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Indian Startups will Lead the Global Sharing Economy in 2016

A Number of Sharing-Economy startups in India are Building a Disruptive Business Model

Jan 06, 2016   16:55 IST 
Bangalore, Karnataka, India

The sharing or renting economy is rapidly establishing itself as a disruptive new framework in the wake of the extreme consumerism that was led by e-commerce and mobile-commerce companies.A PwC report estimates that the market will be $335 billion globally by 2025. As a McKinsey Quarterly article puts it “The sharing economy is growing rapidly and creating new opportunities across the globe. Like all major disruptions, it is putting pressure on existing business models and regulatory frameworks and triggering other significant changes.”


Indian startups are at the frontline of this disruption. In the past, many Indian startups have built companies by simply imitating and modifying asuccessful business model employed in developed economies. This is a form of “1 ton” innovation as Peter Thiel has put in his book “Zero to One”.In a refreshing change, many startups in India are now building sharing-economy models that are from “zero to one” and have potential to lead the framework for the rest of the world.


Abhijit Shaha, President of Product and Strategy at says “We are developing the product from scratch. There is no global reference, either for product features, or for operational model”. After an year of operation and several thousands customer feedbacks, RentSher has focussed on a sharing model with end-to-end fulfilment. “Our customers can book products online for specific dates and products get delivered and picked up on those dates. There is complete transparency in pricing, availability and delivery timing. We are further enhancing the product with geo-tagging, semi-automated quality measures, and real-time availability and tracking. Having our own fulfilment network provides great control on customer experience quality” said Abhijit.


RentSher is already getting requests from countries in South America, Middle East and Asia for partnership and use of RentSher platform, says Harsh Dhand, RentSher CEO. “As we are at the forefront of this model, many startups are interested in partnering with us to use our model and platform to launch the concept in their respective countries. I would not be surprised to see startups like RentSher going global in 2016”.


Vibhu Garg, COO and co-founder at Unicommerce validates the idea - "Following the wave of e-commerce and m-commerce, perhaps we are looking at a wave of collaborative commerce. However the world needs good platforms which can enable the same. And India can lead by example, having provided good platforms and also the proof point that sharing works."


"Sharing is in fact quite an Indian phenomenon with our parents and grandparents from joint families or societies having depended on each other for several commonly used things like kids accessories, costumes, jewelery and more. In todays world of nuclear families we require a platform and I believe RentSher is one such peer to peer rental platform"


Similarly, Joby Babu, COO at Nimbuzz, currently part of New Call Telecom states – “Last half a decade has been a period of sharing economies. And the model has been highly effective in all domains it got started. Rental domain probably will witness the best in sharing. With emerging societies upgrading their life styles and becoming more akin to western models, sharing economy in rental domain is poised to succeed. Increasingly, we tend to make a lot more impulsive purchases and not end up using them beyond the first or second attempt. Meanwhile, income growth rates are not at par with life style growth rates. A blend of these will make rental model inevitable. And RentSher like companies are in the right spot at the right time. And this model is bound to succeed beyond India as it has been working effectively in many geographies - either online or offline.”


Tracxn had published a report in June 2015 on ‘Online Rental StartupLandscape’ listing 300+ startups. From India, only Furlenco had raised funding by then. In last 6 months, post report, a number of startups have raised angel or seed funding, including Mumbai based RentoMojo, raising $2M from Accel Partners and IDG Ventures. Many more are in process to close their round by Q1 of next year.


As it typically happens, on the receiving side of this phenomenon is extremely happy customer. “I always wanted to have a game session with friends but couldn’t afford to buy expensive consoles.” Says Ramesh, Techie in Bangalore. “Now a number of startupsare offering a range of consoles at a fraction of the cost. My weekends are much better now!”

Media Contact Details
Abhijit Shaha
+91 96633 61680
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