Key People: Shivraj Rajeshwaran
Hyderabad’s first on-demand driver service for consumers and businesses, Hopp, is a company that provides you with experienced, trained and background verified drivers to pick and drop you at your location, be it any occasion.
Over the past year, the firm has incrementally improved its margins at the same time managing to increase driver earnings. A series of serious accidents and a crackdown by the Hyderabad Traffic police on drunk driving gave them the idea to invent something for all the party animals.
Hopp, established by Shivraj Rajeshwaran and Suhail Aashish Paul. The notoriety of Hopp has been seen throughout the long term. Hopp is happening now. It was a pleasure for Hyderabad Stories to hear about the story of Hopp directly from their CoFounder, Shivraj Rajeshwaran. Let’s unravel the journey of Hopp.
It all began one night when I wanted a driver and three of the guys I knew, were either busy or out of town. They would usually finish their regular day job as a driver somewhere and come if I called them. Now this particular night, I had to step out for a birthday party and another friend’s engagement party. Now that I did not have a driver, I decided to avoid drinking for all the unnecessary risk and hassle, however by the time I reached the second party, an old acquaintance was the manager of the valet and I tried asking him if he could arrange for a driver, without hesitation he said and I quote – ‘go ahead and have fun, ill make sure you get home safe’, the party gets over, I had a great time, got extremely drunk, got back home safe, landed on my bed, turned the lights off, and then 10 mins later, I sit up straight, turned the lights back on and boom, that’s were the idea incepted. One simple question popped up, ‘If I faced this tonight, what about the rest? What about everyone else who steps out of work, decides to have a couple of drinks on the way, what happens to them and their cars?
That night/early morning, I brainstormed and penned down the entire idea, pros, cons, everything for almost 10 hours straight. Later that week, I started putting more and more thought into this idea and quickly got down to do small market research and wanted to understand consumer behavior more in this sector. Turns out, there is a way bigger opportunity for what I originally had thought. If I cracked this, I could create unlimited earning opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people in the years to come. Studied and researched more on how I could make this an asset-light model, during this time, I discussed this idea with my dear friend Suhail Paul(also the CoFounder of HOPP) and asked him what he thought of it and if he knew any tech guys who could develop the application. By this time, I am working on executing this idea with literally no money in my pocket. But it was never the end of it, it was only the beginning because I always believed that if you really want something to happen, something good that will help a lot of people, things will automatically fall in place and progress at full speed. Suhail was very excited about the idea since the minute I discussed this with him, he’s on board with helping me execute this, thanks to him, we find people who develop the app for us in house and push the product out in about 6 months of development.
Why did you start and how will your Company create an impact?
The whole and sole purpose of this initiative was to curb & reduce drunk driving. But as we pushed through the development phase, we realized there was a way more requirement for a driver both daytime and night time so we launched a 24/7 application bridging both customers and drivers. We created this platform for anyone and everyone to join as a partner either full time or part-time to earn their money and somehow change the ‘dignity of labor’ mindset. Truly be their own boss. All they needed was a unique skill set of ‘driving’ and a smartphone to become a driver-partner. For customers, our attempt was to ensure the convenience of their own car. Convenience, ease, safety for customers & earning opportunities for drivers.
These three years of Hopp, we have created earning opportunities for 1500+ drivers across Hyderabad and countless customers dropped back home safely. This is the impact we have created so far and we will work relentlessly day and night to make this platform bigger, better & brighter.
Measures your Company is taking during the Pandemic?
While ensuring safety for both customers and our driver-partners, we have executed rapid action training & safety guidelines for all our driver-partners. Mask, gloves, thermometer & sanitizer being an absolute compulsion before accepting any ride. The driver Partner’s temperature will be checked & noted before every ride that is assigned.
Current Business Model and Future Company Expansion Plans?
Since we work as online aggregators for drivers on-demand, our business model is very simple. 80% of the ride amount goes to the driver straight and Hopp takes 20% commission. They also have a subscription option for selective drivers where they pay them a flat fee every month and they can do unlimited rides. The subscription option will activate after a certain milestone of rides done and is truly based on the driver-partners behavior.
Given the scenario, we are currently trying to somehow stay alive through this pandemic. I truly believe we will survive this crisis and post which we will be back on track with our expansion plan of starting HOPP in other cities and someday make it a unicorn in the driver aggregator sector creating millions of jobs in India
Message for the budding and future Start-Up community?
Ideas are like souls, they come to you only when you’re capable enough to execute it. Trust your intuition and believe in whatever you’re doing, rest will follow. It will not be easy, no one said it was going to be easy, but what’s the fun when there isn’t any challenge in your journey.
Thoughts originate from hustling in everyday life. Try not to sit tight for progress, work towards achieving success. That is the manner by which Hopp happened.