There is a time in every person’s life when one aspires to become one’s own boss. Getting a job in a multinational company and the complementary things that are associated with it like friends, partying, promotions, travels, on-sites, etc. are representative of the lifestyle change that many youth have made a part and parcel of their life. Thanks to the IT boom, Bengaluru has become the city of dreams for every aspiring IT professional. It is also a city with a large number of Malayalee youngsters. But do all of them aspire to work in an MNC? The trend is changing. Many IT professionals have realised the monotony associated with MNC jobs and some have even gone a step further and quit their jobs to take up other things.
This was the situation with Ganesh and Brinda, a Malayalee couple settled in Bengaluru. They quit their jobs and began a bike rental start-up – Funveyance, which aims to provide fun-to-ride vehicles at competitive prices.
Explaining more about the venture, Ganesh says,”We are starting with two-wheelers only for the time being. The current fleet consists of Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Vespa scooters. Funveyance was coined as a play on the word conveyance. We define it as ‘transporting with fun’. Our tagline ‘Fun Rides With Us’ is intended to convey that while we provide fun rides, fun itself rides along with us and our customers.”
The idea of vehicle rental occurred to them as Ganesh was always passionate about 4×4 vehicles. Therefore, they wanted to start a rental business around modified and souped-up 4×4 vehicles like Mahindra Thar and Maruthi Gypsy. However, some challenges like parking, securing, and maintaining the minimum number of four-wheelers to acquire the license made it difficult for them to do what they wanted, as they could not afford spending the amount required for such a business.
“In case of two-wheelers, we could comfortably accommodate our entire fleet in a regular-sized home garage. So we decided to begin with bikes and hopefully grow to a point where we can think about adding the 4×4 off-roading and adventure vehicles. We are starting small with a fleet of 5 two-wheelers and will build that fleet up as we go. There are plans to expand to other cities in Karnataka and also in Kerala with Kochi or Thiruvananthapuram as likely starting points,” he added.
Funveyance has been incorporated as a limited liability partnership firm (a partnership where some or all partners have limited liability) because Brinda and Ganesh were pretty sure that they did not want to take in outside investors and go the way of most start-ups, which burn through investor funding at a frantic pace and go bust.
This step has given them a space to retain complete control over their decisions and have their own money at stake. According to them, this compels them to be all the more judicious with their decisions and think about everything twice before doing anything in this regard.
Even though they have started with five vehicles only, both of them have taken extreme care in selecting the motorcycles according to the taste of the customers. They intend to provide a “big-bike experience” at really affordable prices. A Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight, a 1200 cc sportster model, which would cost approximately Rs. 10.5 lakh to own, is being offered at a rate of Rs. 2,500 per day.
For Rs. 2,500, one can experience riding a reasonably big Harley-Davidson bike.
“We plan to offer even bigger bikes at similarly affordable prices as we grow,” says Brinda, who is assisting her husband in each and every aspect of the business.
The couple is positive about the potential of the Bengaluru market and is of the opinion that the city has a large and viable customer base for high-end bike rentals, as the market is not saturated yet. But they also mention that the practical problems associated with high-end bike rentals is more because riding these bikes carelessly would lead to more wear and tear. Ganesh says that they brief every customer on how to handle these bikes and also make sure that the customers ride the bike once before actually renting it out.
They have been working on the project since last year but have opened it to the public from October 13, as the entire rental process is done only through the website and the work of the website was progressing. The couple comes from business families who have been supportive of them leaving their established jobs and pursuing their dream of starting a business.
“We are grateful to both our families for their immense support in making Funveyance a reality,” say Brinda and Ganesh who are overwhelmed about taking baby steps towards accomplishing their dreams.
As they have finally kickstarted the business, working on marketing is the next goal they intend to achieve. Funveyance is now being promoted by Brinda and Ganesh’s friends and relatives. However, they are planning to do something more in a detailed manner in terms of publicizing the venture, once funds start pooling in.