Ryan Dalton was never interested in classroom knowledge and always wanted to get out of class. Naturally, his parents were concerned and worried about his future. And when questioned about what he’s going to do with his life, he got into animation and did a three year course in designing. During his journey as a graphic designer, he also got into photography. He found it all monotonous when he started working, though, and realized that he despised desk jobs. Ryan says, “I worked for a magazine for a year; and two years in an event management company. Most of them were desk jobs which I really did not enjoy doing.” Finally, he quit his job, visited Dharamsala, had a great time, and came back with an idea which led to the inception of Kerry Adventures.
I worked for a magazine for a year; and two years in an event management company. Most of them were desk jobs which I really did not enjoy doing.”
Finding a niche to tap
Initially, Ryan ran his new business while still freelancing as a part- time designer/photographer. The business was established five years ago with the basic concept of letting tourists experience the culture and vibe of the destination, rather than them relaxing in a hotel or just sight-seeing like tourists usually do. And to make the trip more exciting, Ryan himself would accompany his clients, and even have a drink with them, making it a unique and fruitful experience for the travelers. During his trip to Dharamsala Ryan rented out a bike to explore the nearby villages and instantly knew what an ‘average Joe’ tourist would be missing out on if they just visited popular destinations and did the usual. Keeping this in mind he organized tours taking people to the hills and putting them up in local villagers’ houses. Living among the locals and discovering the local culture and customs amplified the traveler’s experience and they loved it! In fact, it was a fantastic cultural experience for both the travelers and the locals as many locals haven’t had the opportunity to interact with people from the city. The locals also benefitted from this arrangement as they would earn a supplementary income from it, says the ingenious entrepreneur. It was a very unique and interesting venture to start for Ryan; it automatically differentiated his company so well from other mainstream travel agencies and he found a niche in the market that hadn’t been tapped yet.
What the future holds
Ryan wants to take things further by building small properties in idyllic locations all around northern India and also have an office in Bangalore and Goa. Basically, he wants his customers to experience a different concept of travel. He says, “All the properties I want to build will be small camp sites or cottages consisting of 3 or 4 rooms up in a hill somewhere. I will charge a minimal amount for a night and there will be care-takers with a kitchen where you can cook your own food. If they want to go across to the nearby village and have a meal with the villagers, we make that possible as well.”
I still remember the times when I was struggling and had to ask my mother for money to even buy a beer, to the times when I got an advance payment for a trip confirmation and felt like a business tycoon.”
The ups and downs
Kerry has now reached a place that makes Ryan proud, handling over 100 people on a given weekend. Organically reaching over 10,000 likes on Facebook also tells us the rate at which Kerry Adventures has been growing in the past five years. It was a challenging journey for Ryan as the company is not funded by investors, and he has brought it up from scratch, all by himself. The adventurous entrepreneur reminisces about the days when he was still struggling with the business and says, “I still remember the times when I was struggling and had to ask my mother for money to even buy a beer, to the times when I got an advance payment for a trip confirmation and felt like a business tycoon.”
Overall, Ryan has enjoyed the journey of building his business even though he says that it wasn’t exactly a smooth road to travel on. However, he relishes every moment of it and the last five years for him have been the happiest days of his life. His story sends out a loud and clear message to aspiring individuals that want to follow their heart. Chase your dreams and embrace the journey that it takes you on. It may not necessarily help you make money in the beginning, but it is sure to bring about peace and happiness into your life, and that is something that money cannot buy.