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Interview with Avinash Chandra from Urban Drive on Unlocking Self Drive Electric Cars Opportunity in India

Automotive | Jun, 2018

In an interview with TechSci Research, the business head of Urban Drive, Mr. Avinash Chandra said that today the customers are more worried about the service than the price.

TechSci Research: According to you, which are the demand generating cities for your company and industry in general?

Avinash Chandra: Most of the demand for Self Drive car/bike is from the gateway cities i.e. Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore etc. from where anyone can head for leisure trip.  We have high demand across metro cities in India which contribute major percentage of the total booking served till now. Similar trend is seen across the industry. 

India being a developing country with infrastructure being a major constraint, most of the metro cities in India faces the challenge of limited parking spaces and traffic congestion. Self Drive, as a leisure product, has huge demand on weekends and less demand on the weekdays. 

We have seen a new trend in the younger generation in India where they do not want to take the burden of maintaining an asset which allow them to rent a car of their choice without owning it.


TechSci Research: What is the better business model- Aggregator or Owned?

Avinash Chandra: Business model usually depends on product offerings and cities. 

We operate through both aggregator as well as owned model, however, our service level across cities remains constant to provide same customer experience across all the cities.

We go for Aggregator model for some cities where we have partners who are ready to give the desired service level as expected by Urban Drive. In case, where partner doesn’t meet our expectation, then we go for owned car/bike model.


TechSci Research: What are the major technical issues that the customers are facing by using car rental services?

Avinash Chandra: We do rigorous mechanical and technical check before dispatching vehicle from hub which boils down our technical issue to less than 1% of the total booking served till now.

Operation team across Pan India make sure every customer is well versed with all the functionalities of the car/bike at the time of pickup and we request customer to check the vehicle properly at the time of pickup.


TechSci Research: According to you, the unorganized sector in the car rental market is a threat or opportunity?

Avinash Chandra: In today’s world, customers are more worried about the service than the price. Unorganized players can give cheaper rate but will not be able to match with the desired service level which a professional company can provide.

Looking at this perspective, the unorganized sector in the car rental market is an opportunity for professional company like Urban Drive who can provide a reliable and better service across available cities.


TechSci Research: Do you see penetration in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities in next five years?

Avinash Chandra: We are already present in 7 cities in Self Drive cars and 21 cities in Self Drive bikes, which includes Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. We have a plan to expand across Tier 3 cities within next 5 years.


TechSci Research: What are your plans and growth opportunities in next five years for car rental market? Which category is your focus for next five years?

Avinash Chandra: India is a growing country and dynamics across this sector is changing at a fast pace. In the next 5 year, we may come up with more products which can add value to customer journey and experience.

Electric vehicles are the future of Self Drive market and our plans may include Electric Vehicles in our fleet in the next 5 years.

Based on the conversation with Mr. Avinash Chandra and looking at latest trends in the Car Rental market, TechSci Research predicted that the Mobility on demand market is projected to grow at a robust CAGR over the next five years. Moreover, inclination of customers towards taxis can be attributed to various tangible and intangible offerings such as booking convenience through mobile applications, air conditioning, educated and skilled drivers and operators, multiple payment options, 24×7 customer support, electronic fare meters, GPS enabled vehicles, etc and increasing investments by venture capitalists, and rising corporates & tourists are boosting demand for car rental services in India. As a result, the car rental companies have expanded their fleet size and these trends will boost the demand for India Car Rental Services.