BANGALORE: The sharing or renting economy is rapidly establishing itself as a disruptive new framework in the wake of the extreme consumerism that was led by e-commerce and mobile-commerce companies.
A PWC report estimates that the market will be USD 335 billion globally by 2025. As a McKinsey Quarterly article puts it “The sharing economy is growing rapidly and creating new opportunities across the globe. Like all major disruptions, it is putting pressure on existing business models and regulatory frameworks and triggering other significant changes.”
Indian startups are at the frontline of this disruption. In the past, many Indian startups have built companies by simply imitating and modifying a successful business model employed in developed economies.
Abhijit Shaha, President of Product and Strategy at RentSher.com said “We are developing the product from scratch. There is no global reference, either for product features, or for operational model”. After an year of operation and several customer feedbacks, RentSher has focused on a sharing model with end-to-end fulfillment.
“Our customers can book products online for specific dates and products get delivered and picked up on those dates. There is complete transparency in pricing, availability and delivery timing. We are further enhancing the product with geo-tagging, semi-automated quality measures, and real-time availability and tracking. Having our own fulfillment network provides great control on customer experience quality” added Abhijit.
Vibhu Garg, COO and co-founder at Unicommerce validates the idea - "Following the wave of e-commerce and m-commerce, perhaps we are looking at a wave of collaborative commerce. However the world needs good platforms which can enable the same. And India can lead by example, having provided good platforms and also the proof point that sharing works."
Similarly, Joby Babu, COO at Nimbuzz, currently part of New Call Telecom states – “Last half a decade has been a period of sharing economies. And the model has been highly effective in all domains it got started.
Rental domain probably will witness the best in sharing. With emerging societies upgrading their life styles and becoming more akin to western models, sharing economy in rental domain is poised to succeed. Increasingly, we tend to make a lot more impulsive purchases and not end up using them beyond the first or second attempt.
Tracx had published a report in June 2015 on ‘Online Rental Startup Landscape’ listing 300+ startups. From India, only Furlenco had raised funding by then. In last 6 months, post report, a number of startups have raised angel or seed funding, including Mumbai based RentoMojo, raising USD two million from Accel Partners and IDG Ventures. Many more are in process to close their round by Q1 of next year.
As it typically happens, on the receiving side of this phenomenon is extremely happy customer. “I always wanted to have a game session with friends but couldn’t afford to buy expensive consoles.” says Ramesh, Techie in Bangalore.