India’s largest bus service Shuttl has entered the fiercely fought food delivery space by launching food on the wheels for daily commuters.
Starting with 50 buses in October last year, this year the Gurgaon-based company is planning to further its plan by providing meals on 1,200 buses, most of these buses operate in Delhi NCR.
“Our customers are demanding food to be served on buses. The metric we track, ie Items sold per ride, show that about 90% of the people are buying something which validates that there is a consumer demand for it….we are working with cloud kitchens and building an ordering product to scale this offering,” Amit Singh, cofounder of Shuttl, said. Further he said that the service would aim commuters who on average use the Shuttl service 22 times a month.
“The service will include selling daily basic needs on buses like bread, butter, curd, eggs and milk will be the next step for the startup. Shuttl is an app-based bus-pooling service mainly used by office-goers. People can book the service by selecting the boarding point and drop points on their app, track the buses in real-time and make online payments, Singh said.
In a survey, about 150,000 private buses operate in the country with approx 70 million people commuting every day. However, private bus assemblage has been a tedious business to function smoothly owing to the complex nature involved in operations. These complexities include optimizing and finding new routes, creating efficiencies and feasibility study on the business module. Ola too started the same service in 2015, had to shut down the offering last year.
“We took our time in Delhi NCR, figured out how to launch routes, scale routes and what is the basic experience required in the offering, and frequency. Now we are in the growth phase,” said Singh, adding that “30% customers take more than 30 rides in a month, and such high frequency is unprecedented in transaction internet businesses”, added Singh.
This year, Shuttl expanded operations to Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune and Mumbai. However, 80% of the company’s business is still from Delhi NCR. Shuttl does about 60,000 rides per day.