In 2014, an investment banker Oshank Soni undertook a road trip from Sikkim to Gangtok, which ended with a trek to Goechala Summit.

This experience prompted him to leave behind his life as a banker and instead, build a full-time career in travel.

His friends Harshit Patel, a certified mountaineer, and Mohit Goswami, an engineering graduate, joined him on this journey.

Putting their passion to trek and desire to travel into action, the three launched a startup called Trekmunk in 2016 which clocked a turnover of Rs 1 crore. 

Oshank and Harshit attended an intensive 10-day course called ‘Wilderness First Responder’ held at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in the United States.

This, he says, gave them the confidence to chart their own trekking paths and also take others with them.

Aside from travel, the three friends wanted to promote tourism in new areas. “While most tourists are familiar with trails like Kedarkantha, no one is aware of Buran Ghati, Lamkhaga pass, and Chamser Khangri,” says Oshank.

In January 2017, Trekmunk organised its first 5-day trek to Harmuk Valley. There were three separate batches and each batch had less than 10 members.

The trio also want to generate income for the locals, promote sustainability, and reduce pressure on the mountain environment.

They believe in doing something different through their trips and treks. One instance was when they organised medical camps for the residents of Sankri village, 200 km away from Dehradun.

They then introduced ‘Trash-free Himalaya’ treks, encouraging volunteers to trek to different Himalayan locations after the tourist season is over to clear up the trash left behind.

They charge half the usual price to these volunteers for the treks and also give them free food and accommodation.