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A Discussion with Mohak Nahta about Atlys – Fastest Visa Process Application (Mobile App)

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mohak nahta

Mohak Nahta is the founder and CEO of Atlys. Mohak is a self-starter with years of experience in developing intuitive products that solve or facilitate complex problems.

He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After university, he started his career as a software engineer at Pinterest.

During this time, Mohak assisted in creating innovative solutions aligned with company goals to ensure growth and success across his respective department.

Mohak is an avid traveler who’s visited 36 countries in total; and enjoys documenting his favorite local restaurants in whichever country he visits.

During his frequent travels, Mohak had to endure frustrating visa processes and regulations.

He has applied for over 60+ visas.

The Quick Bio

Mohak is a self-starter driven to create a world where people can travel freely.

Please tell us a little bit about your business – what is Atlys all about?

To fully understand what Atlys is all about, I first want to explain the problem we’re trying to solve

Billions of travelers worldwide are required to apply for a visa when visiting an international destination. Unfortunately, applying for a visa is no easy feat, and government bureaucracy complicates the process even further.

Most travelers identify visa applications as the biggest pain point when planning an international visit; it’s easy to understand why. Simply put, visa applications are time-consuming and frustrating.

Ultimately, applying for a visa can add unnecessary uncertainty, which no one wants to endure days before traveling.

Here at Atlys, we’re solving this problem.

Atlys is an app that simplifies and facilitates how you apply for a visa?

We are committed to providing a delightful visa experience so users can travel stress-free. The concept is simple but quite difficult to grasp.

I want to share a few features which should shed some light on what Atlys is all about.

  1. With Atlys, you can easily get all the required documents for your visa application without leaving your home. Some important documents on the app include visa application forms, travel itineraries, bank account statements, travel insurance, and more.
  2. You can complete your visa application unbelievably fast (literally). It takes a first-time Atlys user around 10 minutes to complete their first visa application. In addition, users can complete their second visa application exponentially faster. For example, we once had an Atlys user complete his Egypt Visa in 85 seconds.
  1. We have handy tools that facilitate specific pain points of the visa application process (these are free tools available to anyone). For example, we have built an appointment tool that finds the earliest available appointment date at the embassy where you plan to apply for your visa. The appointment tool allows applicants to easily find and schedule appointment slots that suit their needs.
  1. Atlys ensures you’re eligible to apply for a visa before starting your application. This is important as not all travelers know the visa type they must apply for when visiting a country.

The above features are just a few examples of how Atlys facilitates the visa application process. There are plenty more, and we’re constantly implementing new features to provide a delightful visa experience.

In summary, Atlys is about creating a world where people can travel freely and where your “passport type” does not restrict the countries you can visit.

What are your plans for the future, how do you plan to grow this company?

Our goal is to allow a stress-free visa experience for citizens around the globe.

Our immediate plans are to grow our presence in Asia, where fewer people enjoy the benefit of traveling without a visa. Here, we want to increase the visibility of Atlys and allow more travelers to enjoy a delightful visa experience.

In addition, we have made the app available to multiple countries around the world. However, we only provide a limited number of countries where citizens can get their visas on Atlys. The long-term goal is to include more countries for different passport holders to ensure all travelers can get a visa effortlessly. For now, the primary focus will be Asia.

How have the pandemic and Lockdown affected you or your new business?

Atlys was born during the pandemic when there was no travel happening.

Some lessons:

  1. Go get every single user. Starting out, we didn’t really have plenty of customers. So it’s important to be aggressive in finding travelers who can use our app. If you hear the word that someone can be a customer, do whatever it takes to get them.
  2. Do things that don’t scale: your first objective is to understand whether you’re solving a real problem.

How do you separate yourself from your competitors?

Our key insight was that about 95% of the information and requirements are the same across thousands of different visa processes. So on Atlys, if you do one visa, you’re ‘visa ready’ for about 150+ countries.

Simply put, your second visa application will be exponentially faster (seconds to be exact). After completing your first application, you’re effectively one tap away from almost every visa in the world.

Sure, a competitor can also get you that *one* visa, but using Atlys once unlocks almost every visa for you.

What were the top three mistakes you made starting your business, and what did you learn from them?

  1. Thought that product is more important than distribution: both are equally important, and sometimes the latter more. It’s difficult to prioritize which comes first. Finding a balance is key to ensuring growth and success.
  2. Sometimes obsessed over solutions more than drilling down on the problem. As you can guess, this can cause a host of complications. Especially where Atlys is trying to solve such a delicate problem (facilitating visa applications).
  3. Obsessing over support. I spent tons of time invested in customer support and ensuring a delightful experience. This meant less time spent on other important departments within the company. It’s best to balance what is considered a priority, especially when you need to lead a global team.

Tell us a little bit about your marketing process, what has been the most successful form of marketing for you?

Word of Mouth and SEO. For us, the goal was to find high-intent customers in the most cost-effective way.

WOM is relatively straightforward. From our side, we just need to provide a delightful visa experience and an irreplaceable travel companion (Atlys).

SEO, on the other hand, is a more aggressive way to increase visibility and generate leads. As a result, SEO has been top of the funnel over the last few months for Atlys.

What are you learning now? Why is that important?

As we expand to Asia, identifying customer personas has been crucial. I’ve been spending more time identifying customers’ expectations and experiences; and how Atlys can further facilitate visa applications.

This is important as most of our customers would come from this part of the world.

What’s a productivity tip you swear by?

No scheduled meetings. Call when you want something done. Quite controversial, I know, but don’t let discussions limit your productivity. Everyone has their own opinion on how things need to be approached and completed.

What helps you stay driven and motivated to keep going in your business?

The problem Atlys is trying to solve is no easy feat. As an Indian passport holder, I’ve had to endure tedious visa applications one too many times. I’m driven to create a world where people can travel effortlessly with certainty.

You can say the thing that drives me is that I haven’t solved the problem (just yet).

What valuable advice would you give new entrepreneurs starting out?

Make one customer very happy.

What is your definition of success?

A satisfied and delighted customer.

How do you personally overcome fear?

Shift my comfort zone: always try things that scare me at first. It doesn’t have to be something big but doing this enough times helps me overcome fear.

How can readers get in touch with you?

You can visit Atlys online, connect on LinkedIn, or reach out to the team on our Instagram and other socials.

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