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This Startup Provides Travel Security Solutions to Foreign Tourists Coming to India India Assist comes to rescue when unforeseeable circumstances such as theft create obstacles in your trip

By Shipra Singh

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The iconic Taj Mahal, sumptuous Delhi street food and varied cultures—you are having the perfect vacation in India. This is until you get mugged and lose all your belongings, which includes your passport, wallet and other important documents.

Every year thousands of people coming to India for work or leisure get robbed. As per a 2017 report by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 66.8% of the total crimes recorded against foreign travelers in India were of theft.

So who do you turn to in a foreign land? India Assist (IA), a Delhi-based start-up, can come to your rescue when such unforeseeable circumstances create obstacles in your trip.

On-ground assistance in distress

IA mobile app provides on-call and ground assistance to foreign travelers in distress in just a few taps. On the need for such a service, Harish Khatri, Founder, India Assist, says, "There is no centralised mechanism to assist and streamline needs of foreign travelers coming to India. In time of need, they approach locals and are likely to get unverified assistance from them. Through IA we are trying to create a centralised mechanism wherein through a mobile app they can get best solutions to their queries."

The platform goes one step beyond travel insurance policies by providing on-ground assistance. A travel insurance policy will protect you against the financial loss arising out of theft or loss of baggage, whereas IA sends manual help to the sight of robbery.

The assistant will escort you to the nearest police station to help you file a first information report (FIR). If required, the assistant will also connect you to embassy officials for further help and drop you at the hotel you are staying in. "The embassy can help issue a new passport but the affected party has to take care of the legal formalities himself. Stranded on the sight of robbery, in panic, how does the tourist figure out what to do? This is where we come in," says Khatri.

Help just a few taps away

Before embarking on your vacation, sign up on the IA app and list your trip details on it. During your travel, you can click the "assistance' button to connect with the call center for any information, suggestion or assistance that you require.

It's a subscription based platform where the subscription amount will depend on factors such as the length of your vacation and the places you will visit.

Shipra Singh

Entrepreneur Staff

Freelance Journalist

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