Working miracles in the auto-rickshaw sector
Mumbai | February 6, 2014 Akshay Mani
Day 2 – Bootcamp
After a packed and engaging day one, the second day of the Rickshaw Rising Challenge began with a walk-shop conducted by Madhav Pai, Director- EMBARQ India for the entrepreneurs. The walkshop started at the Currey Road station, and ended at the Ministry of New, during which, Madhav shared his thoughts with the entrepreneurs on sustainable transport, and discussed the state of transport infrastructure and real-estate development along the route, and ideas on sustainable mobility concepts, including bike-lanes, better pedestrian infrastructure, better bus services and bus stops, and better access to the train station. This was followed by a talk by Judith Pollock and Jose Molina from Shell Foundation, where they gave insights to entrepreneurs on building a successful business, based on their experience working with a couple of enterprises in the Indian context – Envirofit and Dharma. The key advice they gave to entrepreneurs included the following: • Don’t just think about your product or service, but about building a business; • Test your product as soon as possible in the market; • Your team is your most important asset, so make sure you recruit and build the best team possible.
Amit Bhatt, Strategy Head, Urban Transport, EMBARQ India gave insights to entrepreneurs on how to engage with public agencies, by presenting case studies of EMBARQ India’s work to promote sustainable mobility in three cities – Indore, Bangalore, and Delhi. Through the experience working with these cities, Amit stressed the need to think about the 4 Es of working with public agencies – Engage, Evaluate, Enrich, and Expand, which helped EMBARQ build better and deeper partnerships with cities to implement sustainable solutions.
The final talk of the day was given by Robin Chase, founder of Zipcar and a globally respected leader in building sustainable transport businesses. Robin presented her story about the founding of Zipcar, which has grown to be one of the largest car-sharing companies in the world. Narrating her experience starting and growing a sustainable transport business, Robin emphasized the importance for entrepreneurs to remember the following: • Start with a minimum viable product and get to your customers as soon as possible •Money comes from unexpected places; so be alert •Leverage other people’s excess capacity •Be intellectually honest; if something doesn’t work, don't keep pushing on it, and quickly change course •Always focus on continuous improvement, and iterating fast