Traditional car rental companies are struggling to run their businesses, ever since Uber and Ola have entered the Indian market. But the majority of their concerns lie elsewhere. At any given point in time, a car rental company utilises only a fraction of its their fleet. This, in turn, leads to wastage of money and huge operational challenges.
Sensing the need to solve this problem Jitender Arora and Malvinder Singh Rikhy founded Mind Your Fleet (MYF) in September 2014. The duo aims to help car rental companies streamline their operations, and create efficiencies with their unique inventory, customer, dispatch, and vendor management tools.
SaaS-based End-To-End Enterprise Tool For Car Rental Companies
Noida-based car fleet management solutions provider, Mind Your Fleet provides a SaaS-based, end-to-end enterprise tool which helps car rental companies to promote, manage, and distribute their business online.
“The ground transportation industry is currently shrouded in opaqueness, and only with technology can one remove the cloud. We at Mind Your Fleet aim to organise this industry,” says Jitender Arora, co-founder, Mind Your Fleet.
For the founders, the journey of MYF started when Jitender, who was heading MGHworld, met Malvinder who was the CEO of Kuoni Travels, with the intention of selling his product.
During the meeting, both stumbled upon the need to remove this opaqueness surrounding the cab industry in India and the outcome of the meeting was the foundation of MYF’s journey.
“We 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 re-organise and optimise the ground transportation industry into a single sector, helping the customer reach out to a myriad of cab aggregators through their platform,” says 53-year-old Malvinder, co-founder at MYF.
MYF’s features like native booker-supplier-traveler apps, automated booking and dispatch scheduler, robust accounting, and bird’s-eye view technology, cater to every single aspect of its users’ business through one single platform.
As per the company, its expertise lies in modules such as fleet management, inventory management, booking and dispatch management, corporate and retail client management, accounting management, and supplier management.
Not only this, MYF marketplace enables a buyer/seller to grow their business globally by connecting them with car rental companies across the world. It allows fleet owners access to each other’s inventory in real-time and connect with several demand side players including Online Travel Agents (OTAs), corporates or hotels. It provides a real-time fleet from the marketplace after negotiating the best price. Its marketplace has integrated features like auto bill generation and easy payments by retail clients, corporate card or cash.
By using the MYF platform customers could potentially save money by automating their business processes, make money by connecting to a wider customer base, and share inventory in real-time.
Several car rental companies like Bharat International Travel, D-Cabs, Fab Cars, RR Fleet Management, Cabs 24/7 etc., have already registered on Mind Your Fleet’s SaaS platform. By the end of 2016, a total number of 100K+ bookings were reportedly completed on the platform and this number is expected to increase significantly in 2017.
Earlier in April 2016, the company had secured an undisclosed amount in an angel round from undisclosed investors.
As per the founders, the company has managed to add over 65+ revenue paying customers who have closed over $1.5 Mn (INR 10 Cr) of transactions. These customers are geographically spread across India and in all of the metros, as well as smaller cities like Agartala, Ranchi, Allahabad, and Bhopal.
A Bumpy Ride: Challenges On The MYF Road
Apart from getting the right talent, for the founders, the main challenges were managing customer expectations, hiring and motivating talent, and making correct resource allocation decisions.
“Many customers felt they absolutely needed a feature or requirement and we may not have agreed with them. Here we had to be strong and sometimes disagree and back our own assertions – this was very challenging to do in the early days when we had only a handful of customers,” recalls Karambir Singh, CEO, Mind Your Fleet.
Resource allocation is another ongoing challenge for the company. He adds,
“As a startup, we naturally had a limited budget, tight deadlines, and huge deliverables. There was always unreasonable pressure to balance infrastructure challenges, team morale, client expectations, and investor expectations adeptly.”
The startup’s ability to collaborate with every single stakeholder in the ground transportation ecosystem has enabled it to compete with players like Ola and Uber in terms of quantity of vehicles offered.
What Lies Around The Corner
MYF’s primary focus is on the car rental/taxi space in India. However, extensions to its product, which it is already working on, includes solutions for the delivery and logistics space. It is for this purpose that the company has managed to raise an undisclosed round of bridge funding. The investment was led by Japan Vyas, co-founder and Managing Partner of Sixth Sense Ventures, and Tarun Adlakha along with the group of angel investors.
“Our solutions are built on a multi-currency, multilingual 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,” informs Karambir.
The company plans to utilise the recently infused funds in product development, and aggressive sales and marketing campaigns to expand its reach to global market. It is now actively looking to raise its Series A round and has also extended its technology towards two wheeler rental services, starting with Gurugram-based M-Taxi.