How I Got My STARTUP IDEA Indians were ready to drive, didn’t have wheels
THE IDEA: Create a self-drive car rental service for India
EUREKA MOMENT: For American Greg Moran, it was a project in India that got him familiar with the market. “I realised that India was a great opportunity and somebody had to do something very quickly about infrastructure. This was in 2010. The notion of transport came up because it was not regulated and easier to break into,” says the former investment banker. “We started thinking about what big models we could adopt to help with urban infrastructure.” Zoom, a similar self-drive service, was operating in the US. He decided to build the same in India.
INITIAL DAYS: “I got lucky in the first week of December 2010,” he says. A meeting with Ford in Delhi led him to a car dealer in Bengaluru, who connected Moran with Ramesh Tours and Travels, a firm that could provide Zoomcar the much-coveted licence. “On 22 December 2012, we inked the deal with Ramesh Tours and Travels,” Moran says.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Most investors Moran spoke to initially hated the idea. “They saw this as a difficult business in terms of execution risk. They kept saying Indians hate driving. But it seemed unlikely because I saw so many people driving their own cars. Dealers and young people also gave me a different notion,” he says.
WHERE I AM NOW: Zoomcar is profitable in most cities and has a fleet of 3,000 vehicles. It recently introduced cycle-sharing.
GREG MORAN | Founder, Zoomcar
— SHALINA PILLAI