'Don't Get Caught In The Narrow Market, Entrepreneurs'
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Even in the times of Ola and Uber, everyday commute remains to be one of the biggest challenges in the country. Tapping into that segment effectively is Gurgaon-based bus aggregator platform Shuttl. Though a year old, the company has helped change the face of daily commute, claims its Co-founder, Amit Singh. Calm in his demeanor yet committed to his job, the entrepreneur has had an exciting journey till now. Entrepreneur explores.
How has your growth story been like?
Our growth story has been incredible. We are just 12 months old but in the passage we touched a million rides in these 194 days. Because the need was such, we grew very fast. But now, we are struggling to manage work. Building the tech team and building a product - that has been the challenge for us. The market is such that there is a big pain point. You have Rs 50 auto, Rs 10 shared autos etc. There is nothing in between – when you have nothing in between, it creates that space. We tapped into that space.
What has been your biggest learning as a company?
Hiring an immediate senior team is extremely important. If you get that right, lot of things start falling in place, if you don’t get that right, you end up becoming a fire tender, which means you to sink into many roles. An impeccable senior team can actually reflect on the business, work on the nuances and really take the company forward.
How do you deal with competition?
We don’t tend to get influenced. It’s like how Indian railways should not be worried about IndiGo airlines, no matter what. We are solving a different need; we are solving it for a different consumer. Our segment is very different; we don’t need to worry about others.
What have been your major challenges?
The business that we are in, it is an unlimited demand, but the scale is so much, execution is the biggest challenge. For execution, we need people and we need product. I think giving out quality, in the most efficient manner has been the biggest challenge in our entrepreneurial journey. I don’t think there is an instant solution for it, but we can only work towards improving our services.
Tell us more about the company’s funding?
Last month we had raised $20 million from Sequoia, Lightspeed. If you have a good team and a big market then it’s just the matter of execution and capital. So, good team, initial traction, big market are some of the things you need.
Advice to entrepreneurs?
Sometimes entrepreneurs get caught in that narrow market, that is not good for them or their company’s growth.
What are the company’s expansion plans?
In the next 6 months, we are planning to roll out in multiple cities but not in a big way. In a big way, we will take some time because it is a huge market. We may look at corporate tie-ups too.
This article first appeared in the Indian edition of Entrepreneur magazine (June 2016 Issue).