Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be paid to travel to your favorite places and create life changing experiences for the travelers after you? Dream job, right? I'm sure we can all think of those special hole-in-the-wall places that we go back to time and time again to get that special pasta dish, that local cup o' joe, that life changing afternoon stroll. We find those places that we want to tell everyone about, yet secretly hope never gets exposed. The team at Banian Labs are doing just that by helping travelers get the most out of their trips through their network of local insiders and their dedicated team. We interviewed globetrotting Pasadena member, founder, and CEO Benny Xian about what makes his company so unique.
Q: In one sentence, describe who your company is and what you do.
A: We are an alternative travel company to help our members travel with purpose and passion.
Q: What is the problem you're solving?
A: We are helping travelers to get the most out of traveling. Through our network of insiders, we provide travelers with local insights and unique access.
Q: What brought your company to Los Angeles, and what do you like about the startup ecosystem here?
A: We came to Los Angeles because we want to be closer to our customers. Without a question, the startup ecosystem is definitely growing in LA. We love the creativity, the energy, and the diversity in people. It makes it interesting to be at the center of entertainment industry.
Q: How has being a part of the Cross Campus community helped you or your business grow?
A: We feel right at home the moment we moved into Cross Campus. In fact, we are so impressed by Ronen and Dan that we are listing Cross Campus as a featured Blue Wonder Spot. We want to grow with Cross Campus.
Q: What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
A: Seeing how we are making a difference for our customers.
Q: Tell me about a time you failed at a goal you needed to achieve.
A: We all have done this as entrepreneurs. The first product wasn’t quite right. The first team wasn’t quite the right people. But, with each attempt, we get better as a team and we learn going forward. It is what enables us to come to clarity and always lead us back to our original mission about purpose, passion, and meaning.
The rest naturally follows.
Q: What are some of the characteristics of people that have been successful at your company?
A: Tenacious, creative, driven, and purposeful!
Q: If your company were a Hogwarts house, which one would it be and why?
A: As a startup, we have to be all four! We need the courage of Gryffindor; the hard work, patience, justice, loyalty of Hufflepuff; the intelligence of Ravenclaw; and the resourcefulness of Slytherin. Without all four, it wouldn’t work.
Q: Who do you respect the most, and why?
A: Steve Jobs for pushing us to think differently. Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera and chairman of Japan Airlines, for successfully bringing business and spirituality together. Jesus for being the role model we should all follow.
Q: Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?
A: We don’t know how big Banian will get, butwe are building Banian to make a positive impact in people’s lives for the next 10 years and beyond.