Soon adding to the growing community of cyclists in Bangalore will be Cyclercity - a friendly, neighbourhood bike messenger service. A network of eco-friendly cycle messengers will now enable high priority pick-up and delivery by bicycles. The concept is already largely popular in Europe, USA and other developed countries.
"I got the idea while I was in Germany on a trip and saw this service there. Another thing that happened was I realised I was wasting too much time on the road. I used to be stuck in traffic needlessly, which is when I decided to take up cycling. I ended up saving so much time and it was also more convenient," says Rajiv SIngh, co-founder, Cyclercity.
Cyclercity is basically a system which helps people get their stuff delivered instantaneously, especially in emergency situations. Suppose you're on your way to a meeting and you've left an important file at home, you can call up Cyclercity and one of the bike messengers will have it delivered to wherever you are on a priority basis. Although the official launch date of Cyclercity is set for January 6, 2014, they have already started taking orders within a 10 km radius of MG road, and will expand their delivery distances in the next couple of months. The Cyclercity team at the moment consists of twelve bike messengers.
"Our first customer was a heart patient at Columbia Asia Hospital. He had forgotten his medical report at his doctor's clinic and we had it delivered to his hospital within a couple of hours," says Rajiv, who is an ex-financial researcher.
The team feels that the biggest challenge is to make people realise that bike messengers are very different from courier companies, who have a very formal organisational structure.
"A lot of people are not aware of this kind of point-to-point service here. We're also now tying up with small businesses to help them grow their customer reach," says Rajiv.