Couple of years back, toying with a few ideas to start a new business, Chirag Jain got stuck on the parking problems that motorists face daily. Discussing and sharing it with people, one fine day over a boring date he blocked a few domain names and slept over it for the next six months. Gradually, as it began to shape up, he brainstormed the idea with friends and designed a relevant product for the market. Rasik joined him as co-founder to take on the challenge of transforming this archaic way of parking. The industry had its darker side, one where the mafias prevailed. The aim was simple—to digitise the unorganised parking industry, starting with NCR region. With a mobile based parking management system in hand, they stood in the parking lots with operators to do the ticketing. As Chirag recalls “the major challenge was to help the operators overcome the technical handicap and get them accustomed to the system”.
Meanwhile, the idea was gaining traction within the industry and despite multiple hurdles on daily basis, Chirag and Rasik stayed the course and quit their jobs to do this full time. The decisive moment to take action arrived—finalising the team, exploring investor support and registering the company. “Since the beginning, we got support from several of our talented friends. And they often help trouble-shoot technical glitches as and when they are available”- Rasik shares about the support system that helped their company to take form and survive. The focus then shifted to impress upon the investors. When the duo started exploring the fund market, their confidence in product reflected in the investors too. In the monsoon of 2015 they cracked a deal with Chennai Angels, receiving a seed fund of Rs.25 million.
As the digitisation continued at exponential rate, two mega-projects came GMP’s way—partnering IPL’s Delhi Daredevil team and the holy Ujjain Maha Kumbh 2016. The team grew to 30 employees to execute different verticals they now had – public parking, event parking, corporate parking, residential parking, and smart city. They have now deployed 190+ smart parking systems that empower 50,000+ bays in NCR and another 400 systems used as a service during Kumbh Mela & IPL-Delhi. To top this, tweet from the PM appreciating their efforts at Ujjain Kumbh and over 3 million check-in events registered till monsoon 2016 stands testimony to the potential of the market and the product-market fit. Currently the company is seeking pre-series A round of funding, to venture into newer avenues—tying up with local governance bodies across the country for “Smart City” projects, corporates and RWAs. All these smart parking systems bring in the flow of real-time parking data to the consumer app which helps any vehicle owner to search, book, and navigate in real-time to the relevant parking.
Buying a car is one of the biggest aspiration for the Indian society hence explaining the 8% growth of domestic automobile industry despite the lack of parking space. With unorganised parking affecting traffic congestion and pollution and lost productivity, it’s a much severe problem than we give it due. Probably the humble beginning in 2015 of this ambitious Delhi startup Get My Parking will change the way we park.