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With This Startup, You Can Hire Anything From Porsche, Cannondale To Ducati Triumph Bikes Did someone say, 'I want to hire a Porche?'

By Ritu Kochar

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Arriving at a party in a Porsche that you yourself drove is the ultimate awesomeness goals. Or how about going to work in one of those sleek super bikes like those CEOs do? Well, where this seemed like a far-fetched dream which would only happen once you get rich, now you can ask for such autobiles like ordering coffee at a shop.

Making this happen is this unique startup called Driven. For 99.9% of Indian populace a super car/ exotic car is a distant dream to either drive or to own. Driven goal is to make millions realize this dream by adding a fleet of affordable self-drive experience in a super car / exotic car for as little as the price of a Micromax Mobile phone! We had a chance to talk to Ashwin Jain, the co-founder behind this first of its kind startup and he had some pretty solid "automobile gyan' to give.

What is Driven?

Well, Driven is the first of its kind player which offers cars, bikes and bicycles for self drive and self drive from the bottom end of the mobility to highly expensive automobile models like the Porsche, Cannondale and Ducati Triumph bikes. We launched the startup in 2015 by co-founders Karrar Ahmed Taher ,Ashwin Jain, Mateen Hussain , Nabeel Hussain and S M Jain other than me.

We currently have a fleet of 100 cars, 50 bikes and 10 bicycles and operate in Hyderabad, Vizag and Vijayawada with plans to begin operations in Bangalore, Goa soon.

How was this idea conceptualized?

We have been in the business of chauffeur drive car rentals since 1981. The bus rental division was added in 2002. The self drive license was availed in 2011/2012. In 2014/ 2015, we felt that the Indian market was getting ready for the self drive concept in a big way.

This belief stemmed from a combination of several factors like enhanced need for privacy & safety, lack of skilled manpower, increase in the cost of available manpower, non reliability of the manpower available, the rise of newer business models like app based taxi aggregators as well as the increase in the quality of road infrastructure plus a slew of other factors were decisive in creating a new category for self mobility.

Fast forward, we strongly believe self mobility will eventually become the preferred mode of mobility and that is how Driven came to life. Driven was floated as a JV between 4 wheel travels and Noori Travels promoters, between them, they bring 120 years of car rental experience.

What is the need of your startup in the market?

In most businesses, entrepreneurs usually offer what they think is the best solution for the client. And it usually is as far from the truth as it can get. It is usually a solution that works best for themselves.

We believe by offering choice to the customer in the self mobility space is the best way forward in self-drive, self-ride experience and that's how Driven was born. Driven is India's first integrated play at self mobility (offering Cars, bikes, Bicycles rental experience all under one roof)

Driven self drive car rentals offers the client the widest range of cars in the country. We believe customer must have the widest choice to choose across multiple pocket friendly price points. The core philosophy was to address the value for money conscious traveller as well as meet his aspiration in a comforting manner.

A car / bike rental experience is usually delivered in a small hole in the wall establishment or most probably, in the cellar / grimy parking lot of the service provider. Driven believes there is a need for a much more evolved experience where the client can rent out the preferred mobility option in a comfortable environs such as a coffee shop like our soon to be launched driven café, a unique biker & auto centric café serving the best of coffee , cars & bikes.

So, be it dreams & aspirations on 4 wheels or be it a trouble-free need for mobility at a budget, be it 4 wheels or 2 wheels, be it powered self mobility or pedaled self mobility; Driven fulfills all these needs while never losing sight of what matters most, the safety of its clients. And all this from the comfy environs of the driven café, where you can truly enjoy your favorite coffee brew or healthy drink and drive!

How do you ensure the safety of the user?

In a commercial transaction, an often ignored point is that of the safety of the participant. This is one aspect that Driven takes it very seriously. We promise the safest spec model variant, to ensure our clients feel absolutely safe when they rent and drive a Driven owned car.

Driven self ride bike fleet comprises bikes from street / commuter segment to cruiser including super exotic bike models with widest choice along with unmatched multiple price points in the industry today. Safety paramount in this segment too as we offer the finest safety and consumer experience infrastructure.

Exotic bicycles on rent are new introduction in the self-ride space, never been tried before in the industry so far and driven brings that option to its clientele for the first time in the country.

What is the procedure if I want to get any vehicle from you guys?

We rent out cars, bikes & bicycles by the hour / day. We have largely 2 plans for daily rental, one is the zero mileage plan that charges for a basic rental to cover the basic cost of the car and then a per km charge to cover for the wear & tear. The unlimited plan (with a FUP of 350 kms/ day) is great for those who have longer travels in mind. A refundable security deposit is charged along with the rental in advance and all that the client has to do is to flash the license, furnish copies of the same along with id proof and address proof, sign the legally mandated self drive contract and drive away. As simple as that.

What's differentiates Driven from its competitors?

Our biggest strength and business differentiator is our concept. Driven is India's first and only integrated self mobility service. We provide our clients a unique self-drive and self-ride rental experience beating the dull boring and non interactive business in the market place with the widest range of cars, bikes and bicycles all under one roof. From nano to Porsche, street bikes to super bikes and bicycles like Surly and Cannon dale.

We lay strong emphasis on safety as every car; bike or bicycle in our fleet is top of the line brands which incorporate the highest safety standards. For example every car we offer to client feature the top end model with full safety air bags for car driver and the passenger. For bikes we offer our clients the top of the line safety accessories. We also offer interesting rental packages like the zero mileage and unlimited mileage that is quite easy on your pocket.

Any challenges on this startup journey?

A big challenge has been putting together a great team of motivated people. Another challenge has been to zero down on customer interface software. But the larger challenge has been to navigate the Govt. rules and regulations and various taxation systems that govern the business. An even bigger challenge is the absence of an insurance system as is prevailing in the developed countries.

We have worked on these challenges in a determined manner and as a team, and are getting over the challenges, slowly but surely.

So now know whom to call when you need a Mercedes for that date of yours!

Ritu Kochar

Former Staff, Entrepreneur India

Ritu used to work as a Feature writer for Entrepreneur India.
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