Big Idea

Rideshare 3.0

Roads in our metros aren’t getting less congested anytime soon, but this start-up is making our office commute a little less strenuous

RA Chandroo

Let’s face it, parents are always right. Especially when they tell you to study well and make enough money “so that you can buy the sea-facing flat on Marine Drive.” Forget bragging rights, you could waltz down the Queen’s Necklace promenade and get to work every day. No traffic jams, no three-minute traffic signals, and no hefty fuel bills. Even if the office is in the suburbs, you’d cut through the city like a hot knife through butter, snickering at those struggling to crawl in the opposite lane.

While it’s fun to dream up alternative scenarios and humour yourself, Mumbai’s traffic is no joke. Reported as one of the most congested cities in the world, India’s financial capital has still not learnt how to deal with the ever-increasing population. And it’s not just Mumbai, commuting in every metro city is taxing, soul-wrenching and time-consuming to say the least. As of last year, the average one-way travel time to get to work, across six major cities, stands at a little above 51 minutes (See: Keeping pace). If you’re from a city, this daily commute saps as much as 24% of your waking hours. But one company is trying to ease this mess by offering a solution that does not require you to struggle in local trains or buses or lose all your energy driving, even before you get to work.

Cold Start

In 2009, IIT Varanasi-alumni Akash Maheshwari and Deepesh Agarwal set up shop as a SaaS (software-as-a-service) to manage taxi fleets for corporates. This was when smartphone penetration was low, data wasn’t too cheap, and the name ‘Jio’ didn’t infest every conversation. Corporates would hire facilities management companies such as JLL and CBRE, and have multiple cab suppliers. And in a largely unorganised market, that whole process would be arduous for any company, not to mention wasting time on calls with the suppliers when something as simple as the timing goes wrong. Naturally, it needed some change.

That’s where MoveInSync comes in. While brands such as Ola and Uber fight for the commercial cab rider’s buck,

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