One of the main reasons Greg Moran, CEO of Zoomcar, felt that his startup might click in India was because of its fundamental uniqueness. Before its launch in 2013, there was no self-drive car rental service in India.
“No player was offering a 100% pure play. Zoomcar is fundamentally very different from the Olas and Ubers of the world in that sense. That by itself was a huge departure in India. We instantly understood that this service had the potential to blow up the market if it took off,” said Moran.
Co-founded by David Back and launched in 2013, Zoomcar has since then steadily increased its presence with its self-drive cars. The startup does over 1200 rides every day, has over 150,000 users, traveled over 20 million km and visited over 26,000 destinations. The going, however, has not been easy.
But nevertheless, the journey was not easy, especially when one is getting into a foreign market. Moran says he believes there were times when the investors’ were skeptical, but the ship has since been sailing smooth.
“David Back – the other co-founder – and I compared to other Indian entrepreneurs. Even if it wasn’t directly communicated to us, we believe that at least in the first few years, year or two it may have been at the back of investor’s minds whether or not we will jump ship and take off when it becomes more challenging. But it has been three years; we are still here making business. It speaks volumes about the attitude of investors.”
Zoomcar is currently present in seven cities of the country restricting themselves to mainly tier-1 cities. And unlike others, they are in no hurry of expansion.
Moran said, “Our fleet size currently is quite large with over 1,000 cars in our system. We see this segment has a better opportunity in tier 1 and 2 cities as opposed to tier-3 cities. We want to multiply our scale in these cities for our business to thrive.”
“We like the approach of maintaining a very hyper-local and dense network in existing cities instead of expanding far and wide. It is more about enhancing customer experience than simply expanding to other places,” added Moran.
Like many other entrepreneurs, Moran too had left a lucrative banking job to fulfill his passion. Moran was a banker in Wall Street and David, a teacher at Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
“When you go down that path, there are certain expectations. It was not easy to explain to our family why I would want to forfeit all that comfort. But they saw I was extremely passionate about this and have been supportive of my choices,” said Moran.
It’s the initial stages that are tricky, says Moran, once you’ve gained traction and achieved customer experience, sustaining it can help anyone make it big in the market.
“Once you get a little bit of traction and have secured a couple of early believers, you only need to consistently focus on executing at an efficient pace and making sure that customer experience is rock-solid.”
More : Zoomcar Founder in conversation with My Big Plunge on My Big Plunge TV
Author also published on Economic Times
Zoomcar was founded by Greg Moran and David Back and has a total equity investment of $22.2 million till date. The funding has been raised from 12 investors in 5 rounds, with the latest funding of $11 million from Sequoia Capital, Empire Angels and NGP in July 2015.