The world is more connected than ever. In the world of globalisation, the transportation sector is the backbone of every nook and corner city. It is a well-acknowledged fact that the wheel is the foremost invention of an early man which has brought in a great change in the rate at which civilizations flourished. Transportation sector holds a dearest place in the economy of every country.
One thing which comprehends a developing country from a developed world is a reach of the transportation sector to every citizen. Developing countries still have a lot of room for improvement in this sector. One of the main reasons why established companies manage to open their branches in a well-connected city over a town or a village is a better network of transportation. There have been a lot of modes of transportation to be put to use by corporates, but a majority of services available regularly, have always been focussing on the individual customer and his choice of traveling. There isn’t any service which provides a customized mode of cars suitable for the corporate sector employees.
Corporate sectors require a very reliable, well organised and also secure mode of a transportation system to cater to its employee needs. Mostly, they choose some company who can take the delegation of the services with a click of a button. Bangalore based ProRido is one such company who have penetrated the market with the purpose of solving this highly unorganised sector. They are revolutionizing the car rental space through complete transparency, real-time tracking, best-in-class safety & security standards. Theirs specialize in providing multi-dimensional integrated app/portal (driver, employee, transport supervisor & fleet-in-charge) provides 100% transparency & cutting-edge safety & security standards ensuring on-time service, reliability & integrity.
Here is an interview with Mr. Ashish Bansal, Director of Prorido, and how they are solving providing services in a simple one-stop solution for the transportation of corporate employees.
From when you started this entrepreneurship?
Being in Corporate world for over 15 years, understanding & feeling the problem at hand around the road-transportation wherein, not many visible changes have happened, it looked to be an opportunity area. After sufficient info & research around the sector, it completely made sense to start it as there was clearly a need for this. The market is big enough for 1-3 more players who can become big enough & serve the larger market.
Though the seed to start something unique which would help in its own unique way was there for a while but we formally launched our venture “ProRido” as on 17th April 2017 at 10 AM IST in Bangalore immediately followed by our presence in New Delhi. The date & timing is important for all of us considering the conceptualization & pre-planning required for smooth execution & as we wanted to officially have a start date to track our own progress. Every month, we wanted to be 2x-3x better in our approach & for the overall business. This date helped us like a pillar to validate our progress, our movement/traction etc. Everything was pulled in less than 2 months & started with a great execution to meet the given date.
People involved in your business while starting up?
Once the mind was made up, I passed the idea across couple of very helpful senior management contacts, procurement & transport managers & few investors, did on-ground research while meeting face-to-face with over 370 drivers at Airport, RTO & big office complexes & few car rental companies who were kind enough to open-up & share their challenges. When as a pattern we got a thumbs-up from them, we started looking out for office & staff.
Our search for office & first set of people was quite challenging but it said, “when it has to happen, it happens. All you have to do is put your 100%”. We had our own learning around how to set up a new office from ground-up as none of the incubation offices or accelerators evaluated at that point was meeting our requirements for parking space etc.
Special thanks to our 2 advisors, Jasbir & Sivaram & initial 5 hires because of whose support we were able to launch successfully on the planned date. Needless to say, Thanks to my family who was a silent contributor. I must say, from their itself our learning was that if we believe in something, things would happen.
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We started our venture without anything unique in mind rather understand the car rental industry which is there for ages but little has been done to improve the same. To our shock, while we are doing research, we found that even after the presence of Ola, UBER & few more organized players, 86% of the industry players were unorganized & unstructured. There we thought we can build something new & can provide something to a large audience which is still missing even until today.
We launched our B2B tech-platform for corporate-like IT companies, hotels, airlines, builders & event managers. They can take benefit from the end-to-end tracking, best-in-class safety & security standards for their employees, premium guests & VIP’s as well as ensure value-for-money service with 100% visibility for end-to-end process & billing mechanism. We wanted to stick to car rental industry only rather than doing everything around hotel, flight & package bookings. Our focus was rather around providing a wide variety of cars which would help become a single point of contact for all of their passenger road transportation needs for a daily commute, special commute, events or marriages etc.
What was stopping you from becoming an entrepreneur?
I think when you are part of fortune companies for over 15 years, you end up getting into your comfort spot. I personally had fears on how would I manage my expenses; lifestyle & any future calamity god forbid if it may arise. Our mind is trained to derail us if we try to do something new & it was a great internal fight though it took only 1 thing to actually start it,
“it’s now or never & if you believe in it, make others believe in it & then make things happen to make the whole world believe in what you feel”.
What habits lead to your success?
I lived my life with 3 basic principles, eagerness to keep looking forward to change, learn from those who have who made it happen & respect & believe in yourself because there would always be situations which would challenge you & question everything you believe in. But if you stand your own ground no matter what, the game wouldn’t be over until you win.
These are the ground principles ProRido’s foundation was built upon & everyone parts of it imbibe these principles to this very day.
What makes you unique in an already competitor’s market?
Our commitment is towards value-for-money offering, best-in-class safety & security standards & using technology as an enabler rather than a tool to replace human beings in a labor-intensive country like India. This concept is what makes us stand out. We are very clear on not to compromise on our ground rules, utilize people, process & technology values to create a platform for complete transparency & trust for our stakeholders.
What is your future plan for ProRido?
We have already expanded our presence across 21 cities in India. Our target is to expand to 31 cities as our next hop without compromising our fundamentals & ground principals of ProRido.
Our focus is towards becoming the partner of the success story for others & mutually grow together.
What is your inspirational quote?
Like I mentioned before, “The game is not over, till we win”
Did you receive any funding from any Venture Capital?
Before starting ProRido, we discussed the proposal with few investors who are backing us. We are currently not raising any funding at the moment as we have a good run-rate with bootstrap funding as well as committed investments at the moment.
What message would you like to share with the new entrepreneur?
Stay focused & motivated, pivot decisively focuses on core business mostly rather than raising funding alone. Noone would believe in your company until you believe in it. Lastly, consider your company as a baby & nurture it as it grows older than trying to force its growth which clearly won’t help any party involved. Best of luck.
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