A MAR­KET­PLACE FOR RENTAL BUSI­NESSES

THE BEN­GALURU- BASED FIRM EN­ABLES RENT­ING OUT OF GOODS, EN­SURES VEN­DOR SUP­PORT AND PRO­VIDES BE­SPOKE CUS­TOMER CARE.

Business Today - - THE BUZZ - By Sang­hami­tra Man­dal

1) The Founders

Harsh Dhand, an IIT-Delhi post­grad­u­ate, teamed up with Ox­ford MBA peers Abhijit Shaha and Karan­deep Singh Vohra (they are no longer with the com­pany) to start a peerto-peer rental plat­form that evolved into a mar­ket­place for rental busi­nesses. Later, Vaib­hav Doshi, an early in­vestor in Ren­tSher, joined as a Co-founder and cur­rently heads the com­pany in West Asia.

2) The Trig­ger

“The shar­ing econ­omy got us go­ing. We were amazed at how com­pa­nies like Uber and Airbnb tapped into the idea of con­ve­nient non-own­er­ship and wanted to take it fur­ther,” says Dhand. “Events-re­lated mer­chan­dise, elec­tronic items and cos­tume rentals had al­ways been there, but it was an off­line, frag­mented and sea­sonal mar­ket. When our P2P plat­form came up, off­line ven­dors also wanted to list their wares, and that gave us the idea of start­ing a mar­ket­place.”

3) How It Works

Un­like most rental star­tups with in­ven­to­ries, Ren­tSher’s has an as­set­light model with no capex re­quired for pro­cure­ment and no op­er­a­tional ex­penses needed for stor­age, main­te­nance and lo­gis­tics. It runs a prod­uct dis­cov­ery and book­ing plat­form and pro­vides a SaaS-like fea­ture to help ven­dors with op­er­a­tions while the cen­tral team works as a concierge desk to en­sure has­sle-free, on-time de­liv­ery. The firm of­fers op­tions rang­ing from daily to monthly rentals, and cur­rently fo­cusses on three broad cat­e­gories – event venues, elec­tron­ics and equip­ment, in­clud­ing wheel­chairs and med­i­cal beds. Rev­enue comes from the mar­gin per or­der and a share of the rent. To date, over 100 SMEs and star­tups, and more than 60,000 re­tail cus­tomers, have opted for Ren­tSher’s ser­vices. Key B2B clients in In­dia in­clude Adobe, Mercedes and Zo­mato. The com­pany has re­cently signed an MoU with the Gov­ern­ment of Shar­jah to be­come its pre­ferred rental part­ner.

4) Fu­ture Plans

The global rental in­dus­try is worth $40-50 bil­lion and Dhand is push­ing for a big­ger share of the mar­ket pie. Ren­tSher will set up op­er­a­tions in Saudi Ara­bia in the next six months and ex­pand to 13 more cities in In­dia and West Asia. It will also ex­plore new mar­kets in the US and the UK, and en­ter more big-ticket cat­e­gories such as large equip­ment.

PHO­TO­GRAPH BY LANTERN CAM­ERA

Harsh Dhand, Co-founder and CEO of Ren­tSher

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