Ronak Gupta, 21, and Abhishek Agarwal, 22, head to their South Delhi office everyday and start the day with a 15 minute time-saving scrum meeting. After that, they are all set to work on their product for the rest of the day. The duo’s product, Routofy, helps you find the best travel option via any mode of transportation with the least effort. With Routofy (www.routofy.com), you can seamlessly search and compare the time, duration and price of all direct/indirect connections possible anywhere, be it train-train, train-bus, flight-bus or any other type of connection. Both the founders hold a BTech and MTech from IIT-Delhi. While Ronak graduated in Chemical Engineering, Abhishek opted for Computer Science.
With no previous work experience, they started developing the product in December 2013. Routofy has six employees now. The idea came about when Ronak spent a semester in France under IIT Delhi’s semester exchange programme. All enthused to take the backpack route and travel across Europe, he faced his first roadblock trying to figure out a suitable way to reach the destination. It was a brain wracking experience as the options were far too many and confusing. In Ronak’s own words, “I used to open multiple tabs for flight, train, bus schedules and prices. Sitting with Google maps, I tried to find alternate and indirect connections to my destination. Once back in India, I realised that the problem assumes complex proportions here, as the system is much more complicated”. And that’s how Routofy came into being.
Technology is something Routofy has mastered through the duo’s hard work. Its technology gives users the best hundred results by optimising the options based on multiple factors like price, duration, availability, comfort, transfer times and delays among other aspects. The founders say they do not have a direct competitor globally, as there is no company that solves the multi modal route planning problem in real time, which include the latest schedules, prices, and availability data at the point the user searches.
Abhishek adds that it was difficult to convince friends and family that they were not going to take up the jobs they got through campus placements. But they understood, and later on it was their family which helped them all the way. “Initially, the main challenge was to get good people on board and to make them understand our vision and mission so that they start believing in it,” he adds. Routofy’s algorithm finds each and every possible path, both direct and indirect via different cities across all modes. The founders opine that people do not necessarily go for the cheapest or the fastest option; they want something that gives them the best value for money. Factors like price, duration, comfort and number of stops for a particular itinerary is what is on the top of the head of most users.
Taking note of the mobile traffic for the website, they have also begun developing a mobile app.