In 2006, Iftekhar Ahsan founded Calcutta Walks on a shoestring budget of 20K INR (about USD 300). Ten years later, his revenue is 6.5 million INR (about 100K USD) and EBITDA margin is more than 40%. Calcutta Walks offers walking tours within the various neighborhoods of Calcutta. Apart from walking tours, Iftekhar also offers city tours, river cruises on the Hooghly and offbeat tours away from the city. Iftekhar’s unique social position has helped him develop his perspective, without which he would not be able to discover the diversity in his own city. He is active in the city’s social circles and a lot of his customers are foreign tourists. Iftekhar loves Kolkata and strives to change the quality of tourism in the city by raising industry standards. With low entry barriers to the walking tours business and high attrition rates at Calcutta Walks, Iftekhar is thinking of diversifying his offering to include a heritage boutique hotel. Should he go ahead? Why or why not?
CHATTERJEE, A. (2016). Calcutta Walks: Creating Something from Nothing. ESSEC Business School.