"If You Believe in an Idea, make Others Believe in it too" says this Woman Entrepreneur
By: Jyoti Bansal, Senior Vice President, ProRido Travel Services
Jyoti has specialized in establishing and leading multiple delivery hubs globally in the HR Shared Services, data analytics & HR Technology domains. She is a business centric HR leader who has worked across Travel and Education industries with leading & growth oriented organizations in building strategic and forward-looking people practices.
How did your entrepreneurial journey begin?
Being in Corporate world for over 12 years, understanding & feeling the problem at hand around the road-transportation wherein not much visible changes have happened, it looked to be an opportunity area. After sufficient info & research around the sector, it completely made sense to start it as there was clearly a need for this. The market is big enough for 1-3 more players who can become big enough& serve the larger market.
Though the seed to start something unique which would help in its own unique way was there for a while but we formally launched our venture “ProRido” in Bangalore immediately followed by our presence in New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. The date & timing is important for all of us considering the conceptualization & pre-planning required for smooth execution& as we wanted to officially have a start date to track our own progress. Every month, we wanted to be 2x-3x better in our approach & for overall business. This date helped us like a pillar to validate our progress, our movement/traction etc. Everything was pulled in less than 2 months & started with a great execution to meet the given date.
Tell us about the people involved in your business while starting up?
Once the mind was made up, I passed the idea across couple of very helpful senior management contacts, procurement & transport managers & few investors, did on-ground research while meeting face-to-face with over 370 driversat Airport, RTO & big office complexes&few car rental companies who were kind enough to open-up & share their challenges. When as a pattern we got a thumbs-up from them, we started looking out for office & staff.
Our search for office& first set of people was quite challenging but it’s said, “When it has to happen, it happens. All you have to do is put your 100%”. We had our own learning around how to setup a new office from ground-up as none of the incubation offices or accelerators evaluated at that point was meeting our requirements of parking space etc.
Special thanks to our 2 advisors, Jasbir & Sivaram& initial 9 hires because of whose support we were able to launch successfully on the planned date.Needless to say, thanks to my family who was a silent contributor.From there our learning was that if we believe in something, things would happen.
We believe you have a story to tell, please elaborate.
We started our venture without anything unique in mind rather to understand the car rental industry which is there for ages but little have been done to improve the same. To our shock while we are doing research, we found that even after the presence of Ola, UBER & few more organized players, 86% of the industry players were unorganized & unstructured. There we thought we can build something new & can provide something to a large audience which is still missing even till today. We launched our B2B tech-platform for corporate like IT companies, hotels, airlines, builders & event managers. They can take benefit from the end-to-end tracking, best-in-class safety & security standards for their employees, premium guests & VIP’s as well as ensure value-for-money service with 100% visibility for end-to-end process & billing mechanism. We wanted to stick to car rental industry only rather than doing everything around hotel, flight & package bookings. Our focus was rather around providing wide variety of cars which would help become a single point of contact for all of their passenger road transportation needs for daily commute, special commute, events or marriages etc.
What was stopping you from becoming an entrepreneur?
I think when you are part of fortune companies for over 12 years, you end up getting into your comfort spot. I personally had fears on how would I manage my expenses; lifestyle & any future calamity god forbid if it may arise. Our mind is trained to derail us if we try to do something new& it was a great internal fight though it took only 1 thing to actually start it, “it’s now or never & if you believe in it, make others believe in it & than make things happen to make the whole world believe in what you feel”.
Can you let us know which habits lead to your success?
I lived my life with 3 basic principles, eagerness to keep looking forward for change, learn from those who have who made it happen &respect & believe in yourself because there would always be situations which would challenge you & question everything you believe in. But if you stand your own ground no matter what, the game wouldn’t be over until you win.
These are the ground principles ProRido’s foundation was built upon& everyone part of it imbibe these principles to this very day.
What makes you unique in an already competitive market?
Our commitment is towards value-for-money offering, best-in-class safety & security standards & using technology as an enabler rather than a tool to replace human beings in a labor intensive country like India. This concept is what makes us stand out. We are very clear on not to compromise on our ground rules, utilize people, process & technology values to create a platform for complete transparency & trust for our stakeholders.
What is your future plan for this startup?
We have already expanded our presence across 32 cities in India. Our target is to expand to 32 cities as our next hop without compromising our fundamentals & ground principals of ProRido. Our focus is towards becoming partner of the success story for others & mutually grow together.
What message would you like to share with aspiring and new entrepreneur?
Stay focussed & motivated, pivot decisively,focus on core business mostly rather than raising funding alone. Noone would believe in your company until you believe in it. Lastly, consider your company as a baby & nurture it as it grow older than trying to force its growth which clearly won’t help any party involved. Best of luck.