When Nishith Rastogi and Geet Garg thought of starting a business not more than two years ago, they had a very different idea in mind. One that consumes everyone who lives in India and has a close female relative and friend they care about – personal safety.
Begins Nishith, “In December 2014, post the infamous Delhi Uber incident, my sister was visiting Bengaluru late night and travelling from the airport. This got me very paranoid about her safety. That just triggered something irrational in me. There was no statistical basis for the fear, but what I did every 10 minutes was to ask her to share her location with me.”
This fear got Nishith and his colleague from AWS Geet Garg to come up with RideSafe, a real-time route deviation detection mobile application, wherein one can get to know if a driver is deviating from a pre-decided route. According to Nishith, RideSafe was not seen as a monetisation tool; it was developed just to help people out.
The Pivot: From A Consumer Safety App To A Logistics Startup
Since the logistics and supply chain market is highly unorganised in India, the under-utilisation of resources is not surprising. And increasing adoption of technology in operations is what is essential to maintain customer satisfaction. Nishith, a BITS Pilani alumnus, and Geet, an IIT-Kharagpur graduate had launched RideSafe by then.
Adds Nishith, “But we were pleasantly surprised when foodtech companies started adopting RideSafe to track their delivery fleet in early 2015. Realising that there was a huge opportunity in this sphere with technological innovation largely absent, we launched Locus.”
According to Nishith, scheduling, tracking, & managing an on-field fleet was a common problem being faced by several startups in the on-demand and hyperlocal industry. The tooling & automation that existed here was primitive.