THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Engineers Arun Thomas and wife Remya Sebastian gave up their jobs at an MNC in Bangalore to start a business of their own, setting up an online site for used bikes. Old bikes across the country had a lot of takers but there was hardly any info about where to source these second hands from. This was in 2007, when portals were just taking baby steps in India.
Arun’s decision to sell his brother’s bike on Orkut provided him with an insight on how an online business interaction took place. After days of gruelling research and ice-breaking sessions with dealers, the couple went on to start Bike4sale, which earned attention as India’s first ‘second hand bike web portal’. Today, it ranks third among the top bike-only webportals in the country. Arun currently has plans to expand the website and to chart latest collection of new bikes, their specifications tips and pricing from across the length and breadth of the country.
Arun and his wife were classmates who shifted their base to Bangalore after being selected through campus placements at Support Soft, a US based company and Wipro, respectively. Arun’s brain wave received full backing of his engineer wife. After their online business started doing well, they decided to invest full-time in their new ‘career’.
Remya started mobile4sale in 2008 and scooter4sale in 2011. Initially, they were working from their homes, but owing to the business demands, they set up office at Tripunithura, with a five member team.
A first to their credit
Bike4sale is credited as the only website which gives the value and exact year of the second hand bikes which are being sold online. It was Arun’s wife who created this valuation tool which gives details of the brand, model, year of manufacture and the state of registration. Till date the portal has listed more than one lakh eight thousand bikes and has sold over 1,25,000 motorcycles so far.
Whether you are looking for a pre-independence Royal Enfield or a classic Yamaha, Arun Thomas says that Bike4sale knows the need of the customer and is willing to cater to their tastes too. “People are free to list their oldest bike on the site. They are however supposed to meet our specifications and provide details that the customer is looking for. We also ensure that there are no fake ads provided. This is important to us,” he says.