Whether it’s a 10 minute auto ride or an hour long journey in the train, commuting to work is no one’s favorite time of the day.
Waiting on the station platform for hours in an endless string of frustrating delays, bumping into someone you vaguely know at the beginning of a long distance journey, having no personal space whatsoever during peak hours, racing for a seat, struggling to get off the train or a bus or a sharing ride, travel problems are not just limited to the ones using public transport!! No matter what route or mode of transport you take to work, you just can’t get get rid of the rush!
Despite of being a daily sufferer, how many of us have actually taken an initiative to change our daily travel habits? Hardly any!
To answer the unanswered questions of yours, we have a story to share. It’s a privilege for us to capture the story of an entrepreneur who had a dream of solving a “Social Issue”.
Let’s take a look !
ABOUT ORAHI :
With an aim to resolve a social issue, came into existence the one of it’s own kind India’s largest Car Pool App “ORAHI” in the year 2012. After doing ground research and speaking to over 2000 people in India as well as conducting surveys in Vietnam, Sweden and United Kingdom, the team Orahi tried to figure out the core problems of commuting. “Indian feedback was particularly specific when it came to car owner problems. Driving alone was very frustrating, fuel cost is very high and parking is a nightmare!” mentioned Sameer Khanna, the founder and CEO of Orahi.
THE CORE VALUES:
“We take people on the basis of these 3 values. If you have it, you are an Orahi Material” says Sameer Khanna.
Founder & CEO: Sameer Khanna
Co-Founder: Arun Bhati (an engineer and IIM, Kolkata pass out)
Total Team Strength: 35
HOW DOES THE “ORAHI” APP WORKS ?
- Orahi only works with “Corporate People” . Nothing better than this !
- It will connect you with the people living closer to your residence and working in your direction.
- The comprehensive 3-tier verification process is a must for you to qualify as a “Rahi”. It includes mobile number verification, corporate email id authentication and a government id proof verification.
- Before traveling with someone, Orahi provides you with ample information about your co-riders. It takes you through an invite and acceptance process post which the contact details are shared amongst the riders ( works for both, car owner as well as passenger ).
- The name, contact number, office address, ride history, ratings by co-riders, security verification, you name it and Orahi provides you with whatever you need to know about your fellow riders ( Couldn’t ask for more, Right ! ).
- Looking for women only groups, intra company groups, you got it all here at Orahi !
Evolution of the name “ORAHI”
How many of you remember the evergreen classic by Kishore Da “Orahi Orahiiii” ?? For us “ the Indians”, where we breathe and live for music, I am sure it’s hard for us to ignore great classics of all times.
That’s how “Orahi (previously known as Folksvagn) ” was born !!
“ After searching for almost a 1000 names, we finally settled for Orahi, suggested by a dear friend MAGIK (who’s currently working as Scriptwriter in Bollywood) We instantly liked it and decided to go for it” says Sameer Khanna.
(The MAGIK is still a mystery ! )
Annual Growth : 100 % (minimum)
In terms of recharges, rides, registration, etc : 600-700%
Last Angel Funding Received : January,2016
Pretty Huge ! Huh !
EXCERPTS WORTH SHARING:
Me: Is this your first venture ?
Sameer: This is the First and the LAST venture! I am not the kind to do 10 ventures and this is not the stepping stone to something else. So yeah, this is the one !
Me: How many hours do you work in a week? Do you get time for yourself?
Sameer: Aah!! You kind of work across hours. You’ll sleep in the middle , that’s when I sleep! There’s been times where I have been working with consultants day and night. You have to be constantly on in a startup. Time & effort is given and I don’t think any startup guy would ever tell me that he has done this easily.
Me: Considering you are the only earning member of your family, the time you decided to give up a corporate job, was your family supportive?
Sameer: You can’t do this without a Family. You have to be sensible about this and take care of your family. First ten years I have worked and I was saving to eventually start-off something of my own. Your family has to understand and they have to support you essentially but you also have to make sure of the fact that they are not suffering in the process. Ya ! So, at least the basics are taken care of and the normal standard of living shouldn’t be affected.
Me: Your advice to the young and budding entrepreneurs ?
Sameer: If you want to work on your own, do it as soon as possible. No matter what time you do it, there will be challenges. The Sooner the Better !! My sincere suggestion to the ones having personal or family responsibilities, take care of them first so you can sleep at peace , otherwise the journey gets very difficult.
Me: Where do you see Orahi five years down the line ?
Sameer: We are a one name and we are the biggest in India today. We want to be the biggest in the world !
Me: Tell us something about your campaign #AbAdjustMatKaro ?
Sameer: We have a lot of female travelers and they have clearly told us that Orahi is one of the best modes of travel for them. We did this campaign via video with an intent to capture the daily experiences of women traveling in metro, bus , cab, etc and the issues faced by them. Every time we talked to a women with regards to their traveling routine and in 5 minutes she’ll start crying !
Me: Yes exactly. I am one of the biggest sufferers too !!
Sameer: So the campaign was done with a motive to encourage women to come and try out something new. We honestly feel that this is one of the best platforms for them to change their daily travel habits. They can choose the people they want to travel with and if you meet some idiots, don’t travel with them. We are giving you this guarantee that if you make an effort , we are gonna make it work for you!
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