You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Sharing economy has taken-off on a good note in India, with companies like Ola, Uber and Airbnb are riding on the overwhelming acceptance of this novel concept in India.
Riding on the overwhelming response from this concept, Shubham Jain, Manish S Sugandhi and Aditya Sharma started GrabOnRent in 2015. They were later joined by Nikunj Agarwalla. Bengaluru-based startup is a one-stop shop for the floating population and workplaces in the Silicon Valley, who can now rent regular appliances, furniture, office equipment and gadgets which are required to set up a home.
In a conversation with Entrepreneur India, Shubham and Manish, went back in time where the three of them shared a room in college and were a part of college fests at IIT Guwahati. While running a design firm, their day-to-day experiences was an eye opener on how scrambled and disorganized the market of renting these necessities was back then. Back then, the trio found themselves running around to rent out basic office equipments like laptops, printers and other requisites.
GrabOnRent aims to disrupt sharing economy in India with a vision to make any product available, to anyone, by introducing an alternate consumption method other than buying. The company assists its merchant network to reach a larger audience with quality products and offers a convenient rental options for products its customers require only for a limited duration. Thereby, making renting a much more viable option, rather then buying.
Who’s the target customer?
While startups like Furlenco also cater into the renting space, Shubham said that GrabOnRent caters more into the floating population, which constitutes 75 percent of its clientele. “What we believe is that renting a furniture only makes sense for those residing in an area for less than a year and that person is my target. If he decides to reside in the city for long, I myself would suggest him to go buy the furniture and appliance,” he said.
They said that GrabOnRent also caters into the set of people who hire things for a day or a week, like DSLR cameras, barbeque kit, party equipment and other things.
The company has already received a round of pre-series A funding from IvyCap Ventures Trust and Unicorn India Ventures Trust. According to Shubham investors mainly look for clarity around the idea, a well-placed team and the total addressable market.
Future of sharing economy
Shubham and Manish said that India has what they call a “leapfrog economy.” “We are sure of one thing, (i.e.) the millennials will drive the sharing economy which constitutes those who want to lead an asset-light life,” Shubham said.
“Today not only people who are employed in the startup category, but even those who work at large corporate house change their jobs very frequently. When these people move from one city to another they only want to take their basic luggage and not move around with heavy goods,” Manish added.
While the company today is only operational in Bangalore, it plans to expand into cities like NCR region, Pune and Hyderabad. The company is live with 4,000 customers and plans to add 6,000 customers every month by March 2017.