Travel | Work | Aspire - International internships in the Emerging Markets of Africa & Asia.
As featured on the BBC and In The Times, Career Journey International provide unique opportunities to combine work and travel in the unique and diverse settings of Ghana and India.
Our own escape involved one consultant and two doctors leaving their jobs to found and run two start-up businesses: Career Journey International and Medic Journey International.
Now those two businesses are providing similar escape routes for young professionals who want to challenge themselves – personally, professionally and geographically.
Career Journey International provides a platform for people to live and work in the key emerging market of India – the only English-speaking BRIC economy.
Based in the thriving hubs of Mumbai and Bangalore, our placements are a platform for you to travel, ‘internationalise’ your CV, and stretch yourself in every possible way.
George: I think in two ways. First, we have taken the plunge and left, in my case, the corporate world, to launch a business we are passionate about. We would be happy to discuss that challenge, especially with those looking to travel, or work, in India.
Secondly, we offer a unique platform to go to India, learn what it’s all about, do some travelling, and get an amazing work experience. Whether you’re looking to get a foot in the emerging markets door, internationalise your career, boost your CV or change job sector, we can help. So please get in touch!
George: I am currently living and working in India – based in Bangalore, with regular trips to Mumbai. I am supervising the program on the ground and developing our business relationships here. It’s an amazing experience. In many ways, I see it through the eyes of our program participants. Like them, I negotiate a rickshaw to work and am constantly learning new things about the ‘nuances’ of business in India. In a cultural and a business sense, India is like no other place on Earth.
Ricky: I am based in London, where I visit Universities to talk about our program, and give free lectures on entrepreneurship and the challenges of starting a cross-continental business. I also oversee our sister company, Medic Journey International, which prepares students for medical school and helps existing medics visit India for their electives.
George: I was working for Accenture as a management consultant. Before that, I worked for Pearson in North America.
Ricky: I was a Senior Registrar in Radiology, working for the NHS. I still practice medicine but on a part time basis.
George: This was an idea I’d had a while ago. Ricky and Chris (our other business partner) asked me to revisit it with them, in conjunction with a medical business drawing on their expertise. We started exploring it while in our other jobs. The moment of truth for me was realising that the idea seemed more robust the more we got into it. Usually it’s the other way around. When it all aligned it was a case of: ‘Right – we have to go for it!’
Ricky: We knew we wanted to start a business and we were always passionate about providing unique experiences for people who wanted to travel and do something different. With the economic picture changing, and students and young professionals increasingly looking to combine travel and work experiences, it was good timing. But the real moment of truth was when we left our fulltime posts to dive in at the deep end!
Ricky: Planning wise, George and I took a business trip to India to ensure the viability of providing exceptional work and travel experiences. We met with over 30 businesses and from those we formed enough meaningful partnerships to get the ball rolling. We also put in place the logistical elements of the package.
George: We are fully self-funded. We were very lean to start with. And in our first year, we rejected several offers for funding. We felt it was important to hold on to equity – at least until we had done everything in our power to build its value. We have been lucky enough to pay back our startup costs within year one.
George: The best – by far – has been the great experiences our candidates have had through the program. We have had students attend red carpet events and get articles published in 500,000 circulation newspapers; get books published with an editorial credit on the front cover; work on global marketing campaigns; help disadvantaged children; and even take up full time positions in India. We’ve introduced many people to a great country they might not have otherwise experienced.
Ricky: The worst part would probably be getting to grips with areas where we don’t have a great deal of expertise – like SEO work. We’ve spent some long weekends on that one!
Ricky: A close friend of mine, who started a very successful business, always said things take a little longer than you plan. It’s is critical you stay positive throughout. I always say the most important aspect of your business is the team you surround yourself with. Without excellent colleagues and a shared vision, you have a real struggle on your hands
George: Hire good people and get a good accountant!
George: People who have started businesses of their own are the best resource. My dad has been very supportive in that way. I also read a great book – How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – which I would highly recommend.
Ricky: Dealing with India is a unique and exciting challenge. The culture is very different and takes a bit of time to get used to. In this situation it’s imperative to have a good local team who can advise you. We have this with business partners in both Mumbai and Bangalore.