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The bicycle revolution

Three lakh users, one million rides and counting… Meet Mybyk, the bicycle revolution, raring to go!

It’s a rather unusual sight of 150 plus cyclists getting together for cycling at 5.30 am. That’s just one of the morning rides organised by Ahmedabad based bike-sharing and rental service start-up Mybyk founded by CA Arjit Soni.

Ironically, the bicycle idea was born in the first car that his father gifted him while qualifying for CA in Mumbai.He was frustrated spending hours in traffic and in finding parking spot. Not to spend so many hours cursing traffic, Arjit took to the local trains.

As anyone who ever lived in the Maximum City would know, finding a rickshaw to and from the railway station is another daily struggle. While most people took it lying down, Arjit decided to take the matter to his own feet: he bought a pair of bicycles that he used – one from his hostel to the station and the other from the station to the office. The experiment did not continue long enough as he had to shift base to Ahmedabad to join his dad in practice.

BUSINESS MODEL WELCOMED…

But once he made up a business model, he began to scout for investors. “I decided that while I am ready to sacrifice my earnings, I cannot risk my family’s capital.” While the plan was to find 10 investors to chip in around 15 lakh each, the third potential investor he met was so convinced that he agreed to invest the entire capital.

INSTANT RESPONSE BY HERO CYCLES

Next, he took a train to Ludhiana and landed at Hero Cycles. At Hero, they were so encouraging that he was able to meet the executive director on the very first day who told him that because they were always keen in such a system, they would provide the first 1000 cycles at cost. In 2014, he presented his idea to Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister, which helped him bag a pilot project at four stations of the Ahmedabad Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS).

Mybyk simultaneously moved to provide companies with eco-friendly mobility solutions. One of the first projects they piloted was with ISRO who had an emphasis on the sustainability mandate.

The team spent the initial 2-3 years working on automating the system and built a mostly indigenous solution. It now operates in Reliance Industries, Tata Chemicals, Adani, Suzuki Motors… to replace their existing gas-guzzling shuttle buses and cars within the campus.

150 CYCLES REPLACE 10 PASSENGER VEHICLES…

“We went to the companies and explained how a smart BYK system of 150 cycles can replace 10 cars with a 60 per cent less operating cost. Not only that, the solution reduces effective commute time by 50 per cent as employees do not need to wait for a shuttle and go round the campus while shuttle drops other riders to their destination point.”

Mybyk is now eyeing expansion to all BRTS stations in Ahmedabad with the IoT enabled dockless bicycle-sharing service and is catering both the B2B and B2C segments. Mybyk plans to take its fleet from the current 4k to 10K cycles in the next six months.

They organised their 5th Anniversary ride on 3 June 2019, which turned out to be their biggest thus far with over 300 cyclists joining in.

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