DriveU plans to expand its doorstep car wash services to Hyderabad in the coming days. Expanding the services to Chennai and Mumbai are also in the works for Q1FY24 to provide almost every service that a car owner could ever require.
During a conversation with Mobility Outlook, Ashok Shastry, Co-founder and CEO, DriveU, noted that the company started piloting the service from Bangalore last month. Until 2021, the company ventured into several other projects but soon realised that the Indian market needed a product with a lower ticket size; hence DriveU ventured into the carwash business.
“We had dabbled here and there with servicing as well as detailing and marketing insurance where we had done a few integrations. We took those learnings and based our new services on them,” he said.
Recently, the company also ventured into car insurance by partnering with SMC Insurance Brokers. Through this partnership, all new and existing customers of DriveU will be able to easily buy/renew their car insurance in just a few simple steps.
The aim is to make the insurance buying process more gratifying and less daunting. Further to streamlining the process, all users will also get to choose a DriveU benefit, including DriveU Coins that can be redeemed across services, instant discounts on their next driver booking, and a specially curated car ownership gift box.
Shastry believes that motor insurance is one of the most expensive, unrewarding annual purchases a car owner is obligated to invest in, which is why 58% of registered vehicles are insured despite it being mandatory.
Expanding Available Services
Until 2021 the core business for the platform was the ‘Drivers’ business, wherein the company provides drivers on a rental basis for both b2b and b2c customers. The CEO noted that the company generates 99% of its revenues from the driver services business, as the other recently introduced services.
On the b2b side of the service, DriveU has partnered with Mahindra FirstChoice along with Cars24, OLX and CarDekho, in which the DriveU drivers are deployed on the field to bring the vehicles either to the garages of these auto platforms or deliver them to the customers.
Shastry noted that the most common use case for this service is for someone to get around the city during the daytime on the business’s b2c side. According to this, the CEO asserts that the business was the first to implement uniform pricing, with a fixed charge for the first hour and then an increase in price per minute.
Another popular application for the service is the ‘don’t drink and drive’ campaign, which accounts for about 25% of all usage and is aimed at people between the ages of 25 and 45. While 23% of the use cases involve people using the service to commute to work.
Interestingly, Shastry believes that the market size of the service can be close to $6 million in India, while in the international market, the service has already gained momentum. With no plans to expand its operations in the international market in the near term, the company aims to expand its services by adding more use cases.
In an effort to promote the ‘don’t drink and drive’ campaign, the company plans to collaborate with numerous pub owners in the operating cities to offer drivers to those who are intoxicated. In addition, the company also aims to introduce the customers to the option to select the preferred language for the driver along with their age.
As the need for drivers of luxury vehicles grows, the company also plans to enter the market with driver-partners who have received the appropriate training. In addition, Shastry said, DriveU intends to roll out full- and semi-time driver services that will enable the business to give customers the same driver for a number of days in a row.
Besides adding new services, it also aims to enhance its service quality with a core focus on service, quality and reliability, he said.
With the addition of services to the driver business, the company believes that its b2c side of operations and revenues will grow by 250% in FY24, while for the b2b side, the prediction is 50% growth, the CEO concluded.
Automovill To Offer Car Service To DriveU Customers
Based in New York, Stephen Freeman is a Senior Editor at Trending Insurance News. Previously he has worked for Forbes and The Huffington Post. Steven is a graduate of Risk Management at the University of New York.