Do you love your job and are passionate about it more than anything else in the world or is it something you have to do in order to get by? While everyone wants to land their dream job and work towards it their entire life, there might be an option B. Sometimes not having a career plan early in life can prove to be a blessing. No matter how many dead-end jobs get you there but once you find your passion, there is no turning back. It is fun and exciting to explore new options as you mature and finally find ‘The One. The joy of working for your passion and not dreading every minute of your work life is almost addictive. If you feel stuck and haven’t figured out what your passion is yet, read on for some much-needed inspiration because this man knows how to do it all!
Deepak Tanagekar is a self-made entrepreneur with a knack for tourism. He is popularly known as ‘Man with Goan stories’ on social media and rightly so as he knows Goa like the back of his hand. Born and brought up in Goa, Deepak has a deep connection with his hometown. He comes from a humble household where his father who worked as a gardener was the breadwinner for the family for a very long time. He didn’t have much growing up but as he matured, he started earning enough money to support himself and eventually his family.
Deepak studied at one of the best schools in town, Dnyanprassarak Mandlas College. He feels extremely grateful to his father because he made it possible for him to receive top-notch education despite all their hardships. As the family had limited finances, Deepak started working very early. At the age of 12-13, he started working at his own school in the evening and even slept there at night. He also worked on a part-time basis at hotels, ice cream parlors, etc. to help pay for his education.
Later on, he completed his diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology and studied to be a dental technician. The tuition fee was too high for him at the moment but he had some help from various acquaintances and therefore with their contribution, he was able to complete his studies.
He never made money a deciding factor in his life and dared to dream big.
Having lived in Goa since childhood, he loves everything about the place. He connects strongly with nature and the presence of a cocktail of cultures always intrigues him to explore and know more. Goa has always been a tourist destination and people of all ages, religions, and cultures visit Goa frequently. During his college years, Deepak met people from all over the country and loved showing them around. He showed Goa to them through his own lens and perspective and loved every bit of it. Soon after graduation he moved around different states of India and worked in various dental labs across Mumbai, Bengaluru, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and many more. This involved a lot of traveling but to his dismay, there wasn’t enough time to explore any of these places properly. He always felt the yearning to back to Goa as he truly belonged there and felt at peace.
Goa had a magnetic pull for Deepak so strong that he decided to leave his dental technician career and move back home full-time. He started working at tourist agencies like Make it happen, Blive, Soul Trippin, etc, all based out of Goa. He learned how to curate tours and experiences, and keep tourists safe and happy. He had realized that he was at his happiest when he was in Goa, so why not turn his passion into a career? While working at these companies, Deepak formed a deep understanding of tourism as a business and built a well-connected network of clients. He didn’t dread his job for even a minute, gave it his 110%, and learned everything there was to learn about being a tour guide and curator.
The birth of Man with Goan stories
He held on to his jobs until Covid 19 hit the world. The tourism industry in particular was affected immensely and it was then he finally decided to quit and start on his own. While Covid 19 was a tragic time for the world, it was a blessing in disguise for Deepak. He finally understood his capabilities and ventured on his own. He started small by just putting a word out on WhatsApp about him starting private tours. To his surprise a lot of his old clients expressed interest. They then spread the word and soon Deepak had more clients than he could handle. This proved to be a hurdle to his growth as he could manage groups of a maximum of 10 people at a time. Due to this reason he had to turn people away.
While he was working to solve this issue, due to Covid 19 and everyone being extra conscious, private and small group tours were in huge demand. This gave Deepak time to figure out his problem while continuing his journey. The unique factor about Deepak is that he makes it a point to bond with his clients and curate one-of-a-kind experiences for them that are less commercial and more insightful. He curates heritage tours, food tours, island tours, forest tours, and so on. Deepak eventually started asking for help in order to accept bigger groups. He didn’t want to compromise on the safety of clients. As a result, he can now manage a group of 50 people at a time. This has also helped him build a solid network, having at least one or more contact in all the states.
He claims that he is earning more money now as compared to his job previously during the peak tourist season time. He gets his clients on a referral basis and his old clients spread the word about him. He has no marketing plans at the moment. Why fix something that isn’t broken right?
He used to host 2 tours a day and now he hosts tours once or twice a week. As per him, business is running well and smoothly.
Master of many trades
Deepak is a master of many trades in addition to tourism. He is a fantastic dancer as well. He started working at a dance academy called Sneden Shawn dance company and eventually learned different dance forms while working there which he now sometimes includes in his tours to entertain his groups and bond with them. This is not all, he is also an amazing photographer, a skill he also honed while working. Tourists often asked him to click their pictures at various spots and a lot of his female clientele used to be very particular about angles and lighting. Instead of ignoring those demands, he took it as an opportunity and started enjoying clicking pictures. It wasn’t long before he developed some amazing photography skills and is now accompanied by many couples on tours specifically for photography.
Talking about his new venture, Deepak told us that he is running a dairy start-up in Goa. He handles the operations part of the business and leads the team. The start-up works on a subscription model delivering dairy products like milk, eggs, etc on a monthly rotational basis amongst Goa households. He wakes up at 3:00 a.m. every morning to oversee his team and morning deliveries. He initially started with 40 homes and within a year has reached 400 households.
His tourism business is also performing really well as he can plan the tours as per his schedule and is usually booked for months in advance. As for expansion, he wants to settle his dairy start-up and then focus on expanding his tourism business. Maybe 2-3 years down the lane he will start marketing his tours and will have enough bandwidth to accommodate everyone.
Within a span of 3-4 years, he has hosted over 2,000 tours. He also wants to host tours in different cities and parts of the world.
There is no shortcut to success and from Deepak’s story, it is evident that it is never too late to follow your heart. He studied to be a dental lab technician and switching to a completely different field can be a nerve-wracking decision. He feels thankful for all the good and the bad experiences that led him on to this beautiful journey where he remains connected with his roots and helps many others explore his beloved Goa from his own perspective. When you book Deepak Tanagekar as your tour guide you get a guide, a photographer, a dancer, and an honest person who puts his heart into curating unique experiences for you.