Every one of us acquires some skills in our lifetime here on this planet. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could leverage those skills into travelling all around the world? Yes, this is actually a possibility today, courtesy a number of platforms that have emerged in a period of last few years which lets people use their skills like dancing, yoga, cooking etc. to travel the world for free. One such platform that is making waves nowadays is Stay On Skill.
The Stay On Skill platform helps people with skills to travel the world and get free homestay, in exchange of helping their host learn a skill they are good at. According to the startup’s founders, Arjun Tuli and Rajshree Bothra, their main aim behind starting the platform was to make travel more affordable for skilled people all around the world. They believe that travelling to new places, interacting with locals, and cultural exchange can teach a person more about life, than a college degree.
The platform is being highly appreciated since its launch two months ago, with its basic landing page garnering more than 2000 signups within a few weeks, and that too with each user entering about 8 data points. Considering the fact that these numbers were achieved with just word of mouth and sharing on social media, it is an amazing feet.
One can travel the world for free by following these four easy steps:
Step 1) The traveller signups up using LinkedIn. This helps the platform in easily listing the traveller’s skills.
Step 2) The traveller feeds in the destination and the duration of stay.
Step 3) Based on the information fed, the platform matches the traveller with a welcoming host who provides free homestay, a few meals and tips to travel around the place.
Step 4) In return, the traveller helps the host learn their skill by spending 1-2 hours a day.
Stay On Skill currently has two campaigns running on its platform:
1) Skill India Campaign – The campaign aims to find enthusiastic learners from touristy towns of India who have space in their homes and hearts to host a skilled traveller from around the world. The expert traveller will spend an hour a day to help the host learn the skill they’ve been waiting to learn. The application for the same started on May 1st and will be open till 25th May.
One can register here to become a host/learner – Here
2) India Tour 2017– The tour provides people all around the world an opportunity to travel India and stay for free. The travel destinations included are: Agra, Leh, Goa, Rishikesh, Varanasi, Kufri, Coorg, Gulmarg, Ooty and Alleppey, which are all major tourist attractions in India. The India Tour application was open for 3 weeks, and has got over 300 applications from highly skilled people from around the world. Seeing the high demand, the platform had to stop India Tour applications ahead of their set deadline. Some of the people who have applied for the tour include a seasoned silicon valley investor with 23 years of experience, a well known professional Salsa and Tango dance teacher from Argentina and
a professional spanish theater artist who has learned Theatre and Singing at Madrid public drama School.
About the Founders
Arjun Tuli – A serial entrepreneur, Arjun started his first startup in his second year in college – it went on the become a part of Global Social Benefit Institute, Santa Clara University, California. His second startup was funded by Startup Chile. He’s a part of TiE Delhi, GSBI, Santa Clara University, Network Capital and the prestigious Morpheus gang.
Rajshree Bothra – Rajshree served as the General Manager, Marketing at Whirlpool India for 10 years, before switching over to Zivame, where she was the Principal Growth. She has a deep passion for travelling and wants to inspire Indian mothers to travel the world.
According to the founders, one of the persons who has helped them make the platform what it is today is, Abhishek Garg, one of the mentors in the Stay On Skill founding team. In addition to the platform, Garg is a core team member of Morpheus Gang, which has funded startups like HackerRank, Practo, Commonfloor, IIMJobs and Story Pick. Abhishek was the person who came up with the idea of India Tour and Skill India Campaign.
Stay On Skill can be considered as a good implementation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Skill India initiative, which aims to make the youth of the nation more skilled and employable.