It is never too easy for two people, coming from different family and educational backgrounds, to join hands and embark on a journey in search of unexplored places, bizarre traditions, inspiring people and delicious food. But so happened when brand manager Priyanka Mhatre and research scientist Pardeep Rana quit their respective jobs to launch Roamanchak. Born out of passion to explore the length and breadth of the ancient land called India, the duo, till date, has traversed 21 states, shooting and editing on the go.
Priyanka and Pardeep met at Jio where the former had started working as a manager and the latter was hired as an intern. But even after working tirelessly for two years, their hearts yearned for happiness. “The work was getting monotonous and there seemed no future. One day while discussing the same over dinner, we both realised we share the same dream – creating content while travelling. Thus was born Roamanchak, out of that struggle to find a new meaning in our lives. Nowadays, we can see everyone around saying the same thing, ‘I wish I could quit my job and travel’. We just did it. We had always said we wanted to see the world but before that we decided to see our own country first. This is how the Roamanchak journey started,” shares Priyanka.
But when someone takes such a step, do you think he/ she is taking the decision on gut feeling, leaving it on god or depending on destiny? “It’s a mix of everything but believing in yourself and your abilities. This feeling can only come from courage, something we had to teach ourselves. Belief in god and faith does play a role but again is a derivation of your self-belief,” says Pardeep.
Talking about the experience with Roamanchak till date, the duo says, “There were umpteen moments where we had no words to describe the beauty of a place. We started this journey to see the beauty of our country, to meet people from various cultures and beliefs as also to push our mental and physical boundaries. It has been nothing less than a rollercoaster ride. Roamanchak has taught us more about our country than any book could ever do. It has taught us to be courageous, adventurous and remain calm,” puts in Priyanka.
Let us meet the two adventurers…
Co-founder at Roamanchak, Priyanka Mhatre is a jack of all trades who says she is born to travel. “I was born in Mumbai but grew up in the Middle East (Oman and Dubai) where I spent most of my childhood. I moved five schools, two colleges, 13 homes and five cities. My father has been an avid traveller who ensured we went somewhere every weekend. Both my parents and sister are true travellers in the sense that they all love to explore the natural, cultural and historic side of a place. So, the explorer always lived within me. I returned to India in 2006 for my further education where I did my bachelors (in management from Bangalore). After this, Priyanka started her career as a financial researcher with JP Morgan and then moved to pursue an MBA degree.
The biggest decision Priyanka took was to quit her research dreams and follow the path of uncertainty to explore the strength of her creativity, until the world of content creation became her madness. After quitting her research job, Priyanka started working with Reliance Jio where she learned all the skills of content creation on the job from conceptualising, producing, directing to editing. She conceptualised and headed a food channel. Thereafter, she managed various social media campaigns including 11 minutes, an anti-smoking campaign starring Sunny Leone.
She then took the plunge to start her own entrepreneurial venture called 4th Wall Studios where she got to work with people like cricketer Rohit Sharma. Roamanchak has been a journey about courage, passion and determination that lead two people to acquire the necessary knowledge by any means possible to make their dreams come true.
“Returning to India was definitely difficult. It took some time to understand people, customs, and traditions. However, I love our country for its cultural complexity. The best travel experience I have had was in Nagaland during the Hornbill festival. This festival is about understanding a very vibrant community that is so different from the rest of the country,” says Priyanka.
On her experience in content creation and heading a food channel, she says, “Content creation space has changed drastically in the past few years due to the acceptance of social media. This has given people like me an opportunity to showcase their work. Heading the food channel gave me an understanding of digital space and audience expectations. It was a learning playground before I started Roamanchak.
The other half of Roamanchak, Pardeep Rana combines his passion for travel, spices of life and greediness for creating content. A conceptualiser, content producer, director, editor, travel influencer and social media manager on the go, his vision has led to Roamanchak’s first project which covers all the 29 Indian states and seven union territories in 100 days. Hailing from a small town in Himachal Pradesh, Pardeep is the only child of his parents who grew up around the beautiful Dhauladhar mountains. “After my schooling, I moved to Punjab for my graduation. I then left for Mumbai to do post-graduation in biotechnology. Soon after, I got a job offer from a research company where I worked as a researched scientist on breast cancer. As I was always interested in content creation, I joined Reliance Jio as an intern,” shares Pardeep.
Soon, his hard work and quest to learn new things in life led him to head a travel channel which took him across the globe. Due to his passion for travel, he worked with news channels and organised international trips for celebrities and this is how he tagged himself at 15 countries on the map within a span of eight months. Soon, he realised this was not the way he wanted to explore the world, so once again Pardeep look a leap of faith and quit his job to start his own venture.
How difficult was it for someone who was a bio-technologist into cancer research to change professions completely and move to an unknown territory? “I was doing well in the field and had a chance to do fully funded PhD in Germany. I was satisfied but not happy. I just imagined my life in a lab doing experiments for the rest of my life and I got scared. I always wanted to go in media space but never had any guidance or family support. One day when I got the opportunity and jumped for it,” he says.
On reactions from the family, he says, “The biggest issue was convincing dad. The entire family is scared of him, so am I. But I opened my heart in front of him for the first time and I asked him to give me one year to prove myself. I told him if I don’t succeed, I will go to Germany. I am a believer — I believe in magic, in fairy tales. I simply ask from the universe to guide me and it always does that. I follow small signals from my surrounding eg I believe in numbers and I think they always guide me in a mysterious way,” he adds.
About future, Pardeep says he is not the guy who plans and does stuff, Priyanka is looking forward to many more Roamanchak journeys.