How PumPumPum is making used-car rentals hassle-free for users

The Gurugram-based car rental startup offers retail and corporate customers a range of used cars on convenient subscription and leasing plans.
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Owning a car is nowadays considered a liability rather than an asset owing to its high purchase value and depreciating nature. Then there are the additional burdens of paperwork, taxes, down payments, EMIs, and vehicle improvement costs. 

Which is why an increasing number of people, especially the millennials and Gen Z, prefer to drive the car of their choice on a subscription model, without being saddled with the hassles of ownership and maintenance. Under the subscription model, all users have to do is pay an all-inclusive monthly fee, while everything else is taken care of by the service provider. 

According to Mordor Intelligence, the global used-car market was valued at $260 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $460 billion in 2027, at a CAGR of 10 percent. The Indian used-car market was $32.14 billion in 2021 and is expected to touch $74.70 billion in 2027, at a CAGR of 15 percent. 

The global car subscription market was valued at $3,550.4 million in 2019 and is expected to reach $12,090.6 million by 2027, at a CAGR of 23 percent between 2020 and 2027, according to Allied Market Research.

Driving into the emerging space of car subscriptions and leasing is Gurugram-based Pumpumpum, which promises to make the whole experience hassle-free and economical with its range of used cars available on subscription and leasing models. 

“Used-car subscriptions are witnessing a tremendous demand from millennials because they want to change cars frequently,” says Tarun Lawadia, Founder and CEO, PumPumPum. “Our vision is to make car ownership hassle-free, wherein customers drive the subscribed cars like their own and let the hassles of owning a car be taken care of by us.”  

PumPumPum, which was started by Tarun Lawadia and Sameer Kalra in 2018, offers over 100 used cars of different brands—from budget-friendly models to ultra-luxury ones. 

Apart from retail customers, who are offered a subscription plan, the company also targets corporates with the leasing model. The retail subscription fee ranges from Rs 8,000 to Rs 40,000 per month, while the corporate lease rental ranges from Rs 15,000 to Rs 3,00,000 per month.

How it works?

Customers can, in just a few steps, with minimal paperwork, drive home the car of their choice, according to the company. 

First, the customer selects the car. Then their credit eligibility is checked. Finally, the vehicle is handed over to the customer.  

Retail customers have to make a one- or two-month security payment, while there is no security payment in the corporate sector. 

PumPumPum has an asset-light model and does not keep any inventory. Instead, it showcases the inventory of its dealers and partners on its website, which is pre-approved and certified. “If the car is not redeployed within a month, we dispose of it,” says Tarun. 

The startup says it takes care of all operational and legal hassles relating to rentals. “This gives corporates the comfort to open our lease programme for all employees,” says Tarun. 

The cars in the corporate segment can be leased for 6 months to 24 months. In some cases, if the cars are relatively new, they can be leased for 36 months. The lease plan includes end-to-end service, insurance, maintenance and other vehicle-related issues. 

According to the company, all cars are fitted with an IoT device that tracks vehicle performance and driver behaviour to ensure user’s safety. “We rectify issues at inception rather than spend a lot on vehicle maintenance later,” says Tarun. “In the event of an emergency or vehicle breakdown, SOS can be triggered to emergency numbers and it becomes easier for us to track the vehicle and reach the user swiftly.”

User base

The company has over 750 subscribers, of which 25 percent is from retail subscribers.

“Millennials and Gen Z account for 40 percent of our retail subscribers. We have seen a pattern wherein the upgrade of a car happens every 1.4 years on average," says Tarun.

PumPumPum’s offerings are available directly in Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru and through its dealer network in over 55 cities, including Leh, Jammu, Madurai, Coimbatore, Jaipur, Guwahati, Kolkata, Pune, Mumbai, Hospet, Bhagalpur, Lucknow, and Kanpur. The startup works with 250 dealers and partners across India. 

Its corporate customers include Safe Express, Snapdeal, McDonald's, Bira, Simplilearn and CityMall and startups such as PagarBook, Rentomojo and Rapido Bike Taxi

In the corporate sector, PumPumPum’s cars are primarily used by employees for personal commute. Some cars are used for employee transportation and business requirements.

The company competes with Spinny, Cars24, CarDekho, Droom and Zoomcar

Team PumPumPum

PumPumPum was bootstrapped with an investment of Rs 25 lakh from the founders’ personal savings and Rs 40 lakh from loans from friends and family and debt from the bank. 

Tarun is a second-time entrepreneur; his first venture was an on-demand medicine delivery startup called Plus App. His previous assignments were with Chaayos and Netmeds.

PumPumPum’s co-founder Sameer comes with an experience of over two decades in the automobile leasing sector. He was earlier a consultant for CarDekho and Revv. His other stints were with Clix Capital Services, Leaseplan India, and Avis India. 

The team of PumPumPum has over 50 members in Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru.

It’s all in the name

Tarun says the inspiration for the company's name came from the song Mannu Bhai Motor Chali Pum Pum from the Hindi movie Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan. When the founders were brainstorming possible names, they realised that all companies sounded the same, with the word ‘car’ tagged to the name—CarDekho, Carwale, Cars24, Cartrade. “Everyone was using ‘car’, and using the same thing would not have given us differentiation. So that’s how we opted for the name PumPumPum,” explains Tarun.

The growth so far

The company earns a contribution margin or a gross profit margin of 25 percent to 30 percent per vehicle. 

According to the company, PumPumPum earned between Rs 10 crore and Rs 12 crore in 2021-22. It registered an 80 percent customer repeat rate in the B2B and B2C segments.  

In June 2022, PumPumPum raised $2 million in equity venture debt funding from investors such as LC Nueva Investment Partners, LetsVenture and Founder’s Room Capital. 

The road ahead

The startup plans to expand to over 15 tier-1 and tier-2 cities in India in the next two years. It aims to achieve Rs 2 crore revenue per month by the end of September 2022 and is targeting Rs 24 crore revenue in 2022-23.

Edited by Swetha Kannan