Travelling, whether for leisure, business, or necessity, inherently comes with its own set of challenges, with luggage management being a significant concern that affects a wide range of travellers.
The inception of Travel Cloth was inspired by the common yet distressing sights and experiences encountered during travel.
Observing pregnant women struggling to balance their children and their luggage, senior citizens grappling with the physical demands of manoeuvring trolleys, and families on vacation dealing with the cumbersome task of fitting numerous bags into limited car spaces highlighted a universal problem, especially for ones who travel on a regular basis.
Furthermore, the anxiety of ensuring the safety and security of one's belongings during bus and train journeys, where travellers find themselves unable to rest comfortably for fear of theft or misplacement of their luggage, underscores the need for a solution that addresses these issues comprehensively.
Drawing from over 25 years of experience in the service sector, Vasudeva Murthy set out to tackle this pervasive issue, aiming to transform the travel experience for people globally.
Murthy noticed that the traditional methods of luggage handling, which often involve self-carrying, using airport trolleys, or hiring porters at train stations, are increasingly becoming inadequate and impractical in today's context.
The problem becomes much bigger when faced by a person under the physical strain of managing heavy luggage, particularly for those who are elderly, travelling with children, or have physical limitations.
These issues not only detract from the joy and comfort of travelling but also pose a barrier to accessibility and ease of travel for many, highlighting a clear gap in the market for an innovative luggage management solution.
As technology advanced, Murthy realised that the problem is common yet overlooked in the travel industry.
This realisation led him to launch his own venture, 'Travel Cloth,' a startup that provides a seamless luggage management service that collects travellers' luggage before their journey and ensures it arrives at their destination before their arrival.
“I was travelling in a train and saw a senior person having one end chain locked to the suitcase and another end to his hand during travel; after seeing that, I realised the need and wanted to develop a solution to ease the luggage burden for travellers,” Murthy says.
How does it work?
Explaining the workings of Travel Cloth, Murthy elaborated, "Once a traveller books our service, we arrange to collect their luggage before their journey begins. Depending on the service chosen and the distance to the destination, we pick up the luggage 2-4 days in advance.”
He said the service ensures that the luggage is delivered to the destination before the traveller arrives, offering a completely luggage-free and hassle-free travel experience.
Differentiating by providing door-to-door service
While the travel industry is crowded with traditional luggage solutions, Murthy says Travel Cloth differentiates itself by offering a door-to-door luggage service.
“Unlike the usual practice where travellers have to carry their own luggage, struggle with trolleys at crowded airports, or worry about finding porters at train and bus stations, Travel Cloth provides a door-to-door luggage service,” he said.
Murthy highlights that the service is beneficial, especially for senior citizens, women travelling with children, and business travellers who value time and convenience.
To ensure safety and security, The startup also offers insurance for loss or damage.
“For all shipments that we do from our base location in Bangalore, we securely shrink wrap or bubble wrap the luggage, and if the pick-up location is other than Bangalore, we use our logistic partners for packaging this ensures safety from physical damages. Our logistics partners are industry pioneers with deep domain expertise in logistics. Our internal software and dedicated customer support team tracks every luggage and manages timely delivery of luggage,” says Murthy.
Leveraging in-house technology
Travel Cloth has developed its own custom technology, software, and processes tailored to the business's needs, ensuring seamless order management from start to finish.
The startup primarily targets senior citizens travelling alone by flight, women with children, and families going on vacation.
While the startup has onboarded a few travel agents, Murthy's journey wasn't quite easy. During the Proof of Concept (POC) stage, he mentioned that the major challenge was educating travellers that they could travel without luggage, as carrying luggage is an age-old practice.
He said that the company would focus on a mass advertisement strategy to educate travellers. Another challenge for Murthy was to partner with the right logistics company to ensure customised delivery timings.
Travel Cloth is a bootstrapped startup. However, It is looking forward to investors raising external capital to power its operations.
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