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Fly With Me

Travel is not often all it is romanticized to be. It involves long layovers, unfamiliar surroundings, strange situations and often, disturbing incidents. Yet, we do travel, for there is so much to see, explore and experience. Travel opens up our minds, reminding us that those across political and geographical barriers are our brethren.

Two business associates, frequent flyers and fast friends who love to travel and have firsthand knowledge of the drudgery of it, took matters into their own hands. It was sobering for them to realize that these days people generally view each other with distrust and that one rarely makes friends while traveling anymore. The pair decided to harness the power of technology and smartphones to give travelers a chance to connect with fellow flyers.

‘Fly With Me’ as the name of the app suggests, is designed for people who are flying to reach their destinations. It is for the frequent traveller and the novice flyer; the holidaymaker and the businessman. It is for those flying alone and for those flying with their families. The app helps one to find others who are using Fly With Me, taking the same flight. Since verification is done using a registered mobile number one can be quite certain that it is not a bogus request. The app does not give out the user’s mobile number instead uses an email to help the two to connect. This not just ensures privacy, but ultimately allows the user to choose who to connect with and who to ignore.

Since its launch a couple of weeks ago, the app is slowly building a community of flyers who want to use the opportunity to meet others of the same ilk. The actual launch ceremony was a quite affair, though a marketing blitzkrieg as is the norm for such products. The promoters and developers want the app to gain in popularity, organically. The founders of the app are certain that it provides a niche service in the domain of travel. The tie up with two Hong Kong airlines is guaranteed to give a boost to the new app in the travel sector.

Mr. Ashraf and Mr. Zhu Jun, or Steven as he is known, are the co-founders of the app. There many ventures are spread across South East Asia and the Middle East. The two believe that social media and other innovations will create new opportunities and present hitherto unexplored avenues for business and trade. As the world grows into a tighter global village, it is necessary to form partnerships that businesses sans borders.

Steven, is the founder of Shijin Industry LTD and Founder of Shenzhen KMC Trading Ltd, hails from Shaoyang City, Hunan Province, China. From an overseas marketing manager to sales department director to entrepreneur, the Steven’s journey is inspiring to all those who want to venture beyond their comfort zone. Armed with a Masters degree in Electronics and Information Science Technology, he has continued to learn and is proud of his HuaWei IT Network Engineering certificate and college teacher’s certificate from the Ministry Education in China.

A little history

In 2014, when Steven came to India for the inauguration of the Young Chamber of Commerce of which Mr. Ashraf is the chairperson, they has a plan, a big one. A large database management application which would ideally benefit exporters was already being developed. A company located in Techno park Trivandrum was to complete and launch the app. With Steven, the marketing magnate by his side, Mr. Ashraf flew to China to launch it there. The pre-launch was a great success and orders poured in, in huge numbers. The duo knew that their first venture was going to make a big difference in the export and import business. With their first step successful, they flew back to India to finalize the deal with the IT firm. Unfortunately, things did not work out as planned.

After the failed undertaking, the pair kept themselves away from further ventures. Until ‘Fly With Me’ an innovative project to connect people. The two jetsetters are once again venture into an area close to their hearts.
The application ‘Fly with me’ required a lot of researching, experimenting, and learning and it offers value added services to end users. It is not just a ‘start-up’ project but surely a ‘grown up’ project. The team is working continuously to further improve the app as they start receiving valuable feedback from their first users.

Why Hong Kong?

The choice of Hong Kong as the location for the launch of this project was in keeping with the services offered by the app. With one of the busiest airports and ports in the world, the tiny region attracts people from all over the globe. Travelers, traders and businessmen traverse this business hub in search of deals, bargains and innovative ideas to take back home.

Hong Kong, also the gateway to the Chinese market. According to the reports, seven new Indian companies have registered in HK last year. The friendly tax structure is what attracts many to set up their offices here. As reported by Indian Express, Jimmy Chiang, Associate Director General, Invest HK said. “Indian companies need to pay only 5 percent withholding tax for their businesses in China if they are routed through Hong Kong. Otherwise, there’s 10 percent tax.”
The people behind ‘Fly with Me’ app clearly state that their preference of HK over Silicon Valley is its vibrant and still robust business atmosphere. Countries like China and India are making huge leaps in the field of basic computer research and software, and competing well with the established giants located in the US. In tandem with his friend Steven, the dynamic duo is surely bringing an innovative technology to the exciting world of travel. Riding on the success of Fly With Me are many more exciting products, already in the pipeline.

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Cochin Herald

All stories by: Cochin Herald