Saturday, July 16, 2016

Entrepreneur from Aurangabad - A startup story

Sachin Kate is the founder of Clear Car Rental and I had no clue about the magnitude of impact this 28 year old had created when he walked into our office at Yes, Clear Car is just another car rental company in India but there are a few points that justify as to why he needs an ovation.

The man has a story to tell
Sachin Kate hails from the small city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra where the concept of starting up is pretty much alien (yes, setting up a shop is also starting up but we’re talking in conventional terms of starting up). The region where Sachin resided doesn’t have schooling available after grade 4 but Sachin’s parents were firm on providing him with all the needed education and hence sent him to a friends place in a nearby region from where a school was more accessible. Sachin started selling newspapers since money was always a challenge and luckily for him, he got a job of an office boy in 11th grade at a computer institute.

Always fascinated by computers, Sachin took advantage of the situation and progressed to become a computer instructor in one year. After 12th, Sachin shifted to Aurangabad for higher studies along with a part time job in a travel agency. “This job gave me my initial exposure in travel business. On a part time salary I started working full time because slowly I started getting access to computer and could show my computer skills,” says Sachin. He was pursuing his BSc. in computers and he had an inclination towards how SEO worked. This came in handy for the travel agency he was working for.
Gaining in confidence, Sachin tried moving out of his zone in terms of location but his family wasn’t very comfortable. He decided to come back and take up web development assignments. He focused on the travel and hotel segment and has developed more than 600 websites till now along with his team. This is how InfoGird and NetMantle had come into existence.
And then came in the big break.
Sachin was always associated with the travel and hospitality industry and was aware of the needs of the industry. “The technology was being developed for airlines, hotels booking etc., but last mile connectivity which is mostly road travel in tourism sector was in a way neglected,” says Sachin. And thus was launched Clear Car Rental in July 2010. This was the time when the Meru Radio cab service and a couple of others had settled in.
Clear Car Rental provides both local (packages for full day, half day and transfer) and outstation travel (packages for round trip, one way drop and multi city travels) solutions. CCR provide car rental services to 150+ cities within India and has a home grown team of about 100 that manages the operations.
And all this without a penny of funding
We’ve seen the car rental companies getting funded at will and the justification for the need of huge funds for a business like this. Surprisingly enough, Sachin has been able to scale the company to 150+ cities without raising a single penny of institutional funding. CCR holds inventory of 14000+ cars with a 1000+ vendors on board. Apart from the domestic, foreign tourists and corporates, OTAs like Makemytrip, Cox & Kings and Thomas Cook have also partnered with CCR. “We’ve focused a lot on Tier 2/3 cities. The average purchasing power has gone up and even people from smaller cities are hiring cabs now,” says Sachin. They have a strong share in the metros as well but they’re banking on the smaller cities for growth.
And building a company from Aurangabad
We’ve seen companies being built from small towns and this is yet another success story from a place you’d not expect a startup to scale from- Aurangabad. As always there are pros and cons,
Sachin believed in what he was doing and his grit to be successful opened up doors for him. Local newspapers have written about it and a blog post he wrote- “Aurangabad Calling” encouraged many youngsters who were studying outside to come back home and find employment.

A local hero in Aurangabad, Sachin Kate has been hidden from the bigger picture and we hope this post gives the man his due.
Website: Clear Car Rental

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