Startup lessons from Zoom Cars founder Greg Morgan | With Karnvir Mundrey | Atharva Marcom
Zoomcar is an Indian self-drive car rental firm with its headquarters in Bangalore. David Back and Greg Morgan launched the company in 2013, and as of May 2022, the company operates in 35 cities around India, encompassing many states, and is present in nearly 5 countries.
Greg Morgan previously worked in finance for a corporation with operations in India. Greg had some knowledge of the Indian market as an analyst. He recognized a need in the Indian car rental market. In 2013, the two friends traveled to Bangalore, India, and founded Zoomcar with the support of other Indian pals. That’s how the Indian car rental giant company started, and today in this post, we are shedding light on how Zoomcar started and how it became the brand it is today. We were also in conversation with Greg Morgan, the current CEO of Zoomcar, and we were enlightened about how David and Morgan came up with the idea and made it come true.
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How It All Started
David Back and Greg, co-founders of Zoomcar, were collegemates at the University of Pennsylvania. Greg was studying India in college, and the concept of India as a prospective option undoubtedly occurred to him at the time. They had no idea what they wanted to do, according to Greg. It was always about the country’s growth story, its tremendous development, and remarkable rate of progress. As an American, he found it fascinating because he knows the US has reached a point where its growth will not be comparable to what India would see in the next 20 to 30 years.
Greg Moran’s focus after graduation was the finance industry, although he was always fascinated with the environment and sustainable development. He worked for a clean-tech investment firm in New York specializing in solar, wind energy storage, and other related technologies. David and Greg were talking about transportation options and mobility. They examined the market more closely and discovered that car ownership was extremely low, at around 2% or 3%. Because ownership levels were simply not going to support it, they saw car sharing as a fantastic opportunity. They thought car sharing would be a great approach to getting started with self-driving cars.
In 2011-2012, Greg and Davis began to investigate it further. Greg spent three months on the ground in India, touring 25 cities in 12 states and discovering that it was a completely blank canvas. Nothing was happening in the market; everything was unorganized and unstructured, with no websites or apps. They intended to use a common technological platform and a brand that people could recognize across the country to bring order to the chaos.
Seed Of Zoomcar Was Planted
In late 2012, the founders were able to raise some funds. Greg left business school and relocated to Bangalore, and the rest is history. They saw the prospects for car rentals after coming to India with David. They had considered founding a business in the renewable energy sector but ultimately settled on the transportation industry. Zoomcar was conceived by David and Greg as an hourly car rental platform. Because the firm lacked the finances to own offices and cars, it approached local taxi sellers and invited them to join their platform. They were able to not only obtain the permits but also rapidly expand their business.
Morgan and Back worked furiously at home. They registered their firm in India in May 2012 and raised their first cash from professional relationships, totaling over $60,000. They were able to get an additional $40,000 from their savings. Morgan moved to Bengaluru in September with roughly $100,000 in his pocket and sizable seed cash to start with (this was before the frantic rush of 2014 and 2015 when early-stage deals, in some cases, reached into the millions of dollars). He needed to strike partnerships with local investors and automakers to get Zoomcar off the ground.
Some Of The Challenges Faced By The Company
- Zoomcar was unable to secure a license in order to start renting cars. It was because their Contract Carriage Permit obliged them to have yellow board license plates on their vehicles.
- Zoomcar didn’t have a fleet and needed to find one soon.
- Four persons bluntly declined Zoomcar, bringing the founders’ meeting with Ramesh Tours & Travels to a climax. It entailed moving back to the United States if this didn’t work out.
These were some of the major challenges faced by the company, but Greg and David overcame them and found efficient solutions to everything, ensuring a safe, sound, and special car rental service for everyone in the country, giving them the chance and freedom to travel in their own conditions and convenience.
The Future With Zoomcar
The focus on the Indian market is the first feature that distinguishes Zoomcar. The company was started in India and has always catered to Indian clients’ demands. This approach has enabled this automobile rental firm to give Indian consumers a service that is both convenient and economical. Zoomcar’s use of technology has been another major component in its success. Customers may easily find and book automobiles with the help of a mobile app produced by the company.
The rental car company has also invested in GPS tracking technology that allows customers to follow their vehicle at all times. Zoomcar’s service has become more reliable and efficient as a result of this technological advancement, which has been a big selling factor for clients. Because it was able to attract funding from some of the world’s top venture investors, the firm has been able to expand. Sequoia Capital and Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing company, invested $24 million in the automobile rental company in 2016. This money has helped the firm to expand its operations and accelerate its growth.
Today Zoomcar stands tall with 10K+ cars that run across 45 cities in India. Zoomcar has also won various awards for its tremendous work in the industry and is continuing on its path of giving everyone a chance to truly experience its tagline, “Never Stop Living”. Zoomcar has been a catalyst in fulfilling millions of dreams and helping people reach places whenever they want to. This was one of the many incredible success stories featured on Atharva Marcom’s youtube channel, which explained how two guys realized their dreams and revolutionized the Indian automobile rental industry. Explore the channel for more of these stories, as well as a plethora of others on a variety of topics, and join us on this fascinating and educational journey into India’s burgeoning market and industries.