Irrespective of A Turbulent 2020, Dubai-Centered Travel-Focused Startup Pickvisa Is Betting On A Brighter 2021

“I preferred all people to appreciate touring like me, without the need of any obstacles.”

“I preferred all people to appreciate touring like me, without the need of any obstacles.” That’s the purpose why Baba Aghayev, back in 2014, resolved to located Pickvisa, a internet platform that can help in easing the visa application method for tourists across the world. “We are in this article with Pickvisa to take away at minimum 1 of the obstacles– visa processing hustle.’’ It was even though preparing for a journey to South Africa in 2014 that Aghayev recognized just how considerably of a headache it can be to locate information relating to applying for a visa to pay a visit to a nation. Before long after, he decided to develop a consumer-welcoming system that can help limit an applicant’s involvement in the processing of vacation, examine, and business enterprise visas to any country.

a man sitting on a bench posing for the camera: Baba Aghayev, founder,

Baba Aghayev, founder,

“We tackle e-visa purposes of 70 nations for any relevant nation citizens resided in all over the world,” Aghayev explains. “Applicants create a profile on our internet site, and use it for all e-visa purposes, without typing private details once again and yet again in each and every countries’ different sorts.” In fact, one of Pickvisa’s salient attributes is that it helps reduce the technological and time-consuming hurdles that appear with the portable doc format (PDF) used by most visa application sorts. “It is just an extra inconvenience as it requires time to download PDF editing applications, and nearly difficult to manage it in a cellular machine,” Aghayev notes. “We added 102 offline visa applications of a variety of nations around the world to our visa application variety generator software for candidates to fill them online in a consumer-friendly website page. When they complete it on any system, by a person click, the system prints it in an official visa software types of consulates as expected.”

a man sitting in a chair

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 Baba Aghayev, founder, Source:

A further attention-grabbing attribute Pickvisa has to supply is the visa opportunity calculator tool, at this time in its beta stage, which can help applicants help you save time and revenue when implementing for visas to the United States of The us, Canada, or the United Kingdom. By answering a few simple queries, crafted dependent on Pickvisa’s former situations, candidates can obtain out how much of a legit opportunity they have in getting visas to any of the three nations. “More than 50 percent of the candidates for the United states of america, Canada, and British isles visas are rejected every single yr, and they expend a lot of non-refundable service fees for applications,” Aghayev describes. “What if they realized they had less than 50% possibility to attain these visas beforehand? As results are based on real facts, the visa opportunity calculator will be improved month by month primarily based on new visa situations, and will become a lot more accurate.”


Load Mistake

Aghayev, who is also a travel blogger (test out his Instagram webpage @baba.aghayev) and the Secretary-Common and Board Member of Azerbaijan Tourism Bloggers Association, experienced plenty of ideas for Pickvisa in 2020. But with the COVID-19 pandemic putting the brakes on journey options across the globe, and international locations closing up its borders to keep away from visitors and tourists, his startup wasn’t able to stay clear of the detrimental effect felt throughout the world-wide travel field. “In the months of March and April, loads of travelers were being stuck in numerous international locations,” Aghayev remembers. “The demanding support we provided back again then was extending the lively visas for them to remain lengthier in places. Occasionally, we even now get phone calls from transit passengers who are caught in Dubai Global Airport, and will need help with a visa to another nation.”

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A single of the most impacted groups of vacationers throughout the crisis was that of university learners, with several either stranded in their house international locations unable to return to their campuses, or continuing to continue to be overseas in get to continue on their education and learning. Aghayev says that the purposes for college student visas improved exponentially all through this period of time. “Usually, the yearly split of our once-a-year profits amongst vacation and examine visas would be 70% compared to 20% (10% other visa types),” he claims. “2020 was all vice versa, as most of the buyers applied for examine visas. At the exact same time, plenty of students could not examine abroad, since of new procedures in some universities with regards to distant education. We did our most effective to help them in really hard moments.”

With the chaos that followed in the up coming couple of months, Pickvisa went into “a survival period” for all tourism products and solutions. With “cash in” being the greatest motive to make it by this period of time, the Pickvisa group resorted to other avenues to make sure profits. Opportunities this kind of as providing pre-get, early-fowl deals, companies, and products and solutions for far more inexpensive selling prices to faithful buyers, partnering with the appropriate corporations for affiliate profits to monetize website traffic, as perfectly as paid out webinars aided the business endure this tumultuous interval. The workforce also invested time in developing travel-related cellular cell phone games, as properly as augmented fact (AR) and digital fact (VR) tools– with most individuals confined to their homes for the greater part of the year, this go proved helpful to Pickvisa.

Saeid Ezatolahi et al. posing for a photo

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 The Pickvisa workforce. Supply:

Aghayev thinks that sticking to alternate routes such as these is pivotal to guaranteeing survival right up until the market place totally recovers. But he is also wary of the point that he and his team must use this time to additional make improvements to their present and impending visa application expert services to be completely geared up for a publish-pandemic entire world. “The most significant lesson this calendar year was ‘turning our bills to assets’ (i.e. opex to capex) in this kind of risky occasions,” he describes. “As soon as we comprehended that the market is down and it will not get better soon, we modified the class of steps towards strengthening our present-day property like the web site, visa instruments, and platforms we are developing.  It was, and still is, ‘assets developing time’ for us, for the tourism discipline.”

When asked about what is future, Aghayev replies in a blatantly straightforward style. “We do not know how lengthy it will get to gain this fight, but the tourism industry will go through at the very least in 2021 too,” he says. “Most of the places will proceed the lockdown for vacationers. Even so, there are quite a few countries whose main field is tourism as like legendary islands in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. The ongoing financial crisis will devastate the tourism marketplace in people lands, and it will just take many years to recuperate. In my impression, after the pandemic, the overall journey market capitalization will mature all around from 35% to 40% when compared to the pre-pandemic period. If we endure it, we will develop into more powerful!”

a person sitting at a desk and using a laptop computer

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 Pickvisa’s Dubai-based office. Supply:

But with hopes that most international locations will relieve visa documentation processes and use the e-visa process to get well speedily in a publish-pandemic earth, Aghayev proceeds to glance ahead to the upcoming. “As a startup mentality, we should really adapt to the latest condition, “he claims. “We have some programs related to VR and AR systems if the marketplace does not get better in the forthcoming 3 to 4 months.” In addition, the company’s Abeona, a B2B vacation portal that makes use of an integrated CRM process to assist compact journey agencies take care of customer info and far better communicate with them, is all set for a March 2021 launch. “I feel that every single calamity delivers lots of opportunities with it,” Aghayev concludes. “If we are in a problem, our rivals are, way too!”

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