Niche websites that focus on solving a problem that many an entrepreneur would have looked through, is the order of the day. One such service is DriveKool.com, an online portal where one can book driving school classes as well as get RTO related services without any hassles. Launched by Mahesh Gidwani, Saumitra Kayal and Kumar Gaurav, the portal services Bangaloreans as of now, and has tied up with more than 50 driving schools across the city. Hailing from Madhya Pradesh, Mahesh worked with Dell for more than five years as a Senior Technical Architect after he finished his Master of Computer Applications (MCA) from Devi Ahilya University, Indore. A Big Data and radio-frequency identification enthusiast, Saumitrawas a Senior Software Architect with Dell for eight years. He has an MTech in Computer Science from Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. Kumar was the Sales and Marketing Consultant with Get2Galaxy, a startup for almost a year before starting up with DriveKool. He holds a BTech degree from CMRIT, Bangalore.
With a six member team excluding the founders, the website was launched in July 2014. Kumar says,“Other than being able to book driving classes, one can also avail RTO services such as driving license, change of address, getting NOC and so on.” Completely free for its customers, DriveKool gets a commission from the driving schools for each student. “Driving schools do provide RTO services. So we use the same network of driving schools to help our customers with respect to their RTO service needs as well,” says Kumar.
Mahesh believes that they do not have any competitors as of now as it’s an extremely niche offering. DriveKool’s services have also been listed in portals of Infosys and other companies along with providing them corporate discounts.
Started with an initial investment of `10 lakh, the founders have zeroed in on an investor who has agreed to prop them up with the much needed moolah. Saumitra adds that although the response was encouraging from the user’s side, marketing and finding resourceful employees was tough, not to mention the cash crunch.
DriveKool promotes itself aggressively on social media platforms, corporate events and on various listing sites. They have also invested in Search Engine Optimisation to get organic traffic to their website. The company has started generating revenues and is looking at increasing the bookings to 200 per day with their long term goal being 5000 per day. Other than the revenue made on each booking, they also earn through advertisements on the portal and are aiming to breakeven within a year’s time. They are planning to go pan-India focusing on metro cities first. Delhi is their next destination. DriveKool also conducts various campaigns on road safety awareness on social networking platforms. firstname.lastname@example.org