QUEEN’S ROAD: When Manish Sugandhi and Shubham Jain expanded their Kolkata-based Perdix Business Solutions to Bengaluru two years ago, they observed that while rental start-ups abound in the city, they aren’t exactly thriving. The two entrepreneurs got to work to change this and three weeks ago, launched GrabOnRent, an on-demand product rental platform that now gets 60 to 80 orders a week.
“When we wanted to rent screens or projectors, we realised that there were many good vendors but most of them were specialised. They were spread across the city and quoted different rates,” Manish says.
Last year, the duo joined hands with Aditya Sharma, a fellow entrepreneur, and began brainstorming. They tied up with a few vendors, or partners as they prefer to call them, in June this year and had a trial run. Early in September, they launched the GrabOnRent website and app.
At present, it offers products across six categories — party, adventure, home appliances, gaming, sports and furniture. Some of these are rented out for daily use, while others are offered on monthly basis.
Apart from ensuring that customers receive items at standardised rates, GrabOnRent ensures that quality checks are run before delivery and at the time of pick-up. “If it’s furniture, we polish it. If it’s a fridge, it’s cooled for four hours. If it’s a washing machine, one entire cycle is run. All products are painted/cleaned before they are delivered,” Manish says.
During pick-up, the delivery personnel check the items for damage. If any issue is found, the start-up steps in and mediates. “If the damage is because of rough handling, we deduct money from the security deposit. If it’s due to some fault in the product, we bear the cost,” Manish says. The security deposit ranges from `500 to `5,000, depending on the product cost. “The idea is that it should cover the cost of damage 90 per cent of the time.”
According to him, a major chunk of the orders comes for the adventure, party and appliances categories. The party set fetches the start-up more than the other two categories, which for the moment are loss-making. Earlier this week, the platform introduced a few packages in an attempt to break even.
However, these are early days and Manish is hopeful the business will gain a footing sooner than later. “By our estimates, we will start breaking even in 15 months,” he says. By November, GrabOnRent plans to expand to four more cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad.