In certain cities, you need a car to get around. But most people find, with cabs, autos and public transport- they don’t need a car every day. The question many urban office goers are faced with is- do I need to buy a car? JustRide, founded by Ashwarya Singh, Abhishek Mahajan, Hemant Kumar Sah, Vasant Verma and Amit Sahu has the answer. Justride.in is India’s first aggregator service in the business of car rentals. With JustRide you can hire cars for self-drive by the hour, day or week and have them delivered right at your doorstep. We chat with Ashwarya about the venture. An excerpt from the interview:
- What made you start your venture?
JustRide was born born out of an accident, literally. My newly purchased Ford Figo had damaged beyond repair in an unfortunate mishap. Though the insurance covered a substantial amount, I was left without a car and did not have the patience to go through the ordeal of purchasing another one. It was then that it struck me that if I had the option to rent a car, whenever I needed one, I wouldn’t have bought the Figo in the first place.
- What has been the key to your business’s success?
Rising cost of car ownership and the changing aspirations of the youth has driven demand. Our lifestyle has changed and many of us are hopping cities every year, in search of better job opportunities. People are shunning car ownership as it creates an added liability.
- What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
Regulatory laws which govern self-drive car rentals are choking the business as it is mandatory for operators to possess a fleet of 50 cars in order to obtain a license.
- Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business?
We are being mentored by Google in our attempt to be the Airbnb of cars. We were one of the 8 startups shortlisted by the search giant for the maiden edition of the Google Launchpad Accelerator program. We had a 3 week crash course covering aspects of UI/UX. We’re in touch with our mentors in California who’re assisting us in exploring new avenues of revenue generation through technology.
- Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
We’ve developed our in-house Smart Vehicle Technology which makes use of a car’s On-board Diagnostics System (OBD) and relays data in real time to a central server. The harvested data is then used to generate a customer performance index to grade the customer based on his driving skills. We shall soon be switching to a dynamic pricing system where customers with good skills with the wheels shall be offered discounted rates.
- What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
We take negative feedbacks from customers very seriously. We have come up with innovative solutions in the past to help enrich customer experience. We have recently launched an instant refund option after receiving complaints on delays in security refunds. At JustRide, feedback plays a pivotal role in product design.
- What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?