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De-Congestion Drive

In their endeavor to de-congest Delhi roads and provide safe carpooling to Delhiites, Abhishek and Ambrish Co-founded Easy2Commute.com a portal which enables commuters to find carpool partners. Taslima Khan in conversation with Abhishek.

Tags: Abhishek, Co- Founder, Easy2Commute.com

BY Taslima Khan | January 06, 2010 | COMMENTS ( 0 ) |

De-Congestion Drive
Abhishek Rajan Co- Founder, Easy2Commute.com

In their endeavor to de-congest Delhi roads and provide safe carpooling to Delhiites, Abhishek and Ambrish Co-founded Easy2Commute.com a portal which enables commuters to find carpool partners. Taslima Khan in conversation with Abhishek.

 

Taslima Khan (TK): Tell us something about yourself.

 

Abhishek Rajan: I did my B.E. (Electronics & Communications) from Delhi College of Engineering (1997-2001) and MBA from IIM Ahmedabad (2002-2004). Ambrish did his B.E. (Mechanical) from Delhi College of Engineering (1997-2001) and then took an MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur (2003-2005).

 

TK: Please tell us about your business. Give details about your product offering, your target customers and the way your business works.

 

AR : Easy2commute.com is a secure and easy to use corporate carpool solution, currently catering to Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad. The solution is designed to help the daily commuters who travel from home to office and back, to find potential car poolers who live in nearby colonies/apartments and have offices in the same building or office complex.

 

We believe that this could be a solution for employers to cut their car parking & employee transportation costs, enable employees to reduce their fuel bills and at the same time help in curtailing the growing traffic congestion and pollution that is being witnessed on the roads of Delhi & NCR.

 

TK: When exactly did easy2commute.com come into being? How did you get the business idea? What inspired you?

 

AR: Easy2commute.com was first conceptualized in August 2008 during one of many coffee discussions between us (Abhishek and Ambrish) at their PwC office cafeteria.

 

Many months and numerous coffee cup discussions laters, we managed to develop this safe and easy Corporate Carpool solution, our contribution towards a green and de-congested NCR. The site was finally launched to the public during the later half of March 2009.

 

TK: Prior to launching your own business were you into a regular job? Please provide details of your prior experience.

 

AR: I left PricewatehouseCoopers (Gurgaon) in April 2009 and joined One97 Communications (Noida) where I am currently working. Ambrish Bajaj continues to work with PricewaterhouseCoopers (Gurgaon).

 

TK: How much of initial investment did you put in?

 

AR: We had to register a domain name, buy server space for hosting the website, and pay certain incentives to a web developer for helping us in the website development efforts. It cost us around Rs.7, 000 in total. We also plan to get some coloured posters printed which would be an additional expense of around Rs.10,000-15,000.

In addition to the money, we have invested many weekends and after-office hours during the conceptualization and development stage (August 2008 - March 2009)

 

TK: What is the greatest hurdle you have faced so far?

 

AR: One of the greatest challenges in initiating any new venture is the decision to quit a secure and high paying job for something that is potentially risky, uncertain and may not be financially sustainable.

 

While working on Easy2commute.com, the biggest hurdle have been to take out adequate time for this initiative as we are also working full-time in professional organizations with fairly large responsibilities. Often, we come up with some new ideas of improving or promoting the site but are not able to give sufficient time to execute the idea, this leads to significant delay in implementing new ideas. Secondly, since we are not generating any revenues, we cannot afford to hire any part-time or full-time employee who could work with us in our efforts.

 

TK: What are your future plans?

 

AR: For the next couple of years we would like to focus on the following:

  1. Increasing the user base
  2. Partnering with more corporates for Employment Verification
  3. Extending the service to other cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc.
  4. Adding more features to the site and making the interface more intuitive and user-friendly
  5. Enabling the service on mobile SMS platform to enable real-time carpooling

 

TK: What is the future of this business concept?

 

AR: Carpooling has the potential of becoming an even more secure and efficient proposition for the masses with the introduction of high-end technology. Users could be provided with smart cards and their cars could be fitted with GPS-enabled swipe machines which would be connected to Easy2commute.com’s central server. Carpool passengers swipe in and swipe out when they take a ride in a car. The carpool driver gets credits based on the distance traveled, for offering a ride to other Easy2commute.com users. The driver can then redeem these credits against carpool rides that he might wish to take in other users’ cars. At the end of each month, the users could redeem their credit balance for money or free fuel.

 

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