The Barefoot Group was founded in 2002, with the chance coming together of Havelock based Mr. Susheel Dixit (pioneer of eco-tourism in Andaman Islands) and Port Blair born Deepak Govind with Chennai based entrepreneurs Samit Sawhny, Ashish Gupta and Siddharth Krishnamurthy.
Starting in 1997 from humble beginnings as a backpacker oasis at the now world famous Radhanagar Beach, the erstwhile Jungle Resort started by Susheel Dixit was later to undergo a transformation as "Barefoot at Havelock", the flagship resort of the Barefoot Group. The resort is now rated as No.1 in Andaman Islands on Tripadvisor, listed amongst Guardian Newspapers 40 best eco resorts of the world and voted in the top 3 resorts in India in the Readers' Choice survey of Lonely Planet Magazine.
Barefoot's journey started with an ambitious first-of-its kind project to link Port Blair with South East Asia by weekly flight by Barefoot Airtours, which ran until stopped by the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004. Following a 3 month sabbatical from all commercial operations to allow employees and management to join relief and rehabilitation efforts, Barefoot recapitalized its holding company and focused upon its core resort, leisure and destination management offerings. Since then, Barefoot at Havelock Resort has won a number of accolades for its unique concept and experience, Barefoot Scuba has grown to become South Asia's largest (and we believe, best) PADI dive center and Barefoot Holidays has emerged as the leading Andaman-based Destination Management Company, handling FIT bookings and large group and conference travel with equal aplomb.
Barefoot's journey has in many ways been synonymous with that of development of tourism in the Andaman Islands, as the resort and its promoters have together notched up a number of 'firsts', ever since the Islands gradually began to open up to tourists in the late 1990s. The organization created the first resort on any outlying island, ran the first international flights, built the first star rated beach resort, set up the first PADI 5-star dive and instructor development center and was the first to market the Andaman Islands at trade shows in India and overseas.The journey is barely begun. Barefoot aims to ensure that its pioneering legacy and early market leadership is sustained through continuous quality improvement and hopes to open new resorts and upgrade existing ones to remain a key driver of growth for high end sustainable tourism for the Andaman Islands.