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Mobile Applications

Jugnoo & the Indian auto rickshaw network

Auto rickshaws are a popular form of transportation in India. The colourful three-wheeler is super-convenient and about 20% of personal daily trips are made by more than 229 million auto rickshaw passengers each day across India. So it was only a matter of time before their full potential was tapped into.

Indian startup Jugnoo plans to utilise the local auto rickshaw network by enabling users to book rides through the Jugnoo Autos app. It also offers on-demand deliveries of items and home-made meals. We catch up with CEO Samar Singla to find out more.

What influenced you to come up with Jugnoo?

The idea evolved from observing problems around us. I am a big fan of keeping things simple and sticking to basics. I noticed that a simple task of delivering a meal or grocery items is complicated by the so called tech giants.

An order is prepared by your favourite store, a biker from the other corner of the city picks it up and delivers it to you somewhere else. Why can't this be achieved with a shorter turn-around time, in a more cost-effective manner? Jugnoo was the answer. To add to that, there are about five million auto-rickshaws in India which are not being tapped to their full potential. The availability of auto-rickshaws in every nook and corner of the city makes them the most efficient vehicle of delivery and logistics. Use them as a conduit and top it up with technology, seemed to me a perfect yet simple recipe to convenience.

As there are so many rickshaws available, is it not easy to hail one quickly?

What do you do when there is rain? Just kidding, yes, it’s true that with their availability at every nook and corner one could hail one. But easily? I am not too sure about that. Jugnoo Autos provides that convenience in today's [world] where time is of great paucity to everyone. It offers an intelligent and yet easy to use method for users to book their rides without the hassle and uncertainty of [wondering if they will get one] at the price they want and going to the destination they want to go to.

How does the app work?

It’s pretty simple. Once the user registers and installs the app, they can use it right away. It picks up the location of the user and shows the auto-rickshaws nearby. [The] user just [puts in] the destination and books a ride.

What makes Jugnoo different from other rickshaw apps?

Our auto-rickshaw app, Jugnoo Autos has an amazing user interface and we are the only ones doing deliveries on top of the rickshaw network. [We have] better technology - these are [the] factors which differentiate us.

What about the two other segments you offer? Jugnoo Meals and Jugnoo Fatafat? What are they and what made you come up with them?

Jugnoo Fatafat is a hyperlocal market place which provides home delivery of anything and everything within a particular city. Be it getting groceries, getting food from your favourite restaurant, farm fresh veggies, fruits, dairy products, cakes, flowers, or a custom order as per your need - you can get anything delivered to your doorstep within minutes of order confirmation.

Jugnoo Meals is an on-demand food ordering app which allows customers to order freshly cooked home-made food at pocket friendly prices. We have a rotational menu each day allowing our customers to choose a new dish every day. Besides various options available for breakfast, lunch, evening snacks and dinner, Jugnoo Meals caters to people living far away from their home, craving for home-like food that is hygienically prepared and served/delivered to their places within minutes.

Jugnoo Fatafat [Fatafat means instant] is a good play on words. Who came up with the name?

Thanks a lot. I already have a list of about 50 interesting names and counting. It has a nice ring to it. And resonates with being quick.

Is it not challenging to be focusing on all three areas at once?

Yes it is challenging but it is extremely rewarding because of the synergy in doing all three things together. However, we have been very fortunate in terms of the team that is behind Jugnoo, each individual is an expert in his/her domain. They know what they are doing. It is definitely not a cake walk but since there is passion, hence there is execution.

How do you compare yourself with the likes of Uber?

We are very law-abiding. We treat our drivers really well. To give you an example, drivers [think of] Jugnoo as their own company. Have never heard this about Uber.

Any limitations with the app or your business model at the moment? How are you addressing them?

Of course there are a lot of things we want to improve and want to do more automation at the back end. 

How many users do you have at the moment?

Our user base is crossing 250k.

What cities is it available in?

At just eight months old, we have a presence in Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jaipur, Gurgaon. And launch activities have started at Indore.

 What’s next for Jugnoo?

We aspire to become the largest on-demand platform in the country and the first company in India to reach a million transactions a day.

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Ayesha Salim

Ayesha Salim is Staff Writer at IDG Connect

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