08 August 2017 09:38:00 IST

Cracking the code of employee commute

MoveInSync manages staff logistics of five of the world’s top 10 organisations

Deepesh Agarwal’s first brush with entrepreneurs was with NR Narayana Murthy and Nandan Nilekani at Infosys way back in 1998, where he worked as a system analyst for three years, as a freshly minted IIT (BHU) graduate engineer.

Inspired by the duo’s entrepreneurial gusto, Agarwal quit to join IpGen to sample the start-up life for two years. He then moved on to join Motorola India Software Group as engineering manager for five years before chucking it to chase his dream of becoming an entrepreneur.

Deepesh teamed up with his IIT (BHU) classmate Akash Maheshwari, who was then working with Microsoft, to start MoveInSync Technology Solutions in 2009 to offer automated employee transportation solutions to enterprises with Google as its first customer.

Key clients

The Bengaluru-headquartered company, which serves five of the world’s top 10 companies as its customers, including Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, hit overall profitability in FY 2017. The start-up has 50 customers, of which 75 per cent are Fortune 500 firms, and its solutions are used by 1.5 lakh employees in 18 cities to commute to office and back.

“The second largest cost enterprises incur after employee salaries is on employee transportation. Most enterprises complain that despite spending millions to transport employees, no one is happy including employees, drivers, transport administrators, cab suppliers or company auditors. That’s where our SaaS-based, automated employee transportation platform solution comes to the rescue – it helps enterprises save 12-15 per cent on their transportation costs,” says Deepesh.

Its solution provides clear visibility to enterprise managers as to how many employees would require transportation every day to plan the number of vehicles required accordingly. With this realtime information, companies can optimise routing changes to reduce employee travel time, send out security alerts if women employees don’t reach on time, provide vehicle tracking information, and realtime information of past and present transportation data to auditors.

“Today, 50 customers, 1.5 lakh employees, 25,000 drivers and 300 cab suppliers log into our system every day. We are present in 18 cities, including Barmer, Duliajan, Bengaluru, Mysuru, Coimbatore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam,” says Deepesh, who leads a 110-strong team of whom 35 form the technology backbone.

Eyeing more funds

MoveInSync earned₹30 crore in revenue in FY 2017 and aims to achieve ₹100 crore this fiscal. It has raised ₹2 crore from angel investors and ₹19 crore ($3 million) from Inventus Capital Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and Saama Capital and is looking to raise funds for its next phase of growth.

While it seems like MoveInSync had a dream run since inception, it failed in its very first attempt at providing carpooling solutions to customers travelling from the city to Hyderabad Airport and vice versa. “We faced several problems. Businessmen don’t care about saving money on cabs, because office takes care of it; very few logged into our website to book a cab before or after the flight. Lastly, for our solution to succeed we needed at least 1,000 people travelling to the airport and back at the same time,” says Deepesh.

On why he decided to give up a comfortable corporate job to become an entrepreneur, he says: “Maybe I had it too easy all the way in the corporate world for 10 years. I decided to join the Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad to pursue an MBA in Entrepreneurship in 2008 where I presented a lot of business plans focussed on solving problems in the Indian transportation sector. Around then, I met up with several entrepreneurs who were ordinary folks with extraordinary passion and grit; that’s when I thought - if they can do it, so can I,” he recalls.

(The article first appeared in The Hindu BusinessLine.)