How 2 Iitians Transformed Indian Bus Travel: the Story of ‘Shuttl’ Bus Service from Deepanshu Malviya & Amit Singh
Imagine climbing the steps of a bus. You observe a piece of handkerchief placed on one of the seats. Your immediate response is to not sit on it. If you also had this thought-process, then welcome to the world of travelling on a bus in India!
This is the Shuttl Story by Deepanshu Malviya and Amit Singh, The founders themselves narrating how they got started.
Commuting in public transport, especially in Indian buses is a chaotic experience for anyone who travels regularly. Even the ones who choose bus travel rarely will share a bad experience of:
- Not getting seats on the bus
- People fighting with each other
- Inadequate travel services
- Poor waiting time
- People standing on the footboard
- Unhygienic condition of the bus
Even you will have something else in your mind to say. Regardless of the nature of an issue, going from one place to another by bus is quite difficult.
When many of us don’t even consider this as a problem. 2 young IIT boys, ‘Deepanshu Malviya’ and ‘Amit Singh’ came up with a bright solution to this overcrowded bus travel. Deepanshu holds a Civil Engineering Degree and Amit Singh is a Metallurgical Engineer.
“As cars go up, we try to build more roads and flyovers. But what is equally important is to solve the problem from a demand side. And that is by means of encouraging people to use less cars or opt for public transport.” ~ Amit’s word during an interview
Technology + Commuting Issues = “Shuttl”
The Words of Deepanshu ~ “Commute in buses are considered uncool and we strive to change this by offering efficient and affordable shuttle services!”
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In 2015, Deepanshu and Amit were working at Jabong, before their startup idea. When they both considered overcrowding in buses as an issue, they thought they would contribute something useful to society. The result of their thinking was an application-based program product named “Shuttl”.
What shuttl is all about from Amit Singh ~ “In India, if you see, solutions for the daily commute are either overpriced or overcrowded. Passengers simply want to go to the office without the stress and quite comfortably. What we are trying to do is offer a comfortable seat for a journey, for which the passengers won’t need to take their own vehicles,”
Reputed as a bus aggregating platform, Shuttl is a ‘shuttle bus service’ application. It provides services to Indian locations such as Kolkata, Hyderabad, Delhi-NCR, Chennai, etc. Shuttl is also the go-to bus travel option as the program is built in an economically viable manner.
Amit, the Co-Founder of Shuttl states ~ “We are targetting the segment of commuters that would like to avoid both high-priced taxi services and unreliable and crowded public transport. This shuttle bus service is slightly more expensive than the bus but much cheaper than the taxi.”
THE PURPOSE BEHIND SHUTTL: WHY WAS A BUS CHOSEN FOR THEIR BRAND?
Amit added to the fact that carpooling is a good option but not the best, as it comes with 1 major disadvantage of carrying only up to 4 passengers for one time. Together, the duo also researched and studied other options to move forward but none were as advantageous as a bus could do.
The business model for Deepanshu and Amit’s Shuttl was decided as a BUS, due to its economical benefits. Moreover, it is scientifically proven that bus commuting records low on the ‘carbon footprint’ on earth.
In the words of the Founders ~ “With buses, it was possible to offer a service at around one-eighth the price of a cab!”
IMPORTANT LESSONS READ FROM CUSTOMERS’ BEHAVIOUR BY THE 2 IITIANS
“The goal has never been about being an Entrepreneur or starting a company. It has always been about Solving A Problem we deeply care about!” – By Shashank ND, the Founder, and CEO of Practo.
To sustain a business startup, every student entrepreneur has to fill the gap that exists with their brand and their customers/clients. And this is what Deepanshu and Amit did.
After reaching a good count of users, the 2 thought they understood the customer well. But soon they realized that the 1-size-fits-for-all is not the right way to move their brand. And Shuttl was majorly working on this approach.
In the stance of creating top-notch quality and analytically powerful online products, the duo missed on solving issues as per the scale of each customer.
Amit shares the same as“A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. In the urban mobility space, commuters of different economic segments seek different offerings at different price points!”
And here is the response of the Co-Founders, when asked about their upcoming goals and the future of Shuttl: “Ultimately, we would like to get to a stage where there is a bus stop for every five-minute walk. This way, there will be less reliance on Uber, public transport, since they can’t match our pricing, and less incentive to drive, as well as environmentally sustainable as well.”
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Furthermore, the team has also learned another essential drawback of not using much of their marketing skills –
Marketing has the greatest power to achieve something big from people directly when performed with the right strategies. However, coincidentally a vast majority of their customers are pulled into their platform through “organic search”. And this is where the vigour of growing Shuttl for the better developed.
Amit said ~ “We offer public experience via our services. Despite not spending much on marketing, more than two-thirds of our users are coming from organic channels. We are growing at a rate of 30 per cent week on week.”
YOUR TAKEAWAY FROM THE SHUTTLE BUS SUCCESS STORY:
“Our endeavor is to deliver a safe, reliable, and environmentally sustainable mobility for urban India” ~ By Amit Singh, CEO and Co-Founder, Shuttl.
Did you know that ‘Shuttl’ is one of the top-rated examples for startup India brands to have conserved 32,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide (Co2) emissions from the environment?
It all started with 9 rides on the 1st day of their startup. And today, Shuttl has traversed a long way for reaching the milestone of 1-lakh rides every single day, from their 2000 buses and 500 sincere vendor partners across several cities of India.
The MD of Sequoia Capital India, Rajan Anand says ~ “Number of startups has declined. But founders today come with more experience and have better and more differentiated ideas!”
So, anything and everything is possible if you have the mind and soul into it. And this is YOUR time to open a unique startup right from the place you are since initiatives like “Make In India” and other funding-oriented campaigns are slowly booming to ease the process of business![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]