BENGALURU: Little did Arjun Bir Singh (27) know that a road trip to Chikkamagaluru in June for Rs 3,500 would get a venture capitalist to invest in his startup.

Singh went on the trip with 15 others including venture capitalists, corporate executives, gamers, sports professionals, musicians and even pranik healers. At each pit stop, a traveller gave an inspiring talk about his personal and career journey. The holiday coupled with this unique workshop proved to be a good networking platform.

“I pitched my career story to an accompanying VC and he will be investing in my company now. The casual holiday environment helped as people invest easily in persons and not in ideas,” says Singh, founder of Recco. Recco is an online platform that connects freelancers to their clients.

Millennials are hopping on to a whole new segment in travel — edu-travel. Youngsters are combining a vacation with a workshop to learn a new skill or enhance professional knowledge.

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Fashion designer Ramya Girimaji (33) went on a monthlong edu-trip to Paris, Milan, London and New York in May. The trip that cost Rs 4 lakh, took Girimaji and six others to fashion houses and modern art museums. They undertook tasks like conceptualising a Paristhemed garment collection.

“All the girls on the trip have collaborated career-wise as conversations on a holiday are more engaging than in an official space,” said Girimaji.

Rahul Rekapalli, a programmer with an investment banking firm, put his first solo trip to Bali a year ago to good use. He attended a week-long workshop on fashion photography. “I don’t have the time to enrol in a university. This workshop helped me take publication-worthy photographs. In my free time, I would visit the rice fields, temples and tourist spots,” said Rekapalli.

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Success coach Savitha Nanjappa is taking her all-women entrepreneur clients to Bali this September. The four-day trip will include motivational talks on business-building and corporate career coaching besides lunch in paddy fields.

“Travel automatically puts you in an inspired mindset. It’s a pattern-interrupt. So, you have the time to pause and reflect on business ideas,” said Nanjappa.

The travel industry is seeing much potential in the segment too. Sayesha Sachdev (22) founded an edu-travel startup called Alt-101 that focusses on fashion tourism. “Bengaluru ranks first in edu-travel followed by Mumbai. The city is home to many youngsters who love to travel, have the ability to take a break and learn a skill while at it,” said Sachdev.

According to Seema Jaising of Che Experiences and Travels, edu-travel is the organic progression from corporate offsite. People want to study beyond the classroom, said she.

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