Soham Shah, Pinewoods Cars, Online Portal, Self Driven Cars for Corporate Leasing
Tell us about Pinewoods Cars.
We are a company driven by passion for business and love for cars. The idea is to build a professional corporate car leasing company and establish structures in Indian Car Rental Industry.
What is your market differentiator?
We at Pinewoods Cars strongly believe that the best things in life are always custom made. The company has always targeted and served the niche top end clients and corporates by understanding their travel needs and providing them customised travel solutions in the most cost effective way. We are the only car rental company to have a self driven car rental portal with online booking and payment process for self driven cars.
How did the idea for your startup come about? How much capital was required to implement the idea?
It all started off when I read an article in the Times of India sometime in November 2004 stating that the Indian car rental industry is expected to grow at the rate of 40 % – 43 % per year. The seed capital required was two lakh rupees that was spent in buying one car to start and some infrastructure costs. The Company was incorporated on the 12 Jan 2005.
Tell us about your background.
I am a Mechanical Engineer and have done my MBA specializing in Marketing and Logistics . Before venturing into entrepreneurship, I was working with the Times group as lead of market research development for over four years and later perused my passion for being on my own and explore my love for cars. Besides this, my family has a strong business background, my late father was in diamond cutting tools business and mother was into food industry.Let us know about the tie-ups that you have. How has the journey been so far?
Pinewoods has an strong support of Banking and IT. We have a tie up with HSBC Bank and Global Pay to take care of all our online payment processes and have integrated online gateway to selfdrive.in portal which helps clients to make payments via Credit Card. The portal was officially launched on the 6th March 2011. Since then we have seen a huge welcome from markets all over the globe. We have about 40 corporate clients so far. We had clients not just from different parts of India but from Singapore, Thailand, US, Canada, Australia, majority of them are NRIs. We also lease cars starting from a day to one year.
What is your revenue model?
As a company we have established a good revenue structure and balance between corporates as they give us constant flow of business with credit cycle and retail clients as they bring in liquid cash flow into the company.
How big is your team?
We are a team of 30 people.
Where do you see your start up five years from now?
We wish to set up offices across metros in India and move to the international market.