When you walk into our cosy igloo-like (see what I did there?) office here in Bangalore, with our young group of engineers chattering away about new features and design, you’d be forgiven for assuming that we are just another Bangalore startup building a mobile app. And we are, by all means, we are.
But we aren’t.
As mobile technology eats up everything around us, solving huge real-world problems – we want to help solve some of our most complex, and more importantly, taxing real-world problems. Personally, I dream of a gridlock-free India, where we no longer dread heading out to eat, or shop, or just hang out with some friends.
Here are some facts, and some if it is so extreme, it almost seems made up.
- Bangalore was ranked 6th in a set of all cities globally: For being the worst for commuters.
- Annually, we’re losing about $6 billion of productivity in Bangalore. To put it in perspective, that’s 1/4th the valuation of our top eCommerce companies (Flipkart, Snapdeal, PayTM and the whole gamut) COMBINED. And they built their companies over years. Value lost every year to time wasted stranded in traffic, finding parking spots, and such.
And in case data doesn’t do it for any of us, there’s a fair bit of “work from traffic” satire making rounds – proves the point.
While the problem of traffic gridlocks is complex and pans across tens of smaller problems – including road quality, signage, routing/navigation, driver training, city planning across companies and government, parking availability/discovery, segregation of roads by vehicle-type, vehicle utilization (car-pooling anyone?) etc. etc. – I believe strongly that a disciplined approach to technology solutions on each of these is all it will take to solve for this. And so:
We’re starting with Parking.
With ValetEZ. ValetEZ documents 25,000 legal parking slots in 400 locations across Bangalore. Within 10 days of our September launch, we were in the top 15 on Google Play’s India charts in the category. This is exciting, because it proves this is a real need. We’ve also launched our app for the iPhone since.
By the time we’re done, we aim to document 100,000 public, legal, parking spots across Bangalore – a city of about 1,000,000 (10 lakh) four-wheelers. And by the time we’re done, searching for a parking spot and getting stuck in traffic doing so will be a thing of the past.
It’s a promise.
Get in touch with us (firstname.lastname@example.org) , and let us know how we can make India gridlock-free.