“Toehold: Making that picture worth a thousand words”
Click here to read the article on the Deccan Herald site. Here’s the transcript:
Capturing a memorable moment for posterity may be just about a click. But the click itself is a culmination of various intricate aspects, including line, shape/form, space, value, texture and colour, among other things.
When Jayanth Sharma, son of a professional photographer, found himself struggling with the art of photography, he realised that training could play a significant role in honing his skills. It is then that he founded Toehold Travel & Photography, a startup that brings photography and travel together, effectively. “In my own experience, I found that while youngsters’ interest in photography kept growing, there was a lack of training programmes and centres for the skill. This kept many from pursuing their hobby or discovering their talent in photography. As a result, Toehold was launched,” says Jayanth Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO of Toehold Travel & Photography.
The startup now offers a range of services in the space — photography workshops, camera rentals and photography tours. “Each service has been launched as auxiliary to the other. Photography enthusiasts would first like to learn some tricks of the trade, for which we offer training. Next, they will need equipment, which may be elaborate and expensive to invest in right away, so we offer rentals, and finally having picked up some technique, they would like to venture into some picturesque locations to practice their skill. Hence, we offer tours,” he says, adding, “Thus, what we offer becomes an end-to-end package.”
Toehold currently offers training services in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai, apart from Bengaluru. It has its rentals business in Bengaluru and Pune, from where it services Mumbai as well. And, photography tours, which contributes to about 60% of its business, boasts of 30 domestic and 10 international destinations. “We do about 90 to 100 trips in a year with wildlife destinations as the most preferred choice among customers. Street photography destinations like Varanasi and Pushkar are also in good demand,” he adds.
The bootstrapped startup has a team of 18 people in Bengaluru and six people in Pune. It plans to launch operations in Mumbai by October, this year.
Further, plans to raise angel funding to the tune of Rs 5-8 crore are underway. “Right now, we are in talks to raise funds. We should be able to close this round soon. These funds will go into setting up offices and rental services in Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai,” says Sharma.
Having held off 8,600 workshops and 2,500 photo expeditions so far, the company plans to introduce a new vertical within its business model, which it believes will be the revenue driver. “We plan to introduce personalised photography tours for private groups. As this will be a customised solution for the customer, we believe it can be scaled significantly,” he says. Having clocked Rs 7.7 crore in revenues in FY2016-17, Toehold is looking at Rs 10 crore in revenues this financial year.