Cycling to work has become a new trend in a city like Bangalore, where we can easily witness more & more professionals riding on fancy bicycles to work place. It’s also the easiest way to keep ourselves fit and healthy and a sure shot way to go green by reducing the carbon footprint. With many IT professionals adopting cycling every day to work, it also helps them commute faster, especially in a city like Bangalore, where there is heavy traffic during peak hours.
Rohan Kini, an engineer by qualification, is the founder of Bums on the Saddle. Having worked with a few IT companies for more than 8 years, he started Bums on the Saddle – a cycling company two and half years ago to take cycling to the next level in India. His keen interest in the idea of cycling led him to quit his IT job & follow his dream.
How did Bums on the Saddle start?
I was very active in the outdoor space like running and biking. Seven years back, me and a friend of mine decided to grow this space when cycling barely existed in the country when we commute a lot to work. We did this as part time for over 5 years, we spent time with community, ran a little bit of retail, we spent time in online space building a lot of awareness campaigns. Before two and half years, I decided to quit IT and started working on this full time.
What made you quit your job and start up?
The company I was working for, ThoughtWorks, was really good, but the work which I was doing for Bums on the Saddle was extremely appealing. There was tremendous local impact and I could see that the work which I’m doing was benefiting the people around me. In this cycling space, people get fitter, happier and tend to transform life, which is really good. That was the biggest factor was that impact on local community was very good. People slowly started commuting by cycle everyday which also helped them save time.
And around that time when I wanted to startup, at ThoughtWorks they gave me a year of sabbatical to figure out what I wanted to do. That was really good, It’s an awesome place. So I took a year off and took a deep dive in to a transition from an IT to a non-IT startup BOTS.
What were your challenges when you started BOTS as you come from an IT background?
Initially, first year was hard, because life in IT is very easy & you tend to become soft, it’s almost like being in a bubble. And moving from IT to running a bike shop is very difficult for most people to understand. Even now, the biggest challenge is to get good people on board. But that’s slowly changing because of the startup ecosystem in India.
What are your plans for the future?
One of our goals in next one year is to grow the brand across India. Right now, we set up a new outlet in Infantry Road and with two locations currently; we would be looking at couple of more locations across the country, at least 40 more outlets in next 5 years for Bums on the Saddle.
You can reach out to Rohan Kini on his mail.McDowell’s No. 1 Platinum respects Leaders like Rohan Kini who had the courage to follow his passion and and also encourages more people to follow their dreams and join them in their unconventional journey.