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Thursday, 12 September, 2019, 13 : 05 PM [IST]

‘Making each ride an exceptionally good experience to our customers drives our team’

Raghav Belvadi is the founder of HYPE, a tech innovation in the luxury car rental space based in Bangalore. Started in 2017, HYPE today operates in seven cities in the country with 40 partners and a pool of over 2600 elite cars for both chauffeur-driven and self-drive travel. A market place for luxury car rental, HYPE tries to make luxury car rental convenient, safe and affordable to HNIs, UHNIs and millennials with disposable income. TRAVELBIZ Monitor spoke to Belvadi to understand his mission and vision for HYPE.

What made you launch a technology platform to aggregate Luxury Car rental market in India? What kind of vacuum did you see in the space and how did you manage to bring together luxury car rental players on the platform?

We realised that Luxury Car Rental is completely unorganized, non-transparent and inconvenient to consumers when I had a bad experience of renting a luxury car for my parents' wedding anniversary. With the rise in awareness and demand for better automobiles and Millennials exploring options to get better experience, all it needed is to launch a technology assisted business model to streamline to supply and demand.

Sporadic and random people renting luxury cars without focusing on journey or experience was the key issue and we saw that as an opportunity to improve and offer better value for money to the customers.

We started with just one provider in Bengaluru and only in chauffeur driven rentals. But within a few months, we were able to manage self-drive of luxury cars which later became the main channel of our growth.

How HYPE is trying to transform the luxury car rental market in the country?
Luxury is all about experience, it is more of an art and derived out of objects like cars etc. Making each ride an exceptionally good experience to our customers drives our team. Our customers love renting from Hype as it is convenient, safe and affordable.

What is the business model that HYPE presents to your partners, the car rental companies? What is the kind of business that you have been able to deliver beyond their conventional reach and business?
Hype is a marketplace for luxury car rentals. Hype takes commission from bookings from its partners. We have been able to give our partners completely verified customer profile, zero admin overhead (as we collect money at the time of booking itself) and Technology to carefully monitor each journey and closure without hassles.

What is the current status in terms of number of partners and fleet of vehicles on offer on your platform?
Hyper has about 40 partners in 7 cities and over 2600 Luxury cars available for rent.

Who is your potential customer base and how do you reach out to them?
Apart from HNI and UHNI who are definitely in this space, Millennials with disposable income, people that are looking for luxury experience are our primary customer base. We reach out to them via Social media and B2B partnerships.

How do you work with travel/tour operators/hotels, etc. who require your services? How do you plan to enhance your B2B reach in coming years?
Our B2B partners are more of Corporates/SME/Startup companies that can accelerate our services through their customer base. Normally, we do not contract with Hotels due to their unreliable payment terms. Travel companies do take cars from us but we don't do aggressive tie up with them because, they markup the prices and causes burden to our target customers eventually.

As a start-up, what are your future plans for scaling up in terms of partners, fleet of vehicles, number of networked cities, etc.?
We have good number of cities to cater to as of now so we may not be immediately increasing the cities. But we are planning to increase the fleet size to about 5000 Cars by 2020. Cities in our target zone are Pune and Kolkata in the next 12 months.

Funding and investment plans for future growth?
We are bootstrapped comfortably and are looking for raising a larger round of funding soon. This fund will be utilized for business expansion, customer experience, fleet along with high level Branding and Marketing.

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