Bureau: When did you decide to take the path of entrepreneurship?
I had been drawn by the idea of building my own company since school. The
opportunity came while I was pursuing engineering at NIT Allahabad. My friends
and I created Support Gurukul. It
was an IT service company which assisted educational institutions in service
automation. The company began as a hobby and though we were small, building an establishment
from scratch and watching it grow to become a profitable venture was an amazing
graduation I distanced myself from the venture and worked with an investment
banking firm for a couple of years. Ironically I was drawn again to
entrepreneurship thanks to a twist in fate.
Bureau: Please tell us about your venture.
JustRide was born out of a personal experience. After purchasing a car, I
realised that I rarely used it for more than an hour in a day. However, I was
paying a good deal of money to clear the EMI’s. Unfortunately the car met with
an accident and was damaged beyond repair. I lost a good deal of money but the
experience inspired me to create JustRide.
looks to establish a car sharing economy by turning cars into earning members
of our families. Y Combinator, one of the most successful start-up
accelerators, internet giant Google and we concur that car sharing could be a
game changer in India.
capita car ownership rate in India lingers around 8%. With cost of owning a
vehicle shooting up with each passing year, the prospect of renting your car
when not in use could be a game changer in the Indian context. One shared car
has the potential of eliminating 15 vehicles from the streets. Given the
traffic scenario across major metros, sharing cars between multiple commuters
could help ease congestion.
are depreciating assets in nature but can be utilized by multiple individuals,
especially people who cannot afford a car or have migrated from tier 2 or tier
3 cities to metros. We are building it at a very primary level; we are creating
a connected car sharing system for urban India. There are two aspects to our
business, TWI and demand side. We source potential car buyersfrom the market,
who would want to own a car. We also work with existing owners who own a
private car but would prefer to rent it when they’re not using it; these people
can list the car on our platform and can make Rs.40000 to Rs.50000 in a month
from their vehicle. The flip aspect of the business is car rentals. It is for
the people who cannot afford a car. These people can rent a vehicle on our
platform. In essence owners can use their vehicles whenever they like while
making money by renting it when it lies idle. Our key innovation is Smart
Vehicle Technology (SVT) which analyses the way a driver handles a car.SVT lets
us know how good or bad a driver is. Based on this our system allots a scoreand
car owners can actually decide whether they want to give the car to a particular
partner with licensed car leasing firms and individual owners to add vehicles
to our platform. We typically lease the vehicles from people and provide them
profitable returns. With the help of web and mobile based service network, the
company links and facilitates transactions between the vendors and the
don’t own the cars we rent. The company model works into existing ecosystem,
guaranteeing fixed return to all stakeholders.
looks to redefine its hyper-local service model to deliver vehicles in less
than 10 minutes from their time of booking.
company has recently raised $3 million in a bridge round of funding from Y
Combinator and other global investors. The company was amongst the 3 Indian
startups selected by Y Combinator and has completed a three months mentorship
programme in Silicon Valley. It also received an investment of $120,000 earlier
this year from Y Combinator.
Bureau: What opportunities do you see in this sector?
3 million cars are sold in our country each year. Of this 90% are financed by
banks and NBFC’s. The average cost of financing a vehicle worth Rs. 6
lakhs is Rs. 14,000 – 17,000 per month. By listing their vehicles on our
platform, owners can make Rs. 30,000 – 35,000 on a monthly basis. Automobiles
sales in India are projected to reach a figure of 5 million per year by 2020.
If we are able to cover 2-3% of the total market, it would drive the number of
listed cars to 1 lakh. This clearly indicates that our market is much bigger
than Uber.The car-sharingmarket in India stands at a $9 billion in India with
3million people renting cars. We believe that this market will be 6-7 times
bigger than other car hailing companies such as Uber and Ola.
car-sharing market in India is expected to grow at 15 per cent over the next
three to four years. This opens a considerable opportunity for JustRide and
other primary players in this space.
This concept is gaining momentum in the younger population especially in
the age group of 25-35 years. This population is often seen renting out cars
for weekend holidays to travel to places as far as Goa and Koorg.
interesting facet of this service is that younger working professionals are
choosing to rent cars for a month or two, instead of buying new cars. There’s
no hassle of EMI payments, maintenance or insurance. This also enables them to
change the car model as and when they please.
portfolio investors (FPIs) worldwide believe that India is an attractive
investment destination among the emerging markets with a favourable trade and
settlement cycle, moderate tax rates and adequate investment limits says recent
report by PwC survey.
of the car rental companies unlike JustRide operate under the traditional
structure of purchasing cars. Since our companydoes notpurchase any vehicle, it
creates a win-win situation for us to grow.
Bureau: Did you face any challenge in your entrepreneurship journey?
Each day brings a new challenge. Car sharing is still in its early days in
India. Regulatory issues and at times lack of information at RTO’s create
Indian Motor Vehicles Act and the Rent-a-Cab scheme have stringent obligations
which discourage individual owners from renting cars without chauffeurs. The
law draws a distinction between commercial cars and stipulates that a special
license is required for leasing without drivers. To be eligible for the license
applicants must have a minimum of 50 cars in their fleet. The stipulation has
stifled the growth of car leasing in India.
Bureau: What are your plans for next 2 years?
JustRide had planned to expand to a dozen cities, from Mumbai, Pune and
Bengaluru. However, the start-up has now decided to go slow, and focus on
deeper penetration in each of the cities it is present in. It plans to have
around 2,000 cars on board from Bengaluru by July, around 2,000 from Mumbai and
1,000 from Pune by July next year. It has around 300 cars listed with it since
it switched to its new model and aims to double that number by December.We are
positive that we can scale to 10,000 cars within a couple of years.
plays a major part in a collaborative economy. If owners are sure that their
cars are in safe hands, we may very well see a lot more people lining up to
rent their vehicles.
Bureau: How do you motivate yourself?
Patience and positivity are the key factors for me. We often find that our
efforts might not bring the expected results at first, but if we keep our heads
down and patiently persist towards the goal, eventually all barriers give way.