How many of us have truly experienced our city, beyond the usual malls, pubs, and restaurants? How many of us have fully immersed ourselves in the culture? Where would we start from? Who would we ask about the best places for a local experience? This is where ‘Yours Truly’ comes in. As Sushma Ajay, founder and tour guide explains, “Yours Truly India takes people on a journey across the city where they get to experience it like a local. I take people on guided walks and tours to places most often not found in the guide books, and get them to experience the culture by getting involved.”
I take people on guided walks and tours to places most often not found in the guide books, and get them to experience the culture by getting involved.”
An avid traveller herself, the idea for Yours Truly stemmed from her own experiences. She says, “It had been quite a while since I quit my job and I was looking at different possibilities to work on. My thoughts on travel arose when I would go out on a holiday myself, and quite often look at things to do which were more local in experience.” An accident left her immobile for a few months, but also gave her the time to ponder her idea, and the courage to go after it. “I started my research during that phase and went on to launch the brand 9 months later.”
Founding Yours Truly led to Sushma to exploring Bengaluru like never before. She says, “Even though I was here my entire life I began to understand the city more and felt the real connect once I began to learn of its roots, the beginnings, and its cultural influences. The interaction with people along my journey has humbled me. To know that each has a story to tell and that they are intertwined with you, it leaves a mark.”
I did not want to go back to a corporate life, so I had to push hard to set sailing and get results.”
The excitement of a new venture, one that she is deeply passionate about, kept most of Sushma’ fears at bay. Except one, she says, “One thing that did strike me was that I had left corporate life where I drew a regular income. I did not want to fail anyone, especially myself. I did not want to go back to a corporate life, so I had to push hard to set sailing and get results.”
Adding to the local experience, Sushma has ventured into showcasing Bangalore’s pub culture. She organises pub crawls with a partner, in the name of ‘Another Bar Crawl’. Additionally, she is looking to expand her brand to other cities across India, by connecting with people who can offer the same experience.
Sushma knows a thing or two about taking the road less travelled. She advises, “Do what you want to whole-heartedly, while putting in all efforts into it. Failures should be taken as experiences, and only by embracing and learning from them will we be able to move forward.”
Sushma Ajay took a leap of faith to pursue an offbeat track. A bold move, that was backed by dedication and diligence. Believe in your idea, and put in the work to make it happen. Only when you put in the effort, can you reap the rewards.