Tête-à-Tête With Drivezy Co Founder Ashwarya Singh
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A car accident made Ashwarya Singh realize that maintaining a car in Mumbai exceeds its utility quotient. Offering cars on rent was an idea that took shape between Ashwarya and his friends, Hemant Kumar Sah, Vasant Verma and Amit Sahu. They also roped in Abhishek Mahajan as co-founder. Soon JustRide re-invented itself as Drivezy, a peer-to-peer car and bike sharing platform in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Pune. Excerpt from an interaction with Ashwarya Singh.
How are you differentiating from the competition?
Our asset light business model allows us to scale faster than our competitors. In the past four years, we have partnered with close to 5,000 individual vehicle owners, asset management companies, commercial fleet operators and automobile dealerships to enlist vehicles on our platform.
We have over 1 million active users with 40 per cent of the usage coming from delivery personnel from companies like Swiggy, Zomato, Uber Eats and Dunzo. Users can rent vehicles for short durations as well as for up to 30 days. We clock 3500 rides per day. Our bikes clock average daily usage of 90-95 km.
How are you leveraging franchising to expand operations?
We offer two unique franchising models: operations management model and asset financing model. Under the operations management model, franchisee needs to invest Rs 25-50 lakh on parking infrastructure, management costs and security deposits. While the franchisee manages the daily operations, the fleet will be owned by the company. A person can expect monthly returns of Rs 5 lakh with 25 per cent share of revenues.
On the other hand, asset financing model calls for an investment of Rs 60 lakh to 1 crore for parking infrastructure, vehicle fleet, management cost and security deposit. In this model, operations will be managed by the brand and the franchisee can expect monthly returns of Rs 13 lakh with 75 per cent share of revenues.
In both the models, monthly operational costs like fuel, tech solutions and vehicle repairs are borne by the brand.
Please talk about your franchise initiatives?
We have established 12 franchise units in three cities so far. We have earmarked $1.5 million for skill development and training of operations executives for our franchise units. Besides, we have launched in-house garages and service centres in three cities to provide on-time service exclusively to our franchise units. This has allowed our units to reduce the maintenance downtime by 40 per cent.
We are targeting to establish over 100 franchise units in 21 cities in the next 12 months.
Do you have plans around electric vehicles?
We are looking to partner with one of our investors Yamaha Motor to introduce their high-end electric scooter, EC-05 with swappable battery technology, in India. We are raising $25 million to set up a subsidiary to run the EV rentals business.
(This article was first published in the September 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)