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 ‘Crafting Bharat: A Podcast Series’, released it’s second episode with Rishabh Sood, Co-Founder and CTO of BluSmart.

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Over the past decade, the Indian Startup Ecosystem has undergone an exceptional evolution, surfacing as a vibrant and dynamic landscape for entrepreneurs. India is hosting a plethora of startups ranging from tech-driven to those focused on social impact and sustainability. 

The “Crafting Bharat – A Startup Podcast Series” powered by AWS, and an initiative by NewsReach, in association with VCCircle, unlocks the secrets behind these successful entrepreneurs’ journeys aiming to equip aspiring entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts with invaluable insights. The podcast series is hosted by Gautam Srinivasan, famed for hosting a diverse range of TV and digital programs, currently consulting editor at CNBC (India), CNN-News18, Mint, HT Media, Forbes India, and The Economic Times.

India’s rapid urbanization is contributing to rising pollution levels, but visionary founder Rishabh Sood, co-founder and CTO of BluSmart, is revolutionizing the ride-hailing sector with electric vehicles (EVs). In the Crafting Bharat Podcast Series, Sood talks about his founder journey, building a sustainable business and adoption of EVs.

Explore the tales of Indian startup founders’ transformation from dreams to reality, navigating challenges to seize opportunities through the Crafting Bharat Podcast Series.

Video Embedded  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXVM7-HTW_I 
 

Segment 1: The Incubator

How did you scale up but remain close to your customers in identifying their pain points, and, once you solve those issues, how do you keep the product relevant? 

The idea is that when you scale you need to do things which do not scale. Many companies do this when they scale, they start looking at customers as the data points. They will make pie charts and try to figure out why their customers are unhappy, we also did that but what we also did was to always try to maintain our ground connect, so, we would become customer support agents for a day and receive customer complaints, feel the pain & anger, and empathize with them. This is what helps us to stay relevant, we physically go through individual complaints. The idea is to capture the emotion. When you start looking at the suggestions or feedback as data points and in pie charts, you lose the emotion out of it. 

You could iron out the issues with a unique full stack playbook that learnt from degraded user experiences of your competitors due to their asset-light models and resolve these issues to create a WOW experience while onboarding and retaining customers?

If we built the same tech, built an aggregator model or if we get driver partners with their own cars then we will land up with the same problem, so, we fundamentally changed the business model and built the technology for it. And that is what helped us to figure out that we need to have the cars in our control, that way we can make sure that the condition is extremely good and well maintained. The schedule model was also a game changer for us and the reason for us to do a schedule model was because you cannot do a real-time ride with 70 cars.

How is AWS enabling BluSmart to power-up its backend to overcome issues around quick ride-matching, zero down time etc. and save operational costs while supporting your net-zero ambitions?

AWS has been a trusted and supportive partner for us right from day one. We’ve built a lot of technology and machine learning algorithms for our scheduled ride model wherein we were able to make sure the car reaches on time. 97% of our rides are reaching in time with zero cancellations. We had to predict time required for a ride during different times of the day for which we built out machine learning models which we are running on the AWS infrastructure, and it’s been running smoothly. 

Segment 2: The Accelerator

What’s the one lesson from BluSmart’s relatively slow expansion strategy that startup founders can learn from?

We started with Delhi and today we have 7000 cars spread across just two cities; Delhi and Bangalore but these are big markets. I would say if you’re able to succeed in Delhi then there is no reason why you will not be able to go to any other city and succeed. That’s what you need to do, even when you are going slow you need to build things with scale. 

What’s the best mantra to maintain long lasting co-founder relationships?

I think what it really boils down to is trusting each other and having confidence in the ability of each other but at the same time you need to question and push each other as well. You need to maintain that balance of trusting but also really push and ask questions. 

 

India’s startup ecosystem is undergoing a significant transformation as the motivated founders lead with exceptional innovation. The passion and vision of the entrepreneurs is keeping the Indian startup ecosystem in motion. 

Stay tuned to the Crafting Bharat Podcast Series as we bring you these inspirational entrepreneurs for insightful and candid discussions with Gautam Srinivasan.

 

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