New Delhi: Frequent travelling has made Indians more choosy about their choices and hence they look for something unique in the form of experiential treatments, says Peter Watts founder of London Based brand Premier Explore - the travel and lifestyle company that is making its foray in India. It offers bespoke packages for sports enthusiasts, specializing in VIP experiences of the English Premier League (EPL)and other football-related activities.
"I think because Indian people have travelled so much, they are looking for something different and unique, and are willing to spend money on 'experiencing' and 'being' rather than 'having'. That is what we endeavour to give them. Something that leaves them with a truly memorable and unmatched experience," said Watts in a conversation with IANS.
Founded in 2014 by two young entrepreneurs - Watts and Isaac Cumberbatch, Premier Explore offers luxurious and tailor-made travel experiences for the discerning sports fan. The Premier Explore experience specializes in The English Premier League. With the company, clients can get closer to the action and enjoy the excitement of a match day with an array of VIP benefits and privileges included. Football is just one aspect of the experience; the rest of the trip will include first-class travel arrangements, luxury accommodation, fine dining, evening entertainment and exclusive excursions.
The premium luxury travel company is looking to target individuals with a penchant for the unique and bespoke, and those who wish to travel in style. The ultimate goal of the company is to become the market leaders in five-star international luxury sports travel.
Watts feels that India has a huge scope for brand like his company because of its football-crazy population.
"We looked at the flourishing travel market, the economy, the popularity of English football and the language. The fact that everyone speaks and reads English was a bonus for us. I can see that the popularity of football and the English Premier League is enormous here, along with a demand for experiential travel, and that really sets us on the path of success," he said.
"The whole concept of Premier Explore was borne as a result of my travelling experiences specifically my travels in Asia. India was a perfect fit for the launch of this concept, and when I came here, I was really taken aback by how passionate people are about the English Premier league. Not just EPL but football as a sport is definitely catching up in the country. In fact, the number of football viewers in India has risen tremendously from 83 million in 2008, to 155 million in 2012, and has only been on the rise ever since."
"The outbound travel market is booming and is at an all time high. India is one of the fastest growing outbound travel markets in the world, and the number of Indian tourists travelling abroad is set to rise from 15 million currently to about 50 million by 2020. That is a remarkable increase, and certainly proves the huge potential that the Indian travel market holds," he added.
The company is currently planning to launch the brand from Kolkata - a city that has a huge football fan following.
"Kolkata is where our first International office is. Our Indian director is helping us in setting up this office. We plan to open offices in Mumbai and Delhi as well by the end of this year, making it a total of three in India," he further added.
On being questioned about bringing a Bollywood face on-board, he said, "Abhishek Bachchan or John Abraham would be a good fit, since they are quite enthusiastic about football, but to begin with we may look at a new face in the industry. Currently, we also have popular Indian actress Rituparna Sengupta on board with us for our launch in Kolkata."
In its budding stage, the company was backed by the British Government via a scheme for enterprising entrepreneurs aged between 18 - 30 years. Now that they are in India they may look at getting support from the Indian government too.
"It would definitely be great if we were to receive support from the Indian government, however we have not approached them yet. We are hoping to meet with the Chief Minister of West Bengal - Mamta Banerjee at a British High Commission event in London, and discuss possible ways of strengthening our business ties in Kolkata," said Watts.