Transport and Public Infrastructure in the country is lacking in cities, both big and small and everyday commuters face a myriad of issues while heading to and from work. Cityflo is an IIT alumni urban transportation startup focused on solving the daily commute problem using technology and data. Founded by Jerin Venad, Subhash Sundaravadivelu, Rushabh Shah, Rushabh Shah, Advaith Vishwanath and Sankalp Kelshikar who have worked at Goldman Sachs, BCG, AT Kearney, ITC, EY and Fractal Analytics, they came together to discuss this idea – and there has been no looking back since. We chat with the founders about the venture. An excerpt from the interview:
- What made you start your venture?
Daily commute is a stressful experience urban Indians face daily. Twice. When I started working, I experienced this problem first hand. Commute was either too expensive or too stressful. Our vision is to become the urban mass transportation company, which provides a comfortable and economic commute option.
- What has been the key to your business’s success?
Our customer-centricity and innovative outlook towards problem-solving have been vital in building the company. We have adopted a ‘tech-first’ approach to solving any problem that we encounter. This helps build scalable solutions, which will continue to stay put as the company grows in the future.
- What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
We are trusted by our customers with the very critical task of getting them to work on time. With the uncertain traffic in an Indian city, this is a challenging problem to solve. This calls for strong technology-enabled operations, which facilitates a well-monitored system which we constantly improve to bring to our customers the best experience.
- Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business?
We have mentors from the start-up ecosystem in the country, who act as sounding boards and strong critiques of our ideas.
- Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
In addition to leveraging technology to run lean and closely monitored operations, Cityflo is also developing an algorithm to design the most efficient network of routes in a city to maximise the utilization of our buses, so as to bring to our customers the economical service that we promise.
- What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
We have a robust feedback collection mechanism where we get to engage our customers daily. The Cityflo team frequently takes rides and interacts with customers to constantly learn from the service that we provide – a lot of our service enhancements stem from our learnings on these rides.
- What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?