Starting a Mountain Biking Business in Queenstown!

Mountain biking is becoming more and more popular in Queenstown, and QRC Graduate Piyush Chavan took his passion for the industry and started his own business! TreadmarkNZ was built with the goal to make mountain biking more accessible to everyone, the idea for TreadmarkNZ stemmed from an assignment Piyush completed during his QRC studies. Check out more about how Piyush brought his business to life!

“Funnily enough TreadmarkNZ initially was a QRC assignment and the idea was born in the classroom in Sarah Langley’s class!”

Why did you choose to follow a career in tourism/hospitality?

  • I love being around people, events and more importantly being engaged. That being said, the career in Adventure tourism was chosen for me. I only knew I needed to do something that involved bikes and kept looking at opportunities to do so.

Why did you choose QRC?

  • I chose to come to QRC when I met a kiwi riding and racing in Bali and he told me I could come go to Queenstown and have a riding lifestyle. I went back home to find out that my friend I Slacklined with regularly also had been to Queenstown and QRC, being a believer in universal signs I decided to step in.

Where was your internship and what was the biggest “take away” from your internship experience? 

  • I interned at Cardrona for summer and Game over for the winter. My takeaway was that I work better and more importantly care for what I do if I’m surrounded by the right people. The environment I realised just had to be conducive for me bring my full potential on board. Both places provided those insights in various situations and I regard my internship as a positive experience.

Tell me about your journey since leaving QRC and starting your own business.

  • Since Term 6 at QRC I started coaching for the junior mtb club as a volunteer. I realised again how much I loved being a part of progression of kids and community. Shortly after covid hit and I was really lost in what I wanted to do, especially after completing a Diploma in Adventure Tourism and tourism coming to a standstill in Queenstown right after completing it.
  • I decided in Sep 2020 that I’ll start my own business. Realising that being on an open post study visa allowed me to do so, I started the long process of bank loans, concessions and licenses, creating a SMS and preparing for a Health and Safety audit. On 22nd Feb 2021 TreadmarkNZ was born after a hard tussle of paperwork, long hours refining SMS and reading insurance contracts in my spare time. All of this was possible due to support from Managers at Torpedo7 which let me have the balance I needed for my mission and QMTBC, QLDC, DOC and Adventure Mark who also assisted with great enthusiasm.
  • Funnily enough TreadmarkNZ initially was a QRC assignment and the idea was born in the classroom in Sarah Langley’s class. I’m very grateful to her and Sue’s encouraging energy that helped me sow my initial seeds. The business has since served over a 100 clients through regular weekly and private sessions.

What are your main responsibilities? 

  • Current responsibilities in running TreadmarkNZ involve
    • Organising and planning sessions according to our Levels program which is designed to coach and teach efficiently.
    • Implementation of our SMS.
    • Trip and incident reporting.
    • Maintaining rules of concessions and licenses.
    • Accounting and admin.
    • Website building and creating advertisements, videos other material to get services across.
    • Training and inducting new contracted coaches to our SMS and coaching program.
    • Coaching kids and adults and recording improvements in our coaching program.
    • Being an active part of the industry wherever possible.

How did your time at QRC help prepare you to start your own business? 

  • The assignments were very valid. I made the SMS as an assignment, understood NZ law, formed a profit and loss statement, had thorough insights right from how revenue works to on field customer service through QRC. I am glad that for the time I gave my attention in class I was able to make something productive out of it.

What do you enjoy most about owning your own business? 

  • A sense of responsibility. I’m in a position that makes difference to the community and is involved collectively to enrich the experience of people who live here. Always believed if things are good they can be better – so living in Queenstown I absolutely love the fact that our team gets to be involved and play a role in the community. The business, I’ve come to realise is a responsibility more than a possession and this helps me keep my ego out of what should be done and what needs to be done.

What are your plans for the future? 

  • Personally, I do not have an accurate idea. I’m only trying to build blocks to form the bigger picture that I have in mind. The picture constantly changes and so do my plans. I only have an understanding of what I need to do at a given point and try to follow that instinct as thoroughly as possible. You will however see more of coaching programs in diverse setting and with borders opening we’re looking at providing new services to our new international clients.


Check out TreadmarkNZ on social media: @TreadmarkNZ or online www.treadmark.co.nz

Study Adventure Tourism Management and start your own business!

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