Here is the story on why your road buddy Hey Bob shut down
Every sunny morning, we wake up looking forward to an eventful and energetic day and get ready to go to offices, colleges and schools. We then realize that before going anywhere, we need to go through a most traumatic experience of the traffic jam. It has become a daily routine in every person’s schedule in almost all cities of India. People plan their time according to the possibility of the number of hours of getting stuck in traffic. In such a situation, those who don’t have a vehicle have two options. To go by the public transport or by cabs. The problem of traffic and time is not solved by these options. It is always preferable to have a two wheeler to tackle the menace of traffic jams, at least to a certain extent. This is how the idea of a motor bike taxi kicked start as the startup Hey Bob.
It is a simple, yet effective solution for the problem of commute. All one had to do was download the app, book a ride and wait till your bob shows up. The service is obviously much faster than the cabs and much cheaper too at just Rs.5 a kilometer.
With the idea for Hey Bob in their pocket, four young entrepreneurs Vishal Kumar BM, Girish Kumar SN, Vinay Kumar Reddy and Suman Kundu started their operations in the Bangalore city and gradually expanded to Mumbai with 500 riders. Providing the services of B2B and B2C, they were a growing organization. With an optimized methodology of handling and balancing the B2B and B2C services, they were achieving a good amount of profits and reached operational breakeven. They also had a growing customer base.
Down fall of Hey Bob
Any startup with such a promising beginning has the possibility of becoming extremely successful. But the story of Hey Bob goes down the hill. They had to cut down the B2C services last month and more recently, the B2B services too. The main reason seems to be a lack of interest from any investors and diminishing funds. So much that Hey Bob is to be halted. But there seem to be other reasons such as the exit of two of the founders Girish Kumar and Suman Kundu which imbalanced the management of the organization. Also, there was the problem of the riders. The riders employed were contractual and from customer feedback, it looks like a lot of customers were denied services by most riders, citing similar reasons many a times. This obviously results in a negative outlook of the startup and also negative experience for the impatiently waiting customer. Slowly, the number of riders came down to 250.The inability to convince investors to fund led to the halting of a startup, hardly two years old.
Why this story should be told is because even after facing such distressing situations, the founders Vishal Kumar and Vinay Kumar still plan to start it anew. They believe, even though retaining customers after a halt is difficult, that Hey Bob will grow. The team believes, with an assured and confident spirit, that they can get proper funding. Might do mistakes again, but not the same ones. With courage and confidence of Hey Bob, their brainchild, it is worth holding onto.
Hey Bob’s model is a successful one since they broke eve at operational level. With more funds they will grow into other cities and generate profits. Uber and Ola can be one reason why investors are not funding it. Uber and Ola are into Bike Taxis and to get customers they give huge discounts that put their competition out of business.
It is not always cloud 9 for startups. Sometimes it is falling deep into the abyss. Finding your footing and rising high. And that is what Hey Bob is going to do.
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