V Ramesh, Founder, Ecomove Solutions Pvt. Ltd

When it comes to chaotic traffic, India is probably the most notorious country in the world. The number of vehicles in metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad is increasing by the thousands everyday, and the quality of the air we breather is deteriorating rapidly as well. An IIM Bangalore alumnus, V Ramesh, a former member of the financial corporate world, has launched Ecomove Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a company which aims to attack our traffic and environmental woes at the same time. In a world where the middle-class is dreaming of Nanos for the etire household, Ramesh is pushing hard to raise awareness about environmenal issues and make it a fun, healthy commute daily. Ecomove plans to have dock stations at major locations from where members can rent and return bicyles. Launched in 2008, the company is still in its pre-revenue stage but aims to have at least 200 docking stations in Mumbai and expansions in 10 other cities in 2010. YourStory.in catches up with Ramesh to find out more about Ecomove and the concept behind the uniques business model.

Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur? Why did you not pursue a regular job?

I have been in the corporate world for more than 30 years. Of which, 25 years in Financial Services. Before deciding to jump into entrepreneurship, I was the CEO of an RBI registered Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC).

Can you tell us something about the initial years- what kind of challenges, struggles did you face?

I am in the initial years and the struggle is primarily to convince the bankers on the ability of this business to scale up. It has come down to concept selling since no one wants to take any risk. So much so that one of the PSU bankers said that they will only extend funds to a tried and tested business and not to any new project.

What was the turning point in your business /career?

The turning point is getting this idea and when I got excited about the benefits that I can bring to the society.

Did you at any point feel like giving up and getting back to a regular job or doing something different?

The thought of giving up has never crossed my mind.

What drives you?

The passion, the belief that this innovative idea will help the environment and the fact that people at large will be the beneficiaries.

Could you please elaborate on business – the operating model, the differentiators of your business, plans to scale up etc?

Ecomove Solutions Pvt Ltd (EMS) will soon launch a rental station network that allows commuters to hire and return bicycles. The company proposes to provide an eco-friendly and economical alternative travel solution to its members. To start with, we are looking at providing high-end bicycle rental services to our members at various locations in Mumbai. We intend to have about 40 locations to start with around Mumbai and in nearby areas.

The EMS system is based on the availability of rental bicycles at key locations. These bicycles will be secured to their bike stands. An EMS registered user can take the bicycle for his use from any of the rental station and can leave the bicycle in the same or any other rental station.

An individual interested in taking a membership should approach EMS by sending an email and providing required documents. Someone will contact you to take it forward.

Who will benefit from the membership in particular :

a) Office goers (no waiting period for auto or bus)

b) Health freaks

c) College students

d) People traveling extensively in short distance, like Courier boys

e) Fun loving cyclists

The company is in the launch stage. We expect to launch the services in about 4-5 months. The bikes will be owned by Ecomove Solutions. The members can simply take it from one dock station and leave it at any other dock stations closest to his destination.

What is the differentiator for the business?

This business is complete differentiator. A service oriented business complete with an environment theme; it is a unique concept in India. There is huge indirect benefit derived out of this, at the same time providing value to the users of the services. We invite membership from people who will then have the option of hiring bicycles from any of the docks closer to the member's place. He can leave this bicycle at any of the docks nearest to his destination. Thus it gives tremendous freedom to move around for the member. The operating model is completely automatic and we plan to spread out to various cities soon, in particular to Pune, Bangalore, Chennai and New Delhi.

What is your vision for your Ecomove Solutions?

The vision of Ecomove Solutions is to strengthen the link between peoples' travel and environment concern. The growth driver is a customer's delight - every member who uses Ecomove is making an effort to keep our planet green, knowingly or unknowingly, while he derives value for money and greater comfort in his travel.

Do you have any tips to share with budding entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur needs tremendous passion to drive him daily. Besides passion, he/she must be able to make quick decision in crunch time and have a strong resolve to abide by the decisions taken. Though smooth financing is critical for success, there is a possibility of many disappointments in its pursuiut. Your resolve should help bide such difficult periods.


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