Below is our recent interview with Harab Rasheed, the Founder at Marhaba Haji:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: Marhaba Haji is a dynamic startup based in Bangalore, India, that is revolutionizing the world of religious tourism. At Marhaba Haji, our vision is to enhance the cultural experience and foster greater understanding and acceptance of diverse cultures through world tourism.
Our primary focus is to address a pressing need within the Muslim community. We understand that finding reliable, affordable, and high-quality tour operators can be a daunting task, particularly when planning religious pilgrimages or other spiritual journeys. That’s where Marhaba Haji comes in.
Through our innovative digital platform, we connect Muslim travelers with trusted tour operators that cater specifically to their needs. We strive to ensure that every traveler has access to professional and dependable services, enabling them to embark on their religious journeys with peace of mind.
But our impact extends beyond the travelers themselves. Marhaba Haji also serves as a catalyst for the growth and expansion of tour operators. Similar to Amazon’s ecommerce business model, we connect consumers (Muslim travelers) with suppliers (tour operators), bridging the gap and streamlining the entire process. This not only enables tour operators to expand their reach and tap into a broader customer base but also ensures that the services they provide meet the highest standards.
In summary, Marhaba Haji is reshaping religious tourism by providing a digital platform that connects Muslim travelers with reliable, affordable, and quality tour operators. Through our business model inspired by Amazon, we are revolutionizing the way Muslim travelers find and connect with tour operators, ultimately enhancing the cultural experience and fostering greater acceptance and understanding among diverse cultures.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: Firstly, we are expanding our services to the hotels business in Makkah and Madinah, exclusively catering to Umrah and Haj pilgrims. This expansion allows us to provide a seamless and enriching experience for our valued customers during their sacred journeys.
Secondly, we are delighted to announce our collaboration with authorized Saudi companies to facilitate the issuance of Umrah visas to Indian travelers. This partnership ensures a streamlined visa process, enhancing convenience and accessibility for individuals embarking on their spiritual pilgrimage. We are committed to simplifying the travel experience and ensuring the utmost satisfaction for our customers.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?
A: Marhaba Haji operates on a marketplace business model, similar to that of renowned e-commerce platforms like Amazon. Here’s a breakdown of how our marketplace works:
Digital Platform: We provide a user-friendly digital platform, accessible through our website and mobile application. This platform serves as a hub where Muslim travelers can discover and connect with reliable and reputable tour operators.
Tour Operator Listings: We onboard and verify tour operators who specialize in religious tourism, ensuring they meet our stringent quality standards. These tour operators create profiles and list their services on our platform, showcasing their offerings and expertise.
Customer Search and Selection: Muslim travelers can search for tour operators based on their specific requirements, such as destination, budget, and service preferences. They can compare different options, read reviews, and evaluate the offerings to make an informed decision.
Seamless Booking Process: Once a traveler has chosen a tour operator, our platform facilitates a seamless booking process. Users can select their desired package, customize it if needed, and make secure payments through our platform.
Support and Feedback: We provide ongoing support to both travelers and tour operators throughout the journey. Customers can reach out to our dedicated customer service team for assistance or clarification. Additionally, we encourage customers to leave feedback and reviews, which helps maintain transparency and accountability within the marketplace.
Expansion Opportunities: For tour operators, Marhaba Haji offers an opportunity to expand their reach and tap into a wider customer base. By joining our marketplace, they can showcase their services to a targeted audience, gain visibility, and grow their business.
Q: What can we expect from your company in next 12 months? What are your plans?
A: In the next 1 year our primary goal is to expand into Saudi tourism and promote the region to a broader audience, transcending religious boundaries and inviting people from all faiths and regions to explore the cultural richness of Saudi Arabia.
We firmly believe that through tourism, we can foster cultural exchange and increase understanding among the global community, showcasing that despite our differences, we can utilize them for mutual benefit and growth. By promoting Saudi Arabia as a diverse and welcoming destination, we aim to break stereotypes and bridge gaps between cultures.
To ensure an exceptional experience for our customers, we are planning to open operational offices in Makkah and Madinah. These strategic locations will enable us to provide smoother and more responsive customer support, catering to the needs of pilgrims and tourists visiting these sacred cities.
Additionally, we are actively seeking partnerships and collaborations with local organizations, travel agencies, and cultural institutions to curate immersive experiences that showcase the authentic beauty and heritage of Saudi Arabia. Through these collaborations, we aim to offer unique itineraries and activities that go beyond the traditional tourist attractions, providing a deeper and more meaningful connection to the region.
Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: Marhaba Haji stands out as a unique and pioneering company in its category. Here are the key differentiating factors:
Startup India Program: Marhaba Haji is the only company in its category registered with the prestigious Startup India program. This recognition showcases our commitment to innovation and entrepreneurial excellence.
Fastest Growing Digital Company: We are proud to be the fastest growing digital company in the halal tourism sector in India. Our rapid growth is a testament to the value we provide to our customers and the trust they place in us.
New Product Launches: We have recently launched two exciting products. The first is an Islamic news site that focuses on the latest happenings in the Haj and Umrah space, as well as developments in halal businesses. This platform keeps our audience informed and engaged. Additionally, we have introduced a community fund that sponsors the less fortunate for Haj and Umrah, allowing them to fulfill their spiritual aspirations