our alma mater, inviting us to talk to the present batch of students on starting a business and funding it. It had been years since either of us had gone back to Bhubaneswar and we jumped at the opportunity to go back to our campus. We had reached a stage where we could book tickets with funds from the business, but instead, we booked them with JPMiles. Old habits are hard to stop, and JPMiles is one of the best habits we picked up!

Collecting JPMiles isn’t only beneficial but also a lot of fun. Recently, Ajay Awtaney,a blogger from India, took on the challenge to earn 25000 JPMiles on his four-day Singapore trip, and he had a splendid time achieving this target. On landing at Changi Airport, Ajay bought gifts for his family and friends and swiped his credit card, earning him JPMiles. Later, at a meal with friends, he again used his credit card and added more miles to his collection. A Coldplay concert not only fulfilled his long time dream of watching the band perform, but also gave his collection a big push. Small drops do make an ocean and by the end of his trip, Ajay had successfully met his target!

Psst. Want a weekly dose of travel inspiration in your inbox?