Please walk us through your entrepreneurial journey and background before you started? Any interesting stories?
It is about three years now since we embarked on this entrepreneurial journey. Starting with working on a Women Safety gadgets and services – we pivoted to the end to end technology leveraged Employee Transport services. We see a big opportunity in this space – a large un-organized market. Want to transform it leveraging technology by bringing in Reliability, Efficiency and Safety while contributing to the Green initiative.
We have got excellent investor community support and enjoying good market traction. The journey though had its own shares downs – we ran out of money and almost closed office – just to come back next day and start all over again. Our seasoned co-founder cherish the adventure and keep passionately innovating to materialize a big dream.
About founding team
Gajanan Sakhare (CEO) is CoFounder of SmartCommute. Gajanan has done his BE in Computer Science from Govt College of Engg Pune and later his executive MBA from IMT. Gajanan founded SmartCloud in 2011. Previously Gajanan has worked in Electronic Arts heading the Mobile production team in Hyderabad.
Ajit Patil is CoFounder and Director, SmartCommute. Ajit has done his Masters in Industrial Eng. from IIT Kharagpur. Ajit was previously co-founder / CEO of Vertex Software which formed strategic equity alliance with Mitsui & Co. Ltd. Japan and exited to NTTDATA – Japan.
Tell us little about your product/ platform
SmartCommute is an award winning fully managed End to End Employee Transport Management System.
SmartCommute™ (www.smartcommute.cab ) operates in various cities across India including Bangalore, NCR, Pune, Mumbai etc. where they provide end to end technology enabled employee transport services to large IT and ITeS companies. SmartCommute™ offers home to office and back commute in various models – including Corporate paid and Self paid. SmartCommute™ platform is a comprehensive system available for Transport Managers, Transport Vendors, Employees, Drivers, Security Teams etc. SmartCommute™ is deployed on a secured cloud platform and comes with Android based mobile application for Drivers and Android/iOS based mobile applications for employees.
Tell us about your customer traction
Our customers include large enterprises such as TCS, KPIT, CapGemini, BMC etc. in B2B space and 3 IT parks in Pune in B2C space. We are currently doing more than 5000 rides per day across multiple cities in India.
How has been your association with IBM Global Entrepreneur? How important do you think IBM Global Entrepreneur is to help and improve the ecosystem?
IBM GEP has helped us connect with the VC Community, Mentors network, CIO Community. Also it has helped us gain valuable PR / media publicity. This part we have been able to use IBM cloud services for free which is of great help to us.
What’s your take on the IBM Cloud? How is it helping your start-up grow?
IBM cloud services help us customize our server requirements optimally and easily. Also IBM Cloud service are highly reliable. This help us to offer highly optimized and reliable services to our customers. Also, our entire product development environment is setup on IBM Cloud. Our team is able to seamlessly and securely collaborate across multi-location – enabling high productivity and convenience.
What is your road ahead for your start-up?
We are in process of raising Series A for our seed funded startup to enable us to increase our market share aggressively in the Employee Transport space. Our startup will focus on building a sustainable business in Employee Transport with higher gross margins derived from effective use of technology.