We are publishing an interview of Dr. Irfan Khan, Founder & Director of eBike – India’s first ever platform offering electronic mode of transportation services.
Please tell us about the founders
I completed my Ph.D. in Alternative Medicine from Colombo and came across different hurdles in life and reached Dalhousie after going across different cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Chandigarh and working in large scale companies and in this process I started my own spa in Dalhousie in a hotel and watching the success of this spa I was given a post of general manager for the hotel which is one of the biggest hotel in Dalhousie which was very new to me and I learnt many things which led me to start a new organisation in Dalhousie which is Swachh Dalhousie and we started it before the government of India started Swachh Bharat and I was the general secretary of the same.
Keeping in that in mind, we wanted to start an eco-friendly concept. I started a company THINK DIFFERENT CONSULTING in which we use to run several franchises and I always want to start that eco-friendly start-up and then I started a firm called eBike in 2017 and I being the founder Director in which we started pilot run in Amritsar and we started operations in 2018. Now, my age is 42.
Please tell us about the investors (if any) First round from friends and family and right now earning revenue.
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
The main problems which we are trying to solve is pollution and traffic, which are the major problems faced by our own country and other countries in the world as In India 1 in 8 deaths is due to air pollution and more than quarter of the air pollution Is due to motor vehicles which can be controlled.
Tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
eBike is now operating in three different platforms, eBike Rental, eBike Taxi and eBike Delivery.
- In India rental bikes are used by tourists, riders and other sectors, so there are many fuel bikes used by companies for rentals and here in eBike we will provide the bike at the cost of fuel, when a customer takes in on rent and it is pollution free which is increasing.
- Coming to Bike Taxi, there are many fleet bikes and we at eBike Taxi will provide last mile connectivity at a very economical price which is the biggest problem in India.
- Delivery is a major market share in India and each and every goods, food and other things are delivered using fuel bikes and other fuel based vehicles, so we would like to change this mode to electric. Using eBike Delivery, we would solve this problem as there are lakhs of bikes involved in delivery and producing pollution.
What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learnings that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have atleast one of them signed up?
This varies for all the platforms:
- For eBike Rentals, the ideal customers are Tourists, Riders & maximum signups are from them.
- For eBike Rentals, the ideal customers are Employees, Tourists and local transport passengers.
- For eBike Delivery, the ideal customers are companies that deliver various goods.
How are you pricing the Product? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc.? Explain your thought process.
Coming to pricing of our product, in rentals, it varies on the time for which they rent and it is only Rs 200 per day and the first ride would be for Rs 100.
For eBike Taxi, we are charging Rs 10 per 3 km and Rs 3 per km after that.
For eBike Delivery, it depends on the tie-up with the specific company.
How did you get your first customer?
We placed our poster in a backpackers and we got a signup from a traveller (backpacker) who stayed in that hostel.
What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
As we are expanding pan India, we would like to place atleast 1,00,000 in each metro for the connectivity of people and convert each and every company which is using fuel bikes for delivery to electric.
What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
In India, it is very huge market as the pollution is growing and traffic is increasing, so as government is looking for turning each and every vehicles to EV. There is no company in India which is doing the same in all the three platforms.
List all the names of the core Team Members, along with their Designated Roles – How you see them evolving over time. What would be each of their Skillsets? – Elaborate also if any of the team members has a specific domain expertise.
Dr. ISHAN RANJAN (Chief Mentor of eBike) is believed to be one of the few IITians to understand the importance of specialisation and internships in education for our budding engineers. With more than thirty years of horizontal experience both in industry-academia, he has worn many hats – that of researcher, software developer, editor, business-unit head, entrepreneur, teacher, academic administrator and counsellor.
He received his Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT, Roorkee; Masters in Computer Engineering from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada and Ph.D. in IT services from Birla Institute.
He is credited with three start-ups in the Industry, and has travelled overseas on assignments to USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia for IBM, Cisco, 3COM, AT&T and British Telecom.
P HARI KIRAN, Project Head of eBike belongs to Visakhapatnam located in Andhra Pradesh, He completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication engineering from Gitam University. He has been appointed as Business Development Manager for an IT services company and in this period of time, he started travelling to different cities in Southern India and found no challenges in the job and decided to quit and continued to travel across different States of India and started exploring different cultures.
When he met me, he found the concept interesting and challenging and he became a part of this company from the starting. His age is 25.
POUNIT VARSHNEY (Chief Business Officer of eBike) is a Senior management professional with more than 20 years of successful experience of delivering positive results in sales & marketing operations, having handled diverse product portfolios, spread across varied geographies & levels with key leadership positions in Banking (Assets & Retail Liabilities), Automobiles (ICE & Electric Vehicles), Education & Real Estate sectors including exposure to project design & implementation, whilst working with organizations: Hero Honda Motors Ltd., Yamaha Motor India Ltd., Hyundai Motor India Ltd., HDFC Bank Ltd., Electro herm India (P) Ltd., Hero Electric Vehicles Pvt Ltd., Terra Motors India Pvt Ltd. As a business strategist, have an expertise in setting up new businesses, business development & expansion plans, sales & marketing strategic planning, auto retail & inventory finance, channel management and problem solving skills.
Who do You Perceive as Your Competition?
I think there are no major competitors for us in electric platform.
What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Expand these platforms in 100 cities pan India.
What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
I suggest people to be more innovative as there are many problems in India which are yet to solve.
Any other information you would like to share?
I think each and every thing is covered and we are active in Amritsar and we are launching soon this month in Delhi, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Dehradun and Agra.