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‘We are trying to resolve challenges that are both practical and emotional’ – Ashuvinder Ahuja, AppAlert

Although there were GPS-based solutions in the market, there was a lack of real-time options for school-bus tracking services

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‘We are trying to resolve challenges that are both practical and emotional’ – Ashuvinder Ahuja, AppAlert

AppAlert originated as a result of personal experience and intrinsic interest in technology. The need of the product like AppAlert was realised after last summer when I saw my wife was waiting for our kid’s school bus for over twenty minutes in the peak afternoon.To me this made no sense and there has to be a better way of informing parents about the movements of the school bus.

More than two decades of prior experience in technology, intrigued me to look into this problem and find a solution for it. In this age of technology that has revolutionised mass transportation with products like Uber, why should something like school bus transit stay behind. There were GPS solution providers in the market, but there was a lack of options with regard to real-time school bus tracking services and hence, it seemed to be a ripe opportunity for improvement.

Challenges faced in setting up AppAlert

The major challenge in setting up a demanding venture like AppAlert lies in hiring  a right team of motivated individuals who believe in our vision.The team which will form the backbone of the company, with the right dose of domain expertise and passion is very critical is the most challenging aspect. We are a team size of fifteen and as we gear up for further expansion we need a larger team comprising of senior management, sales and marketing along with brilliant tech minds.

The other challenge is a planned execution of the platform we have built. One can plan as thoroughly as they want but the success of a venture lies on execution.  Technologically our solution is one of the most advanced solutions and where to take it strategically is constantly being analyzed.

What sets AppAlert apart

The issue that AppAlert is providing a solution to is of eliminating long and clueless waits by parents for school buses. Further, the app enhances a secure communication for parents with regard to their wards as it notifies them in case of any delay in transit or an emergency, along with being accessible to only authorised parent or gaurdian. With these, what AppAlert is trying to resolve are the world challenges that are both practical and emotional

The key differentiators of AppAlert are that of being real-time, accurate and consumer scalable. With being the first to launch Mobile only platform in Cloud in this segment, AppAlert has provided a service to parents and schools of which they were not aware earlier. It is changing the entire paradigm around school bus logistics in India and delivering peace of mind to both parents and schools in the process. That is what makes it a sought-after service among the target consumers.

The single Mobile device solution, through precision map based tracking along with comprehensive roll call capabilities (RFID not required) helps parents as well as the school management know the precise location of children when they are on the school bus. The accuracy of our location and ETA services is far superior to our competition. The fact that we are a mobile only platform gives schools tremendous flexibility to replace buses and creates routes on the fly without impacting the core offering of the platform. We have one of the most experienced tech teams headed by our CTO who is an expert in GPS and mobile apps technologies. It bridges the gap between consumers and logistics, making it ubiquitous, reliable and secure, with no more hardware or software to install and maintain. The only requirement is a simple mobile phone on each bus that provides the school with comprehensive roll call and fleet management.

Mastering a mobile only platform that with integrated real time traffic and fleet management capabilities isn’t an easy nut to crack. Unlike other B2B solutions AppAlert doesn’t require any hardware installation, configuration and maintenance is designed to scale to tens of thousands of buses and million plus students. As a platform it is geo agnostic and extremely easy to implement which is why we are going live outside India so quickly.

Funding & Growth Plans

AppAlert has raised an investment of  $900K in its first round of funding. We are seeking to have another round of angel funding in next three to four months.

We are right now operational in Delhi NCR and Mumbai within India and in Kenya in Africa. We headed towards an expansion to Tier II cities within the geographies of India. With current trials in Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, Philippines, etc. we have a clear mandate to go global and are now exploring additional markets like US, Australia and Middle East.

Inspiration & Motivation

One key attribute I see in most successful entrepreneurs is perseverance and hard work, for which, I believe, there is no substitute. What else keeps me motivated is my team of colleagues at AppAlert which form an essential part of my entrepreneurial journey.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the publication

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