Why We Don’t Give Discounts at Indiahikes

Many people call Indiahikes, asking us for discounts. They ask us whether we have early-bird discounts, student discounts, Christmas discounts and so on. 

When we tell them we don’t have these discounts, they ask us, “But other organisations have discounts. In fact their prices are lower than yours.” 

And my answer to them is always a statement that takes them aback. 

“Other organisations’ prices are lower because they don’t have a choice. Indiahikes is the leading organisation in India. Anyone who has to compete with Indiahikes has to price themselves lower.” 

This bold statement often leaves them perplexed. 

“What do you mean?” they asked.

And what I tell is something I want to share with you as well. 

“We are the pioneers in our country when it comes to high altitude trekking. 

Today, we have 20,000 trekkers going with us every year. And by no means do they choose us based on the trek fee.   

They trek with us because they feel safe with us even in the worst emergencies. We are the last word on safety in the mountains. In an emergency, everyone rushes to Indiahikes for help

People also choose us because of the Indiahikes trek experience. Our treks go much beyond seeing beautiful scenery and having a great time. 

We believe a trek has a great impact on your mind, body and spirit. When a trekker returns from an Indiahikes trek, he/she often comes back a changed person. It’s the Indiahikes experience that makes this possible, something you cannot add a price to.”

By the end of the call, they are usually convinced about what’s more important on a high altitude trek. 

We usually discuss this only internally, but I thought it would be OK to have you take a look at it. 

At Indiahikes, all of us work towards a motto we call ‘EPIQ-Value.’

“EPIQ-Value” is not just a wordplay on “epic value.” If you’ve trekked with Indiahikes, you’ll relate to these. If you’re not familiar with our treks, let me explain.

“E” in EPIQ stands for “Experience”

When trekkers come on an Indiahikes trek, they are not just signing up for a trek. We look at the trek as a mere foundation for something bigger, something more internal and life-changing. 

And this “life-changing experience” we’re aiming at doesn’t come on its own. 

You’ll see it in our every effort. Our Trek Leaders are never told “Take the trekkers safely and come back.” That’s a most basic expectation (even though this basic expectation itself requires extensive training). 

Our Trek Leaders go much beyond that. They take the team from the base camp, with one mission to not only make trekkers marvel at the outdoors, but also to see what they learn from the outdoors. They are trained extensively to do this.

So we’re not surprised when trekkers come back reflecting on their lives.

The “P” in EPIQ Value stands for “Pioneering”

Indiahikes has been defining the future of trekking in our country since 2008. In the history of Indian trekking, Indiahikes has played a pivotal role. We have changed and grown trekking, made it accessible to a new generation of Indians. 

We have done this by bringing in new and exhaustive trek information, opening new trails, setting new trekking trends, bringing in new safety systems, introducing cutting edge trek equipment, and fundamentally changing how waste is managed on treks. 

The impact of Indiahikes on Indian trekking is enormous. We have the legacy and responsibility of taking trekking forward. 

And trekkers who trek with us automatically understand that they are trekking with the pioneering organisation. It makes them feel special.  

The “I” in EPIQ Value stands for “Information”

When people think about Indiahikes, they first think of “information”. 

We started as a trek documentation organisation. We believed that the biggest problem in trekking was lack of information. It still is. So ten years ago, we started to bring out detailed trek information on our website. Today, the Indiahikes website is the largest database for trek information in our country. People simply download trail data and do the trek on their own.   

Over the past decade, thousands of trekkers have used our documentation to trek on their own. 

And I’m not just saying that. We get messages like these quite often. 

“You guys have put up an entire Encyclopedia of Hiking there. I admire IndiaHikes philosophy and mission objective, a true emblem of free spirited love for Nature, and like Nature making trails, trekking and hiking easy, affordable and reachable universally in best informative ways possible. Thanks a lot  for your and team Indiahikes unique, untiring and unmatched contributions to Hiking in India. Keep up the good work….and Shine.” – Ajay Verma

Our Information is who we are. You’ll see our deepest thoughts, our voice, our beliefs, laid out in our information. It’s what makes trekkers trust us with their decisions and with their lives. 

The “Q” in EPIQ Value stands for “Quality”

Many new employees at Indiahikes find it disconcerting that merely “getting the job done” is not enough here. Everything is researched and perfected over time.

And you’ll see this the moment you get on our trek. You’ll see it in the smallest of our actions. For example, everyone shudders to think of how they would go to the toilet in the mountains. Yet, at our campsites, our dry toilets are odourless. But to make a toilet odourless at high altitudes our Green Trails team has spent years in researching how to compost human feces quickly at high, cold, temperatures. 

Most people think this is a norm. But I must tell you, this is not the norm. I have not seen any other organisation come close to us in the attention we give to detail and research. To do this you need to have intention backed up by resources and money. 

Which brings me to the last bit. 

The “value” in EPIQ-Value stands for our “Core Values” that govern the EPIQ.

Every aspect of our work, whether experience, quality, information, or safety, is governed closely by our value systems. 

For most people it is strange that we are not guided by profits or revenues, but a set of core values. 

When we practise our core values, it permeates to everyone associated with us. It finally reaches our trekkers. It gives them a deeper reason to trek with us.

Which brings me back to discounts and lower fees — something many organisations rely on. They may try to achieve Indiahikes standards and we understand that. But it’s impossible.

It takes years to set the standards that Indiahikes has set.

It takes a long time to set up the kind of safety processes we have, an enormous amount of money to have the kind of talent we do and years of rigorous training to give the kind of trek experience that Indiahikes gives. 

Having said that, we do have lower fee for some special people and occasions

We have scholarships for children between 8 and 12. We believe children must trek. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that children in our country rarely trek. We have scholarships solely with the intention of seeing more children in the outdoors. So on our easy-moderate treks, we have a scholarship of 50% for children. 

Apart from that, the only “discount” we have is for large groups of 10 or above, where we waive off the fee for one person. If there are 20, we waive off the trek fee for two people.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts about this. Please drop in a comment below.

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10 thoughts on “Why We Don’t Give Discounts at Indiahikes

  1. Hi Swathi, Thank you for writing this down so well. I have trekked with India Hikes and I feel we are in the right and safe hands when we are at a home away from home. At the end of the trek, I feel I came with more (happiness, good health, safety, assurance, care, memories, food, friends and many more) than what I had actually spent on it (directly via India Hikes or indirectly).
    If a person/group is more attracted to the tag of Discount then it is better they thing again on their priorities. Saving a couple of bugs early in-game just to satisfy the human mind but then ending up in situations where you get compromised on various factors and end up complaining at the end is not a worthy trek.

  2. You are right. I am a regular with IndiaHikes and part of the trekker clan. My first experience was so good that I have never gone back to check with any other agency or compared the price because even if someone else has a lower price for the same trek, they cannot match the quality of trek leaders, tents, food etc.

  3. Swathi Madam
    Really I dont like to bargain with India Hikes for any cost related things. I alongwith with our group had a first experience with IH when we did the Rupin Pass in May 2019 as Third batch. As the saying goes “First impression is the Best impression” matches perfectly with IH. When we returned from our Rupin Trek last year we made up our mind to do Bali Pass Trek in May 2020 with IH. Recently couple of our teammates met your people in Bangalore office and they have put some restrictions on the participants’ physical aspects as there were some seniors in our group. In fact our group is well experienced in trekking since decades and hope to do this Bali trek without much difficulty. Meghana was our trek leader and she knows well about our performance and a senior most friend was awarded the best trekker with a loyalty voucher too.
    Kindly review the facts and allow us to participate in next year’s Bali trek without any hindance.

    Thanks and Regards

  4. I had experienced it once!
    Me and my cousin from South planned together for Roopkund trek.
    Two years back we chose some other trekking association over indiahikes only because of price difference!
    But what happened is that association which we choose strictly said at base camp that they only take us to Roopkund and not above place Junargali! (We never inquired about it afore. By seeing the photos we fixed ourselves that Junargali will be included.)
    Me and my cousin really got so much upset at that time. Then we thought later at roopkund we can request the guides to provide us just few extra hours so we will do it ourselves to Junargali. We just booked the trek mainly to see the view from Junargali.
    Soon as we reached Bhagwabasa camp at evening, we saw a small waterfall below the campsite. We just loved it. We requested camp leader to provide us two hours of time so we can see the waterfall and be back before 06 pm. We had a very good camp leader at Bhagwabasa camp. He agreed and it was only me and my cousin who went there and enjoyed the close view of that beautiful waterfall.
    With the same happiness and excitement next day we requested the guides in Roopkund to give us time to visit Junargali. But they never agreed to it! We requested them a lot. Really we both got angry at some point and disappointed a lot. It’s once in a life time trek for us. How could we miss that great place after so long trek. With broken heart we had to just see Indiahikes trekkers going up to Junagali from Roopkund and thought that saving few more thousand money we just lost the whole trek!

    Later we discussed that we need to surely do Roopkund trek again in future only to see Junargali! But it will be with Indiahikes. Let’s see if everything goes fine with time…..

  5. Hi Swathi,

    I have done trek with India hike in Aug-2019 (Valley of flowers) but frankly speaking the accommodation and food quality which i have experience was not up-to that expectation.

    I highlighted this issue during the trek. Its my recommendation that you maintain the quality rather than giving discount. Definitely when you go on trek you are in love with nature and end of the day what you expect is good hygiene stay and food which i could not found with India hikes.

  6. Great article. Agreed that IH already has a great customer base. Although, as a budget traveller and a trekking enthusiast, I’d be more motivated to trek via Indiahikes if I’m given discounts based on my engagement with IH.

  7. IH Team, While I agree with your statement that other organisation do not have a choice (but to lower prices), if they have to compete with IH. However, for regular IH trekkers, it is a good idea to build a loyalty mechanism to have more engaged and motivated Trekker. Milestone linked loyalty and redemption for patron / trekker would be something very very interesting and IH again will be the first one (pioneer) to do something like this 🙂 Think ahead and stay ahead of competition for your patron / customers. This will allow price conscious customers to not think beyond IH and further help IH to strategise engagement on discount’s queries #LoveforIH

  8. Really appreciate your email Swathi. I always read your emails with great interest not only because there is lot of info, but also they are well written. I am really looking forward to Indiahikes experience first hand, now that I have booked a trek with you coming March 20 @ Deoriatal Chandrashila.

  9. I agree on all the points you mentioned. I have recently treked with india hikes on Sandakphu. Had an amasing experience with India Hikes, no complains on services at all.
    I didn’t even look for any other service provider as i got very good reviews about India Hikes from my friend. Also accepted all the respective charges.
    But I had one question for you guys, 1st day only I came to know from other trekers about the overall trek charges and got shocked as I was paying 3.5k (approx) higher then others.
    Not sure why is this so (may be i booked at the last moment) also didn’t complaint at that time as I didn’t want to ruin all my happiness 🙂
    I’m not asking you to refund my amt, ‘coz I got much more what I was seeking from that trek, I’m only suggesting that trek price should be same for all the treker as you have limited seats and cost should be same. You could increase it may be for next group 🙂