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With the advent of technology, the way Indians commute has changed drastically over the years. The quintessential story about Indian auto drivers refusing or overcharging the rider to take them to their desired destination, doesn’t hurt the Indian consumer anymore, thanks to the likes of Uber and Ola.
But the commute industry is set for another transformation, one that has taken inspiration from the pages of history – going back to bicycles. Bicycle aggregator start-ups are rising in numbers in India with even players like Ola introducing Ola pedal – a vertical that allows users to rent/share bicycles.
Now, with an interesting turn of events Chinese leader Ofo could soon make its way into the Indian roads with a partnership with Paytm. But what does it mean for Indian start-ups in the segment?
Entrepreneur India spoke to founders of start-up trying to bring in the bicycle revolution in India about how the global start-up’s entry into India could change the scene and what advantages they have over the Chinese leader.
Local Start-ups Know the Pulse of the People
For a Chinese leader to enter the Indian space, there lies one big challenge – the same model cannot be replicated. While China has essentially been a cycling nation, for India to embrace bicycles again, a change of mindset is required. To do the same, there needs to be a connect with the users.
Akash Gupta, founder of Mobycy, believes that Indian start-ups know the pulse of the people and also the areas where they could first reach out to. “We have been talking to several state governments for partnerships and they are more than willing to come on board. They have a certain ease in operating with Indian companies,” said Gupta.
For Indian consumers, the language, the way they sell product understanding the mindset of consumers is what will make the difference believes Gupta.
Agreeing with Gupta, Deenanath Harapanahalli, founder of Cykul, believes that while the Chinese start-up is well established, its Indian counterparts have the advantage of the local know-how and understand how to adapt the services for Indian roads, keeping in mind the poor infrastructure.