Inspirational Woman: Angelee Rathor | Founder & Managing Director, SevenTravel

Angelee RathorAngelee Rathor is the founder and managing director of SevenTravel, a company she masterminded in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic with the support of her business partner Bal Sohal, the CEO of SevenCapital.

Many people probably thought it was a crazy leap of faith, but Angelee saw an opportunity to create a new type of travel – one that’s more considered, sustainable and designed for the future. Her love for travel began from childhood, with many trips back to India but also discovering many parts of the UK. Since then, she’s loved seeking out new and interesting destinations with culture and adventure at the forefront. Now, she loves seeing countries through the eyes of her two children.

Angelee has worked with the travel industry for over twelve years thanks to her other business, SevenEvents. Set up in 2009 with a business marketing degree and following in the footsteps of her family’s background in business, Angelee and her team haven’t looked back since. They’ve crafted countless bespoke events for all kinds of industries, both here in the UK and overseas. Now, Angelee is using her forward-thinking mentality to help create once-in-a-lifetime experiences for SevenTravel clients.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I am the Founder and Managing Director of SevenTravel, a positive-impact, luxury travel company I thought up in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic with the support of my business partner Bal Sohal, CEO SevenCapital.

During this time, I saw an opportunity to create a new type of travel – one that’s more considered, sustainable and designed for the future. Having worked in the travel industry for over twelve years thanks to my other business, SevenEvents, I have crafted countless bespoke events. Now, I’m using this experience and a desire to facilitate more mindful travel to help create once-in-a-lifetime experiences for our SevenTravel clients.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I always knew that I had a mind for business. I studied a BA Hons in Business & Marketing and always had a real passion for leadership and success. I knew that I wanted to follow in my family’s footsteps of owning a business. That said, I never knew it would lead me into Events and then Travel, so planning wasn’t the case throughout.

You recently launched SevenTravel – tell us a bit more about this

SevenTravel is a positive-impact, luxury travel company, which specialises in tailor-made milestone trips that expand travellers’ worlds, through unique adventures and authentic experiences across the globe.

We have a bold vision to redefine travel for the better. For conscious couples that crave culture, for solo travellers that want to expand their horizons, and experience junkies that want to make memories and tick off their bucket-list, whilst knowing that it’s having a positive impact.

Through bespoke itineraries crafted by our expert team of travel specialists, SevenTravel weaves our clients into the very fabric of the country they’re visiting – taking only treasured memories and a fresh perspective home.

You launched the business during the COVID pandemic – how challenging has this been and how have you navigated the pandemic?

I’m naturally a positive person, always trying to find a solution to the problem rather than let the problem get to me. However, the single biggest challenge has been the Coronavirus pandemic. It gave me many sleepless nights as I felt a huge responsibility to look after and safeguard my small, loyal Events team. It was also a lonely time as a leader and challenging to find or see what the solution could be in this scenario as the situation was so unknown. But as success is the only option (my mantra), I managed to navigate my way out to the other side and appreciate my team even more.

The pandemic also inspired SevenTravel with a desire to facilitate mindful travel – perhaps we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for it!

Do you have any advice for budding entrepreneurs?

Make a plan, be agile, be realistic and be strong. You have to believe in yourself for people to believe in you. Once you have that nailed, go for it!

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

It sounds cliché, but I wouldn’t want people to be judged on race or gender but instead on their acumen. This should be from school age, where a ‘no limits’ ethic should be instilled. It’s improving, but there is a lot more progress to be made.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

A direct piece of advice that came from Bal, my business partner and investor. He has always said, “think big Angelee, don’t let your mindset be a hindrance. Aim for the stars.” It would have been great to instil this mindset at a younger age.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

My next challenge! I don’t think I have time for any more challenges at the moment. With SevenTravel being so new, my aspiration is for us to be a successful luxury travel company whose values are obvious in everything we do. I would like us to be recognised as an industry leader and have a loyal and happy customer base. 

What sets SevenTravel apart from other luxury travel companies?

The thought process behind SevenTravel was thoroughly researched. I noticed how booking a trip had become as quick and mindless a decision as booking a restaurant, and I knew that I wanted to bring more of a mindful approach to travel – from choosing the destination, the experience and learning about local traditions and communities.

Just like fast-fashion is becoming ‘out of fashion’, fast travel is a concept that just doesn’t make sense anymore. This is a type of travel that is disposable, unsustainable, bad for the planet and often lacks the enrichment that travel should have. Each time we book a SevenTravel trip with a client it’s a positive change for the travel industry – that’s pretty special.

As well as making a difference to the sector, through each SevenTravel booking, we donate £50 to our Positive Future Fund. This money is then donated to our personally selected collection of global charities that support and empower local communities and conservancies – further harnessing the power of travel as a force for good.

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