TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’ Hardi Oza Patel: Passionate Traveller & Director, Velvet Escape: “There is nothing more powerful than a woman who is fully aware of everything she deserves!”

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At the age of 4, Hardi first saw an airplane and that very day, she decided that she would either travel around this beautiful world or become an astronomer.

Hardi tells TheGlitz, “Stars, moon, galaxies still intrigue me to the core. Places fascinate me. And hence with that passion and zeal to see the world, 16 years ago I started my Travel company. The vision was to guide people rightly when it came to travel. I wanted to spread the message that, “Travel is not about simply touching the place but it’s all about feeling the place in terms of its culture, cuisines, festivals, language, traditions, architecture, and music”. Travel is a sheer passion, and it’s my dream to reach as many people as I can so they can travel rightly. I have traveled and experienced the most unique parts of the world in this wonderful span of 16 years. From dining with lions to brunch with Orangutans to tea by the lake to staying in a glass house… I have done them all.”

Hardi adds, “Understanding the history and depth of the place has been my favorite and hence whenever I design an itinerary, little things like unique restaurants, quirky cafes, unusual stays, untread lanes are part of it so that one could truly take the local experience and make lasting memories. My wardrobe for each destination is pre-designed keeping the season, architecture & colors of that particular place in mind.” Read on as Hardi takes TheGlitz through the scenic beauty of the world through her travel tales.

Your journey has had many momentous milestones. Could you tell us about the life-changing milestones that have molded you to be what you are today?

The journey had been very long and tough but I always believed in never giving up. There was an instance where a very senior member from our Travel Fraternity told me 14 years ago that the vision you have set in travel to introduce experiential and luxury travel, will never be accepted by the herd mentality crowd and you will be a failure. Those words were enough to push me to give my 100% and make a space in a cluttered market where the focus was more on making money than giving the right guidance. I have traveled to 70+ countries, curated unique experiences and put across various clienteles. It was accepted and soon, I was loaded with work and inquiries where the focus was to travel in the right way and not to follow the crowd. I knew I would break the glass ceiling and I did.

What are the setbacks you have faced? How did you tackle these setbacks or challenges? And what lesson have you learned from it?

Covid was a major setback. The entire travel industry was shut and in panic. Travel agents were changing their profession as the future was bleak amidst lockdown. I survived as I had no credits in the market or with the clientele. Also, during those times when people were afraid to move out, I decided to step out. The friends, colleagues and acquaintances I had in cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati and Bangalore, I activated them. I fixed appointments with HNI’s, industrialists, bureaucrats and businessmen in these cities and started meeting them in person with my profile and the work that I do. Few around me were laughing that this woman is crazy, when an entire travel industry is shut with no news of reopening anytime soon, she is selling experiential travel. But that did not demotivate me, I was and am positive and have high aspirations so I continued those meetings. Believe me, post covid in the next 1.5 years, all those meetings started bearing fruits. 80% of the people I met came back to me and started taking my services and giving me top-tier references. There are no setbacks, it’s just how you rearrange yourself in bad times and come back stronger matters. Consistency and hard work are everything.

When you look back, what are the three qualities in you that have helped you become what you are today?

I am a Leo by sun sign so all the time radiate positive energy, I have a never ‘give up’ kind of attitude and I am a very hard-working person.

Who are the people who have been the wind behind your wings?

I have been blessed with an amazing family who has always let me fly, especially my dad, when I got slow, they stood by me emotionally and made me do things. I have very few friends but they can move mountains for me. They stay in Mumbai but I know, my one call and they would land in Ahmedabad. Shivang and Payal, I love them to the core. And I have a few friends here in Ahmedabad who have stood by me in the toughest of my times. My husband, Hiren Patel is the man behind the successful woman you see in me and last but not the least, it is said that when a women supports another woman, only miracles happen, that miracle and my constant support even if entire world goes against me, is my superpower women – my mother-in-law, Kailash. Without her, I would have never achieved so much.

Lastly, if there was a quote to define you, what would it be?

You can find me somewhere in between inspiring others, working on myself, dodging negativity, and slaying my goals. There is nothing more powerful than a woman who is fully aware of everything she deserves and everything I got, I earned and everything I am about to get, I deserve. This is what defines me.

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