Flash Pack: how the first appointment ended in a multi-million dollar business – BBC News


When Radha Vyas went to her first date with a man she met online, she could imagine that maybe she would fall in love … but not that they would start planning a business together.

He is 32 years old (in 2012), when on the dating website he was connected with Lee Thompson for the mutual interests they had on the trip.

On the first date, at a London BarHe told Lee that there was an interesting niche to explore: group vacations for adventurers between 30 and 40 years old.

The argument is that this kind of offer exists for segments 18 to 30 years, but there are not many alternatives for those who exceed that age.

Lee, who was 31 years old at the time, agreed and they began discussing the idea immediately.


"The more we talk about business ideas, the more excited we become," Radha said.

"And in a matter of weeks, we are not just partners but potential partner in business too. "

Today they are married and are owners of Flash Pack, a company that organizes group trips for more than 10,000 people per year between 30 and 40 years, to destinations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Jordan.

How they manage the business

When they began investigating the idea of ​​creating a business, they thought that it could work.

While Radha continues her fundraising work and Lee continues to dedicate herself to journalistic photos, they spend the extra time they have to move the new company forward.

The name Flash Pack appears as an abbreviation of "flash backpacking" or backpacking lightning, and they gather near US $ 20,000 to finance the launch.

But when they offered their first adventure trip to Sierra Leone in 2014, they were unsuccessful.

"The first six months they are irresistible", said Radha.

"We just sold a trip to Sierra Leone and then we had to return the money to that person, because we were no longer interested in joining the adventure."

Photos that change all

However, the business will soon be released, after Lee appears oddly ideas about marketing.

With the World Cup ready to start in a short time in Brazil, the idea is to travel to the country to take rather unusual photographs.

"I have seen a picture of a worker at the end of Christ the Redeemer of Rio de Janeiro and the view of the city is extraordinary," Lee said.

"I know if I can get there and get me out selfieThat will go viral. "

Then Lee convinced the Brazilian Tourism Board to allow him to climb to the statue which is 710 meters above sea level.

Christ the Redeemer
The statue is 710 meters above sea level.

As I imagine, that photo it's a success on social networks.

Lee was interviewed in various media in various parts of the world and – most importantly – took a lot of traffic to the tourism company website.

The road to success

It wasn't long before the company sold hundreds of vacations a month.

Since then, the business has grown steadily and currently, the company has annual sales of around US $ 5 million and has the value is close to US $ 13 million.

Adults are on vacation
Demand for group holidays for single people in 30 to 40 years seems to be increasing.

And even though there are external investors, Radha and Lee are majority owner

Joel Brandon-Bravo, tourism industry analyst and head of the Travelzoo website, said that the Flash Pack managed to reach a market that was not commercially developed.

"This is one of several companies dedicated to those who travel alone in 30 to 40 years," he said.

"This provides an inspirational trip specifically designed for people with money and little time, who wants to get out and know the world. "

A business with your partner

Radha and Lee admit that starting a business with your partner can put pressure on the relationship, but they explain that in the end it is a positive factor.

"I can't imagine doing this alone," Lee said.

"Starting a company can be very quiet and having people who share good and bad times is extraordinary."

Initially the two entrepreneurs shared roles in the company.

But today Radha is the executive director, while Lee is dedicated to the dissemination and strengthening of the brand.

Looking to the future, the company (currently based in London) plans to open an office at United States of America, because more than half of its customers come from that country and Canada.

At the same time, they plan to expand the number of tourist destinations.

"Not many people offer tour packages to that demographic group," Radha said.

"We really found it niche on the market"

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