Startup

GrabOnRent: Changing the Dimensions of Online Rental Business

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Joining a corporate for a new job, beginning a new life, moving to a new city for any reason comes with its own sets of challenges and difficulties, ranging from logistical hurdles to making connections in the new city. All of us have experienced this kind of situation once or more in our life. Did you ever compromise on your comfort while living in a rented space due to insufficient furnishing? GrabOnRent is committed to offering a plethora of products for the tiniest of your needs for any duration you want.

About GrabOnRent

GrabOnRent, an online rental platform, is driven by a very simple principle of providing accessibility of products to everyone. Be it furniture or party accessories or even camping gear, GrabOnRent provides everything on rent in a very hassle free manner. GrabOnRent is a platform that helps its users browse different products and compare the prices, their delivery times etc. once they log on. Users have to make a security deposit and pay for the items they select. The team at GrabOnRent check for defects (if any) in the products before delivering to the customers to avoid confusion in case of accidental damage to the product.

What is good about GrabOnRent is that one can rent products as per their convenience, be it for an hour or for a day or even for a month(s). If you want to use the product just for few hours in a day, you need not rent it for an entire day thus saving on the cost. This also helps in preventing accidental damages to the product, the company claims.

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Currently, GrabOnRent offers a whole range of consumer products such as Home Appliances, Furniture, Hookah, Barbecue, Party Items, Cameras, PS3, PS4, Xbox Gaming Consoles, Adventure Gear, Bicycles, and latest Cool Gadgets such as VR Headset, Pebble Smartwatch and even a Hoverboard. It has tied up with small businesses for its products and hence helping reduce the inventory burden on the company. Being an online marketplace, the company is also looking to provide visibility to offline sellers.

How it began?

The idea evolved in the minds of founders of Perdix, a Kolkata-based startup when they moved to Bengaluru. They were facing huge issues while moving offices and had to buy furniture every time they moved to new offices. The idea got its stronghold when the team had a party and didn’t know where to rent barbecue equipment. When they didn’t find any other option, they had to go out and buy one. This experience led Manish S. Sugandhi, Shubham Jain, and Aditya Sharma to start GrabOnRent. The company was founded in August 2015. Manish and Shubham had set up Perdix Solutions before moving on to GrabOnRent.  The team took nearly 45 days to launch the services at Pan-Bangalore level from ideation to a soft-launch to the final one.

Brains behind the company

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GrabOnRent was founded by three young IIT Guwahati graduates – Shubham Jain, Aditya Sharma, and Manish S Sugandhi. Having known each other for the last six years, all three of them had complementary skills – Shubham is the big-vision person with exceptional product and marketing skills, Aditya is a techie by heart, and Manish is a methodological and innovative operations and business development person.

Manish has the experience of working with Flipkart (in their Supply Chain Management) and Aditya worked for Hewlett-Packard as a senior researcher. Shubham and Manish had also worked together earlier as founding members of Perdix Business Solutions Pvt Ltd, a design consultancy, where they handled Design and Business Development respectively.

The primary GrabOnRent team consists of a strong team with extensive knowledge and experience in working with Marketplaces such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Jabong; Hyperlocal Startups such as Tinyowl, Localoye.

Revenues and Funding

GrabOnRent‘s Average Ticket Size has gone up by 30% which is Rs. 3,300 per order and its monthly orders have witnessed an increase of 112% in the last 2 months. The startup is currently running well with its operational cost of around Rs. 15 lakhs per month and claims to have an increase in monthly revenues which have risen up to 69% in the last 2 months. In other words, the monthly operational burn is neutralized completely by the revenue it generates and it reaches to break-even. Currently, the company charges a certain percentage of total transaction amount as commission and has plans to implement few other models in near future which includes Subscription Model for consumers, Advertisements for partners and brands, Brand Tie-ups, and Bundling Add-on Products.

The startup had recently closed its Pre-Series A round of funding $450,000 in July 2016.

Market of Online Rental Business

Businesses have spent centuries making buying really easy for their customers whereas GrabOnRent is already on its way of making sharing easy. GrabOnRent majorly belongs to Sharing Economy and specifically under Access Economy. As the company believes in providing access to any product to any person at any time, it sees a bright future ahead.

According to ASSOCHAM’s predictions in 2014, the used-goods market would cross the 1,50,000-crore mark in the year 2015 and is seeing a YoY increase of 12 percent. Considering the fact that more than 65 percent of India’s population is under the age of 35, it is safe to say that India is a welcoming place for the sharing economy boom. The trend of sharing is more popular and acceptable among the urban population. It is predicted that by 2025 India will have about 42% of its population in urban cities, which in turn would lead to a large number of people adopting to a collaborative economy.

Accordingly, GrabOnRent is focusing on driving people towards a behavioral change – from caring about ownership to thinking of accessibility to products as and when required with a hope to expand its operations to major cities that include all Tier I and a majority of Tier II cities with 1 million plus customers.

Strengthening Uniqueness

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GrabOnRent challenges the problems like limited selection, inconvenience, and poor renting experience of people. The startup maintains its unique backend tech that works as a strong barrier to entry for any business. It includes its Scalable Quality Check Programme, Trust Engine, Product Health Tracking, Product Location Tracking, and Price Recommendation Engine. By keeping an eye on these unique factors, the company is hopeful to overcome the hurdles like attracting huge funding, high profile names in the team, and capturing the biggest share of the market.

Challenges and Competition

The most common and the biggest challenge which companies face in this sector is gathering the trust of vendors. GrabOnRent has ensured that 100% of the inventory rented out through them is a pure MarketPlace play. This helps them in spending less or nil on Inventory that reduces the capital blocking and expanding its operations rapidly into new cities. In the same course, the company has built a strong back end solution that helps them automate a lot of processes with minimal human involvement.

Being in a relatively new segment, the startup sees startups like Rentomojo and Furlenco as its competitors even though they are not big as them. GrabOnRent is not restricted to only furniture rental and has moved to a bigger space thus showing its differentiating factor. As there are no leaders in this particular segment, most startups are yet to make a big mark in this space.

Tackling the Adverse Situations

GrabOnRent not only enjoyed the benefits of its unique services but also faced some crucial situations in its journey. During Chennai Floods, while shifting their employees from Chennai to Bangalore, Wipro approached GrabOnRent to accommodate a set of 200 individuals with basic utilities on rent for a 3 weeks’ period that consisted of 200 beds, mattresses, and other basic products.  Although, it was not an easy task to manage such a big order but GrabOnRent achieved it in the stipulated time. The demand for rental products soared to 92% from a single Target Group; people who migrated to Bangalore in the last one month. Not highly unexpected but it prompted them to realign the entire three months’ strategy into a new direction facilitating the highly active audience. The believer of the execution of ideas, GrabOnRent, encourages the budding entrepreneurs to work hard to make their dreams a reality.

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