Hirick

💡 The vision is to guarantee a rickshaw ride to office-goers in Bengaluru.

The Problem:

Hirick’s market research shows that

  1. Bangalore office-goers are having a tough time commuting to the office and back

  2. Public transport doesn’t guarantee door-to-door

  3. Uber/Ola/Rapido is unreliable and costly

  4. Rickshaws seem to be the most abundant and safest mode of public-private transportation in the city of Bengaluru

  5. But rickshaw drivers refuse destinations or don’t charge by meter

These are user problems. I have gone ahead and added a section for possible driver pain points (who want to offer a commuter service) as well.

The Solution(Elevator Pitch):

A ride-hailing app that offers reliable and affordable door-to-door commuting to their office and back.

In Elevator Pitch Format:

For office-goers in Bengaluru

who are frustrated with the current transportation options for commuting,

our product is a rickshaw commuting service called Hirick

that guarantees a reliable and affordable door-to-door commute with transparent pricing.

Unlike traditional public-private transportation, Hirick offers an affordable, and reliable mode of commuting.

Our product solves customer needs by connecting them with rickshaw drivers, matching them with other commuters going in the same direction, and offering prices based on the meter, thus improving reliability, and transparency and also helping in reducing traffic congestion in the city.

Additionally, this app would help rickshaw drivers who use other platforms supplement their income with a fixed amount every day/month.

Discovery Activities:

Here are some discovery activities that can be used before setting out to build the MVP, mainly to build context for the problem we’re investigating. Also to know our potential users better and understand our stakeholders’ main concerns.

  1. Decide on Hypotheses: Formulate and finalize a list of hypotheses that we want to validate through the MVP.

  2. Market Research: Conduct market research to validate the problem being solved and the target market's pain points.

    • Surveys: Conduct surveys to gather information on the current state of transportation in Bengaluru, including the problems office-goers face and their willingness to use a rickshaw-hailing app.

    • Interviews: Interview office-goers, rickshaw drivers, and other relevant stakeholders to gather insights and feedback on the idea.

    • Competitor Analysis: Analyze the existing market and identify the competition in the rickshaw-hailing space.

Business Plan:

I put all of it up in this format since this is the one I use the most.


Roadmap:

A very idealistic roadmap looks like

Month 1: Discovery Activities

  1. Conduct market research to understand the current transportation landscape in Bengaluru and identify pain points for office-goers and rickshaw drivers.

  2. Conduct user research to understand the needs and preferences of office-goers in Bengaluru and identify potential early adopters for the service.

  3. Identify potential regulatory obstacles and develop strategies to comply with local regulations.

Month 2-3: MVP Development

  1. Develop a minimal viable product (MVP) of the Hirick app, which includes key features such as an in-app meter, predefined routes, and a rating system for drivers.

  2. Develop a driver recruitment and training program to ensure that drivers are properly trained on how to use the app and provide the best service to riders.

  3. Develop a user acquisition strategy to attract early adopters and begin recruiting users for the app.

Month 4: MVP Testing

  1. Conduct a pilot launch of the MVP in a small area of Bengaluru to test the product's viability and gather feedback from early adopters.

  2. Analyze the feedback and data collected during the pilot launch to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to the MVP.

Month 5-6: Refining the MVP

  1. Incorporate feedback from the MVP testing phase to refine the MVP and improve the user experience.

  2. Develop a strategy for marketing and advertising to raise awareness and attract new riders and drivers to the service.

  3. Implement user acquisition strategies to continue recruiting users for the app.

Month 7-8: Beta Testing

  1. Conduct a beta test of the refined MVP in a larger area of Bengaluru, to gather more feedback from a larger group of testers and get a better sense of how the service will perform in a real-world scenario.

  2. Analyze the feedback and data collected during the beta test and make any necessary adjustments to the MVP.

Month 9-10: Finalizing the App

  1. Finalize the MVP and prepare for the official launch of the service in Bengaluru.

  2. Develop a customer support system and prepare a customer support team to handle any issues that may arise.

Month 11-12: Launch and Measurement

  1. Launch the Hirick service in Bengaluru and begin recruiting and training drivers in earnest.

  2. Launch User Acquisition strategies at scale.

  3. Measure customer feedback and service usage data to identify areas of improvement and to optimize the service.

MVP:

A possible MVP for Hirick would include the following features.

  1. User registration and login: Users should be able to create an account and log in to the app to access its features.

  2. Rickshaw booking: Users should be able to book a rickshaw ride through the app, with the option to specify their pickup and drop-off location.

  3. Ride-sharing: Users should also be able to have the option of hailing private rides or turn on ride-sharing where they can commute to and from their offices with one or two other fellow passengers.

  4. In-app meter: Hirick can include an in-app meter that calculates the fare based on the distance traveled, which ensures that the fare is fair and transparent for both the rider and the driver.

  5. Predefined routes: Hirick can pre-define the routes that the rickshaw drivers take, which further ensures the reliability of the service for in-demand routes and locations. This is based on Heatmaps/Origin-Destination Pairs that signify demand for the service in the city and can be added later.

  6. Payment gateway: Users should be able to make secure payments through the app, such as integration with popular mobile wallets and credit/debit cards.

  7. GPS tracking and Routing: Users should be able to see the location of their rickshaw in real-time. Drivers are able to plot a route to the riders and if they are picking up more than one rider, the system automatically calculates the optimal route for them.

  8. Rating system: Hirick can implement a rating system for drivers, where riders can rate their experience with the driver and leave comments. This can help to identify drivers who are refusing destinations or not charging by the meter and take action accordingly.

  9. Push notifications: Users should receive push notifications to keep them informed of their rickshaw's status and arrival time. Drivers should get notifications to inform them of new possible rides and reminders for pre-booked ones.

  10. Analytics: The MVP should have analytics to track key metrics such as the number of rides, revenue, and user engagement, to understand the usage of the app, validate the idea and identify areas for improvement.

Differentiators:

Other services exist/have existed so I have listed down differentiators.

  1. The differentiator for Hirick over Uber Pool/UberX Share and other similar offerings on the market is its focus on the rickshaw mode of transportation. While Uber Pool and other ride-sharing services offer carpooling options, Hirick's primary mode of transportation is rickshaws, which are a more abundant and safer mode of public-private transportation in the city of Bengaluru.

  2. Additionally, Hirick guarantees door-to-door service, with rickshaw drivers charging by meter and accepting all destinations. This ensures that the service is transparent, reliable, affordable, and meets the customers' needs.

  3. Another differentiator is that Hirick focuses exclusively on the needs of office-goers, while Uber Pool and similar services cater to a broader range of customers. This enables Hirick to offer specialized and tailored services that meet the specific needs of the target market, making it a more attractive option for office-goers as we keep strengthening the product offering. An example of this is Monthly Subscriptions where we charge users who want to avail of a certain number of rides per month.

  4. There are several ways that AI can be used to improve the efficiency of the pickup process for rickshaw drivers and riders who want to commute together, which can serve as a differentiator over other similar services:


    • Route optimization: AI-powered routing algorithms can be used to optimize the routes for rickshaw drivers, taking into account factors such as traffic conditions, passenger locations, and time of day to ensure that drivers reach the pickup location as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    • Smart matching: AI-powered algorithms can be used to match rickshaw drivers with passengers based on factors such as proximity, driver availability, and passenger preferences, to ensure that the most suitable driver is assigned to each ride.

    • Real-time tracking: AI-powered tracking algorithms can be used to monitor the location and status of rickshaws in real time, allowing for real-time adjustments to be made to the pickup process, such as reassigning rides to nearby drivers in case of delays or cancellations due to accidents or ride breakdowns.

    • Predictive analytics: AI-powered predictive analytics can be used to forecast future demand and optimize the allocation of resources to ensure that there are enough drivers available to meet the expected demand.

    • Intelligent driver dispatch: AI-powered driver dispatch systems can be used to assign rides to drivers in real-time, based on factors such as driver location, vehicle capacity, and driver preferences, to ensure that the most efficient and profitable matches are made.

By using AI in these ways, rickshaw drivers will be able to pick up passengers more efficiently, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction, higher driver earnings, and more efficient use of resources.

Growth Engine:

Here is an outline of a feature that allows office-goers to bring in colleagues who live nearby to use the app and also doubles up as our Growth Engine.

  1. Group Rides: Office-goers can create a group ride, where they can invite colleagues who live nearby to join them for the ride to the office. This can help to reduce the cost of transportation for office-goers as well as provide more efficient use of resources for the rickshaw driver.

  2. Invitation System: The feature will include an invitation system, where office-goers can invite colleagues to join their group ride by sending them an invitation link via email or SMS.

  3. Ride Scheduling: Office-goers can schedule their group ride for a specific time and date, and the system will match them with a rickshaw driver who is available to take them to their office.

  4. Payment: The payment for the group ride will be split among the office-goers based on the distance they travel.

  5. Group ride management: Office-goers can manage their group ride, they can add or remove members, change the pickup location, and schedule the ride at a different time.

This feature can help to increase the number of riders per ride, reducing the cost of transportation for office-goers, and also providing more efficient use of resources for the rickshaw driver.

Payout Mechanics:

Nailing down the payout mechanics for drivers is key to attracting and retaining them. When a rider hails a ride and opts not to share the payout is straightforward and is per the in-app meter. When a rider opts to share the ride, the amount they’re charged is less than when they don't opt-in. The driver would still get paid the amount from all of the passengers for that ride thereby incentivizing both the rider and driver to share the ride.

Customer Journey:

I like to tie in my Product Metrics with the Customer Journey so here is an ideal customer journey grouped by Metrics it would impact.

  • Acquisition

    • Download the app

    • Open the app

    • Sign-up account

  • Activation

    • Log-in

    • Set-up pick-up point and destination

    • Book a ride

    • Find a driver

    • Get picked up

    • Travel to the destination

    • Drop off at the destination

    • Give Feedback to the driver and ride

    • A repeat of last three steps for the ride back home.

  • Retention

    • Re-open the app on another day and hail another ride.

  • Revenue

    • Give extra tips to drivers when having a good experience

    • Buy a subscription from Hirick

  • Referrals

    • Refer Hirick to their family, friends, and coworkers.

Product Metrics to Track:

Revenue Model:

  1. Commission-based revenue: Hirick can charge a commission on every ride booked through the app. This would be a percentage of the fare charged to the rider. This is the most common revenue model for ride-hailing services.

  2. Subscription-based revenue: Hirick can offer a subscription-based service where customers pay a monthly or annual fee for a certain number of rides per month. This could appeal to office-goers who use the service frequently and want to save money in the long run.

  3. Advertising revenue: Hirick can sell advertising space on the app to local businesses and organizations. This can be used as an additional source of revenue, especially for businesses that want to target office-goers.

  4. Commission-based revenue for drivers: Hirick can charge commission for drivers based on the number of rides they complete per day or week. This could help to attract drivers and encourage them to take more rides.

  5. Corporate partnerships: Hirick can partner with local companies and organizations to provide transportation services for their employees. This can be a source of recurring revenue and increase the number of riders.

Ultimately, the choice of revenue model will depend on various factors such as the target market, competition, regulatory environment, and the overall business strategy.

©2023 Dheeraj C

©2023 Dheeraj C

©2023 Dheeraj C