Angelee Rathor is the Founder and Managing Director of SevenTravel (www.seventravel.co.uk), a positive-impact, luxury travel company she masterminded in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic with the support of her business partner Bal Sohal. During this time, Angelee saw an opportunity to create a new type of travel – one that’s more considered, sustainable and designed for the future. Angelee has worked in the travel industry for over twelve years thanks to her other business, SevenEvents (www.sevenevents.co.uk). Here she has crafted countless bespoke events for all kinds of industries, both here in the UK and overseas. Now, Angelee is using her forward-thinking mentality to help create once-in-a-lifetime experiences for SevenTravel clients.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
The idea for SevenTravel came to me during the coronavirus pandemic. I spotted an opportunity to create a real disruptor business that would highlight a new type of travel – one that’s more considered, sustainable and designed for the future. SevenTravel was born as a positive-impact, luxury travel company. We specialise in tailor-made milestone trips that are ten days or more and designed to expand travellers’ worlds, through unique adventures and authentic experiences across the globe.
How did you achieve awareness?
My background is in creating high-profile, luxury global events and I founded my first company SevenEvents in 2009. I have over 12 years of travel industry experience at SevenEvents, so I had a thorough grasp on what makes a bucket list trip with a difference and strong contacts in the industry. We practice what we preach too, We’re not a retrofit, lip-service travel company. We were born from the desire to ‘do better’ and this appeals to the growing number of people seeking more considered travel experiences.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
SevenTravel is a subsidiary of SevenEvents and the funding has come from the parent company, our network of businesses, therefore, support each other.
What are the key successes?
We launched the business early this year and had such great feedback from the offset. The thought process behind SevenTravel was thoroughly researched. I noticed how booking a trip had become as quick and mindless a decision as booking a restaurant, and I knew that I wanted to bring more of a mindful approach to travel – from choosing the destination, the experience and learning about local traditions and communities.
Just like fast-fashion was becoming ‘out of fashion’, fast travel was a concept that just didn’t make sense anymore. This is a type of travel that is disposable, unsustainable, bad for the planet and often lacks the enrichment that travel should have. Each time we book a trip with a client that encompasses these fundamental principles, we experience our next big success!
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
I’m naturally a positive person, always trying to find a solution to the problem rather than let the problem get to me. The single biggest challenge to me, like many others, has been the pandemic.
It gave me many sleepless nights as I felt a huge responsibility to look after and safeguard my small, loyal team. It was also a lonely time as a leader and challenging to find or see what the solution could be in this scenario, as the situation was so unknown.
But as success is the only option (my mantra!), I managed to navigate my way out to the other side, and I now appreciate my team even more.
Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?
To never give up and never think you can’t do or achieve something – you will only stand in your way. This learning came from Bal, my business partner and investor. He has always said, “Think big Angelee, don’t let your mindset be a hindrance. Aim for the stars.”
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?
Alongside my business partner, I would say my father for evidencing strong leadership throughout my life and showing me that hard work paid dividends. I also really admire Jaqueline Gold and Karen Brady for being really influential women in business. Finally, Elon Musk has built an incredibly successful business around technology and is very inspiring.
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
My favourite quote is, “It’s not all about the ideas, it’s about making ideas happen”, closely followed by, “Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It’s a practice”
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