Company name: Travel jetPacks
Founder: Tarkan Ahmet
Staff Numbers: 1, with over 20 contributors / freelances
Date started: April 2007
Tell us what your business does
Tavel jetPacks helps to travellers to organise and plan for their time abroad, by providing them with a pack containing various items such as a local SIM card, tourist information, travelcard and plug adapters.
How did you know there was a market for it?
After taking a gap year and many cheap flights around Europe, I knew the cost of using my UK SIM and phone abroad, and the hassle of not knowing how to buy/ask for a local travelcard. I asked some fellow travellers during my other backpacking trips their ideas on the proposition, and also posted various questions on message forums about the topic.
Currently I have not yet come across any competition, as I imagine that working with tourist boards and various outlets to provide the various components of the Travel jetPacks would be quite a lengthy and difficult process, which it has been!
What were you doing before starting up?
After completing many internships in the area of finance and marketing, I graduated from the University of Durham with a First in Business Economics and joined the TeachFirst programme in London; a wonderful and rewarding programme aimed at taking graduates from university and placing them into challenging inner city schools.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes and No! I have always wanted the challenge and experience of trying to set-up my own successful business, though it is this unknown which has also always scared me! Being my own boss is great in that I can set my own work schedule. Although in reality, the fact that I do not have anyone to answer to, nor have someone to tell me what to do is one of the most difficult things.
What challenges have you faced how have you overcome them?
As cheesy as it sounds, I would say the whole process of setting up, and running a business is a challenge. Just as one would when preparing to embark on a long drive, you must break it up into manageable and enjoyable chunks!
What was your first big breakthrough?
My first breakthrough was getting my product featured in two national newspapers. This was significant for two reasons. Firstly, it showed me that my product and the concept was good enough to be written about, and secondly, it illustrated to me what every book on business and entrepreneurship tells you: ‘persistency and belief pays off!’
Where do you want to be in five years’ time? Do you have an exit plan?
Travelling around the world researching my next Travel jetPack destination!