Raj Janagam Fellow 2011
Living in: Mumbai — India
Venture: Cycle Chalao!
Establishing Bicycle Sharing Systems in the places where they are needed the most!
Operating in: South Asia
Impact Area: Civic Participation, Clean and Green Technology, Climate...
"A Student of Social Entrepreneurship and Philosophy, Exploring India & Politics through Cycling :)"
Describe yourself briefly.
“An expert in bicycle sharing systems for developing countries, with an award winning and world recognized brand – ‘Cycle Chalao!’ founded in India.
Spent last three years in pioneering work for bicycle sharing systems for which I was featured by Forbes, Fast Company and Outlook Business Magazines and has been an acclaimed social entrepreneur & fellow at Unlimited India.
Am currently working with the Ministry of Urban Development (Government of India) and Pune City Municipal Corporation in designing and implementing mass-based high impact bicycle sharing systems in India.”
Describe your Unreasonable Venture in 100 words or less.
Cycle Chalao! is the fastest growing bicycle sharing venture in India with focus on managing bicycle sharing systems in cities lacking efficient last mile short distance transportation models.
We are establishing networks of bicycle sharing docking stations at high traffic locations thereby providing faster, economical and environment friendly transit.
We work with Governments, Corporate and Advertisement Companies to establish the system and manage it for our subscriber base.
Started with a pilot in Mumbai in January 2010 we got 750+ subscribers and couple of corporate brands involved in our operations while we have been successful in engaging with Municipalities in Mumbai, Pune and the Ministry of Urban Development at various levels in designing, participating and implementing bicycle sharing systems.
Our team comprises of social entrepreneurs (purely interested in creating for-profit self sustainable social businesses), cyclists, experts in surface transport and logistics and serial entrepreneurs.
We intend to reach a fleet of 10,000 bicycles serving atleast 30,000 subscribers everyday and making our corporate partners reach 20 million commuters in ten cities by year 2013!
Describe your relevant experience (especially entrepreneurial).
Working in Development Sector since last 4 Years. Personal journey in social sector has been from Social Advocacy towards Social Entrepreneurship.
Currently combining both the skills to create the next generation change model! Had held National Coordinator and other leadership positions earlier to this venture.
Why is your team uniquely qualified to run this venture?
Along with the passion, the team has the knowledge and experience of developing a social enterprise with triple bottom-line impact.
The project needs the right balance of entrepreneurial and advocacy approaches for promoting cycling and establishing bicycle sharing systems and other infrastructure in the country for the first time and the team is just comprised of the right capacity!
Some complementing skills the team together carries are social needs assessment, social marketing, social impact assessment, team building etc.
What is the urgent social or environmental need you're addressing?
Vehicle emissions are responsible for 70% of the India's air pollution. Air quality is worsening in the big cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, etc in India.
Some Critical Issues:
- 97% people on Mumbai live in high pollution zones.
- Vehicles contribute to a shocking 62% of the total air pollution in Mumbai
- Mumbai citizens lose 20.2 million work days due to pollution – related illnesses.
- 9.01 lakh people suffer from pollution – related asthma.
- 5,800 people are admitted to hospitals for pollution-related respiratory symptoms.
- 24,000 adults and 2.20 lakh children are affected by chronic bronchitis caused by pollution.
While inadequacy and waiting periods for public transport remain high adding to the frustration of lakhs of routine commuters in the city!
What is your solution to this need? Describe your business strategy.
- By establishing and integrating bicycle sharing network with public transportation at high traffic zones. We are providing the option of covering the last kilometers of routine commuting through bicycles instead of motorized transport.
- Such system being persuaded through PPP model involves permanent creation of bicycle friendly infrastructure like dedicated lanes, special parking stands, improved traffic safety and guidelines focusing cyclists.
- By putting in place the model of subscription model for the rental service and the advertisement space over bicycles and bicycle parking stations we intend to make the initiative sustain and grow.
- To provide the parking spaces and safe infrastructure we constantly work with the government and the civil society for the cause of cycling!
Convince us it will work. What milestones have you achieved?
- Completed year long primary market research reaching to 350 routine commuters in Mumbai
- Launched Pilot phase in January, 2010
- Registered 500+ unique rides till date by using 30 bicycles
- Demonstrated feasibility by breaking even the operational costs.
- Got level 2 fellowship support from 'Unltd India'
- Named as one of the 100 most inspiring social changemakers and entrepreneurs across Asia by FYSE
- Garnered major politicians and administration support of Mumbai
- Named as the Brightest Young Climate Leader 2010 of India by Hindustan Times
- Named as National Eco-heroes 2010 by Nat-Geo
- Won the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative and Net Impact Challenge - 2010
Still not convinced? Watch our users speak in our video and ask Q's @: http://www.facebook.com/cyclechalao