During their time at a multinational company, Vikram Kodgi and Nikhil Thomas came face-to-face with a major problem – getting intra-city vehicles for transportation. “Though inter-city vehicles were aplenty, most intra-city dealers were unorganized. So the two of us thought why not get the sector organized as intra-city movement is imperative to most businesses like manufacturing, wholesale or retail,” recalls Nikhil. “We did a survey and found out that there was a huge market for it,” he adds. Soon, Avinash Achar, a classmate of Vikram’s in college, came on board to handle the tech part of the business.
The result was Truck Easy, a company that can be called as the Ola or Uber of the mini truck world. “Just like these cab services, we are a tech platform for small commercial vehicles primarily meant for in-city movement,” explains Nikhil. Fully operational in Bengaluru with many vehicles like Tata Ace and Super Ace to its credit, the company came about after many a discussion and brainstorming. “One evening, the three of us got together to write down the ideas we had in mind and formed the entire concept of Truck Easy.” Fascinated by the module of redbus.in, Nikhil says, “Thankfully at that time, Ola and Uber started gaining popularity. The Ola model made it easier for us to convince everyone involved including the drivers.”
Just like the cab services, one needs to book a truck online and the closest driver will be assigned for the task. Within 60 minutes, the truck will come and deliver the load to its destination. Customers can track it and avail different types of cashback if they are regular. So it’s not a wonder that Truck Easy has many satisfied clients today.
But getting into the “entrepreneurial bandwagon”, as Nikhil says, took sometime. “We all held our corporate jobs for a while as we didn’t know how the market would react to the idea. Though the potential was huge, there was a big question mark on the supply too. So we thought it was better to not quit our full-time jobs immediately,” he recalls.
Once the trio took the plunge, they realized that everything wasn’t as simple as it looked on paper. Nikhil recalls the time when they had made only four trips in an entire month. “Our drivers were asking us to give them some work,” he laughs. “Though we got a few big clients in the first two months like Blue Dart and Wildcraft, there is no denying that we had starting trouble. It was like a snowball, you just have to set it rolling. Once it starts, it gets bigger and bigger,” he says.
Fast forward to 2017 and Truck Easy now has around 1500 satisfied clients. The team of 19 works out of an office near Lal Bagh, Bengaluru, and plans to branch out to other cities like Chennai too. “We want to use the next set of funds that we receive for the expansion of the company. We are really ambitious and this isn’t it.”
Unlike other entrepreneurs who dream about working for themselves and being their own bosses, Nikhil says that it was starting from scratch and building something successful that gave him a high.
Nikhil says that “start-ups are the new fad”. “But 2016 wasn’t a great year for businesses as the venture capitalists started waking up and putting restrictions on funds. That’s why many of them closed down while some had to fire many of their employees. But I feel those who have their basics right in terms of profitability will surely survive the winter.”
Ask him about the tips that budding entrepreneurs need to keep in mind and he says dealing tactfully with the naysayers. “When we started out, it was like the three of us against the world. But we had our own plans and execution strategy. So the trick lies in convincing your nearest and dearest ones first, which will give you the knack to convince your clients later on,” he says. “If you work hard and smart, things are bound to fall in place,” he signs off.
For details, visit www.truckeasy.net
- Get your basics right.
- Unless you are sure of your vision, don’t jump on the bandwagon.
- Work with like-minded people.