ShareTrip is a platform that aims to make travel cheaper and more accessible
ShareTrip is the true story of a power couple building a business out of sheer passion. Kashef Rahman, the founder and chief executive officer of the company, and Sadia Haque, the chief commercial officer, started their journey back in 2014. Coming from solid corporate backgrounds, both their travelling experiences began way back in 2007, after they got married that year, aiming to travel at least twice a year. Travelling was never cheap -- the couple had to be very careful with the tickets and the hotels they chose.
Sadia and Kashef both graduated with different degrees; Kashef being an Economics graduate and Sadia with a double major in Marketing and Human Resource Management. Both having very different skill sets, they have been changing the entire travel scene in the country and helping to make travel cheaper and more accessible to the people. With clients varying from student travellers to corporate clients --ShareTrip has it all covered under one roof.
Since the duo went on trips very often, many of their colleagues asked them about which hotels to choose and what packages to go for. Giving them their expert advice every time, the couple realized that a lot of people were actually willing to pay that extra amount in exchange for coming up with very cost-effective package deals. What started out as a hobby soon turned into a full-time job. The positive feedback from their colleagues inspired them to start working around it.
ShareTrip started its journey with the name Travel Booking BD. It was established in the market as an offline travel agent. But the vision was always to go online as soon as possible, and shift the traffic to the website and even an app at one point of time. That was what would set them apart in the industry. “Listening to what the clients actually desire, and providing services and packages accordingly is what ShareTrip is all about,” said Sadia. Even while operating solely offline in the more traditional manner, the duo’s firsthand experience in travelling does give them an edge over their competitors. Every client has their own set of requirements; no matter what packages they choose, there is always some level of customization they want.
ShareTrip’s main objective from a marketing point of view was to let people know that there is something new in the market when it comes to travel agencies, where anyone can find everything, from booking flights and hotels to visa assistance on one single platform. In order to make the company’s presence more visible, Kashef made sure they focused more on advertising online, working together with many travel bloggers. ShareTrip also provides loyalty points where the clients can earn trip coins to use in their next purchase.
Involving more women to the team was also one of Sadia’s goals. Currently, 30% of all the employees are female, most of whom are university graduates. Even though the duo targeted a 50-50 ratio initially, there were a few challenges they had to face while hiring. Since office hours are from 10am to 10pm, in two different shifts, most women face restrictions from their families with working late hours or even during the evening shifts.
As for the female clients, ShareTrip had specialized trips arranged for groups of women before. The couple also mentioned a rise in the number of female solo travellers compared to previous years.
When asked about the company’s bestselling packages, Sadia mentioned they provide attractive packages and prices in the industry when it comes to Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives. There is also a growing trend with more people going towards Turkey and Egypt these days. Apart from those, ShareTrip provides European packages at very affordable rates, among which Netherlands, France and Italy are the most popular destinations.
It has been over five years since they started operating and have been growing steadily ever since. Like Kashef mentioned: “We always tell ourselves -- we are not here for the sprint, but for the long run.”