While in his early thirties, Ashok Vashist was already making more than enough money for himself and as is the case with most aspiring entrepreneurs, Ashok was unsure of entering the world of entrepreneurship. His reason being, “there’s always a fear of losing.” This kept him from starting his own venture up until 2009 when after much introspection he started Wise Travel India Private Limited. Later, in 2015 he took another big plunge to provide end-to-end corporate mobility solutions with Aaveg.
Headquartered in Delhi, Aaveg has a Pan-India presence and the company fundamentally works on three critical areas in Corporate ground transportation, these are, to optimise utilization of resources, decongest city roads and reduce emissions of CO2.
The tech-transportation startup does not provide or aggregate cars, they are only into the management of it, “Aaveg is, globally, the only orgainstaion which is into transport MSP,” says Ashok. MSP stands for Manage Service Provider, what this means is that the company approaches large corporations and offers to manage their entire transportation needs. These include their employer transportation – from home-office-home – car rental services, and/or leasing. Ashok adds, “Our solution to any large organisation is, you please concentrate on your core activity and we will not only give you peace of mind but also economies, optimisation and decongestion.”
Aaveg’s key competitive edge lies in the fact that it provides thought leadership in transport management, problem identification with recommendations and solutions. By way of their managed services, the company claims to implement what they recommend. The company also provides consulting and advisory services such as transport policy design, vendor management process, floating RFP, training of transport desks and drivers and ERP technology solutions.
The corporate transportation industry may have grown over the years but not much about it has changed. As per Sukhvinder Khurana, mentor to Ashok, “The employee transportation, corporate transportation industry is something which is ripe for disruption.” He adds, “It’s still a very fragmented industry and I think Aaveg is the agent that is going to make it happen.”
According to Ashok, one of the challenges in his business is the long gestation period – it takes an average of six to nine months to close a deal. “Then you have to get into the DNA of that organisation, understand what they need, what is their expectations of the service provider,” he adds. The managed services can be provided in various formats be it on principle model or just managing a piece of the managed services.
Aaveg also claims to be the only company in India having ISO certifications for managing Transport operations on principal model, offering end to end transportation management solutions.
Sukhvinder describes Ashok as a hungry, passionate entrepreneur who executes well. “He’s bootstrapped this company from nothing to one of the largest companies in the space today and continues growing very rapidly.”
In his own words, Ashok says that if one is able to think, speak and dream business then he or she should become an entrepreneur. He advises aspiring entrepreneurs not to start businesses with the aim of somebody coming along to provide funds. He says, “Don’t depend on anyone else, it has to be your own strength that you capitalise on.” Having experienced the highs and lows of entrepreneurship for close to a decade, one of the downsides he highlights is the lack of family life for at least three-four years. He goes on to add, jokingly, “Most of the time, even when you reach home, you’re not in the mood to talk to anybody else.”