By Anusha Ashwin
The entry of Uber and Ola caused a huge disruption in the largely unsegmented cab aggregator market in India. It caused traditional car rental companies struggle to maintain their position in the local market. Adoption of mobile technology at large gave Ola and Uber a significant edge to connect to a large customer base. Small-time car rental and bike rental companies, on the other hand, were at a loss, devoid of the effective mobile technology implementation.
Offering a unified technology solution to such car and bike rental companies in India is Kromozones Software Pvt Ltd with its product Mind Your Fleet (MYF) — a SaaS-based, end-to-end enterprise tool that helps car and bike rental companies promote, manage and distribute their business online. With a solution-centric rather than fleet-centric approach, MYF provides automated booking, dispatch scheduler, and accounting in one single app.
Who’s behind MYF?
In October 2014, 53-year-old Malvinder Singh Rikhy, and 35-year-old Jitender Arora co-founded Mind Your Fleet. Hailing from Delhi, both founders share some common interests in the travel, hospitality and transportation industry. While heading MGH world, a hotel management software, Arora met Rikhy, the then CEO of Kuoni Travels, with the intention of selling his product.
The outcome of the meeting led them to de-clutter the opaqueness surrounding the cab industry in India. They began providing opportunities to local car rental companies who wished to grow but could not survive the pressure of dealing with the bigger players. The company was founded with a mission to reorganize and optimize the ground transportation industry into a single sector, helping the customer reach out to a myriad of cab aggregators through their platform.
One App fits all services for a cabbie
Operating out of their Noida headquarters, Rikhy and Arora have developed Mind Your Fleet to provide a SaaS-based service, enabling the customer to access a wide variety of car and bike rental companies through a single platform.
In a casual conversation with Founder Rikhy, more credentials about the App is revealed. He says, “We primarily offer fleet management, inventory management, supplier management, customer (B2B and B2C) management, billing and accounting management and employee management. With a native app for customers, drivers, corporate bookers and suppliers, we provide a complete solution to small and medium fleet owners to help them service their customers. The vendors are provided with an option to share their inventory with one another, with low pricing, so they can make the optimal allocation decision for each duty they receive. We also provide services where a car rental company owner can manage her/his operations with the help of one single enterprise tool. The end-to-end enterprise tool works for both B2B and B2C car rental industries.”
There is a striking difference between MYF and Uber or Ola.The latter have expertise in catering to the on-demand market, while MYF’s software primarily focuses on inventory utilisation, and equalising the demand and supply ratio in the ground transportation industry. The tool allows fleet owners to access each other’s inventory in real time and connect with several demand-side players including online travel agents (OTAs), corporates and hotels.
“We approach the market in an agnostic and collaborative manner, which makes aggregators our collaborators, and not competitors in this space,” says co-Founder Jitender Arora.
Success so far
Rikhy and Arora, certainly did not get into the business without calculating their returns. In two years, vouch the founders, customers using MYF have saved money by automating their business processes; made their money by connecting to a wider customer base; and have shared their inventory in real time using MYF’s marketplace.
“Our product has been well-received in the market and we have added 100+ revenue paying customers with over 10 crore transactions processed on our platform. We count some of the largest car rental companies in India as our customers, and some smaller regional players as well. Moreover, our customers are geographically spread across the metros as well as smaller cities including, Agartala, Ranchi, Allahabad, Guwahati, and Bhopal to name a few,” says Rikhy.
To name a few, popular car rental companies like Bharat International Travel, D-Cabs, Fab Cars, RR Fleet Management and Cabs 24/7 have registered on MYF’s SaaS platform.
“For our solutions, we charge an up-front one time setup fee per customer (based on customer size and requirements) and a fixed fee/or percent fee per transaction. Since we increase the utilisation rate by 20-30%, this automatically translates into an increase of 5-10% of business for our customers,” confides Rikhy.
Till date, MYF has recorded more than 130,000 bookings on its domain. Rikhy and Arora expect these numbers to double by the first half of 2017.
External investors make the bet
In February this year, to take MYF further, Rikhy and Arora sought a bridge round of funding for an undisclosed amount from a group of Angel Investors.The round was led by Japan Vyas, co-founder and Managing Partner of Sixth Sense Ventures and Tarun Adlakha. Rikhy had earlier on-boarded few other high-net worth individuals as investors. Rikhy and Arora have deployed the funds into developing the product, technology upgradation, sales and marketing.
Foraying tech cities to expand base
Evidently, Rikhy and Arora raised funds to push MYF to tech cities like Bengaluru and Mumbai. “Currently, we’re based out of Noida. We’ll soon expand to other cities in India, starting with Mumbai, and Bengaluru. Based on the strong presence of demand generators like corporates, hotels, and tour operators, these two cities seem the most probable ones to open our branch offices, as of now,” indicates Rikhy.
Business line expansion on horizon
MYF’s primary focus is on the car rental/ taxi space in India and it will remain its core business focus for the short to medium term. However, Rikhy and Arora have charted a plan on extending the services of their product to include solutions for the delivery and logistics space.
Recently, MYF platform was extended to on-demand bike rental company One Man Taxi to launch its services in Kolkata.
“Our solutions are built on a multi-currency, multi-lingual basis so we will expand internationally and adapt as necessary to those market conditions. Some of this is already happening and we hope to gain further traction in these areas in the next few quarters,” says Rikhy sharing the outlook.