In November 2014, Jugnoo was founded by Samar Singla and Chinmay Agarwal, who are both alumni of IIT-Delhi. Samar comes from a business family and hence always wanted to be an entrepreneur himself. His first company was Prodigy foods and second was Click Labs, a profitable SaaS technology provider, which he launched in year 2011 along with Chinmay. In 2014, Samar and Chinmay, launched Jugnoo at PECFEST in Chandigarh. People were given free rides and the response was phenomenal which gave them the initial kick. They sensed the potential of such a service in India and started by connecting the ubiquitous Indian auto-rickshaw with passengers, further utilizing it for logistics. Today, Jugnoo is a rapidly growing with team size of around 1000 people, market presence in 35 cities and clocking 50,000 transactions each day.
Samar Singla, Founder and CEO of Jugnoo is a serial entrepreneur. An alumnus of IIT Delhi and a Physicist by education, Samar sold his first company, Prodigy foods and followed it with his second venture Click Labs, a profitable SaaS technology solution provider. Jugnoo, his third venture, aims to be an instant on-demand mate for all the daily needs of its customers and uplift millions of people socially and economically by providing them better income and life quality.
Chinmay Agarwal is the Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer at Jugnoo. Having completed his B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Delhi, he went on to do a Joint Masters in Advanced Robotics on Erasmus Mundus scholarship from Ecole Centrale Nantes, France and University of Genoa, Italy. Chinmay embarked his entrepreneurship journey as co-founder and CTO at Click Labs, a profitable SaaS technology solution provider. At Jugnoo, he performs a comprehensive role by spearheading both product and operations.
We are publishing an interview of Mr. Samar Singla, Founder and CEO of Jugnoo
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Jugnoo is trying to solve the problem of providing affordable services pertaining to the daily needs of its customers via single platform. There are around 5 million auto-rickshaws in our country, whereas the utilization is only 30%. Thus, Jugnoo was launched as an auto-rickshaw aggregator to bring structure into this space, providing work to drivers and affordable means of transportation to the public. Within two years, we started using our logistics network across different verticals of hyper-local space and launched services such as Meals, Fresh, Menus and Jugnoo Delivery. Jugnoo also recently launched a UPI enabled payment interface for its customers as an initiative towards cashless economy. Tookan and Juggernaut are products from Jugnoo in B2B domain.
What challenges did you face when you were starting out?
The initial challenge that Jugnoo faced was introducing technology to the auto-rickshaw drivers. They come from a section of society which is not familiar with technology or technology based platforms. Convincing them to use tech-enabled platform as a means to earn their livelihood was a big task. Most of our time was invested in educating and training the drivers about the technology. We constantly strive to keep our app as easy to use as possible for them.
How did you get the initial capital? Tell us about the investors (if any)
Jugnoo raised USD 1 million in its seed funding. Then it raised USD 5 million in Series A and USD 10 million in Series B eventually. Some of our leading investors are Paytm and Snow Leopard ventures.
Please tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Unlike other players in the market, we are not targeting the metro cities. Our focus is mainly on the Tier II and Tier III cities as 80% of the total population of India resides here. The resources are readily available in these regions with high scope, which makes easy for us to utilize them optimally. Our strategy is to be a leading player in tier-II and tier-III cities.
What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have?
In India, there is a lot of difference in the way audience reacts to a particular idea across different geographies. What may work in metros, might not work in small towns and vice versa. Therefore, it is necessary to have that kind of understanding of market and implementing your ideas accordingly. We sensed potential for growth of Jugnoo in Tier II and Tier III cities. Our business model is to focus on non-metros which have since long remained an untapped asset in this domain. These cities generate over two-third of the country’s income and have been found to deliver successful economic growth opportunities in the past decade. So, we believe that our product will grow with the growth of these cities.
What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Start-up.
Jugnoo is the only startup in India to utilize the auto-rickshaw sector in so many different verticals. Jugnoo was launched with a vision to bring structure into this space and tap its potential in best possible way. With this motive, we have utilized this workforce into numerous segments like rides, delivery of meals, grocery etc. The deliveries are done by drivers who are not taking rides at that time. We believe in leveraging existing supply rather than creating a new one. We believe in building a tangible business model without cash burn, unlike other players in this sector who are burning enormous cash to acquire customers.
What is the strength of the startup and the scale of operations? Who do You Perceive as Your Competition?
Within two years of inception, Jugnoo has evolved into an end-to-end solution for all the hyper-local needs of its customers. We are using our fleet of drivers in all the verticals of our services. Jugnoo has a team size of around 1000 people at present. With a market presence in around 40 cities of India, 5 million registered users and 12,000 auto drivers, Jugnoo is trending at 50K daily transactions. The company is growing month on month consistently at 20%. All the new services launched by Jugnoo are unit economics profitable from day one.
Our business model and the space that we operate in are very different. There is no other player in the industry that is doing things in similar manner. Hence, our market is much different and there is no competitor as such.
What is the revenue model? What is the logic behind it?
The drivers get work through Jugnoo and we share a part of their revenue. We carefully balance demand and supply in a way to manage peak and low times very efficiently. We keep our drivers engaged either in rides or in deliveries. The idea is to increase driver income while reducing their working hours in a day to a comfortable limit so their quality of life improves.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
Jugnoo’s target customers are people dependent on public transport for daily commute, looking for packed meals, and/or online grocery shopping services. For its B2B logistics delivery platform – Jugnoo Delivery, the company’s target audience are all merchants looking for delivery options.
What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Our goal is to be an instant on-demand mate for all the daily needs of our customers.
We are providing all our services right at the door step, just with one tap. We are utilizing the highly underused resources and at the same time, we wish to be a brand that uplifts millions of people socially and economically. We are trying to uplift the living of our drivers by providing them better income and life quality.
What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
We aim to become a leading hyperlocal player and completely dominate tier-II and tier-III cities in India. Jugnoo plans to expand its hyper-local services: Meals, Fresh, Menus and Jugnoo Delivery across all locations where Jugnoo is present in coming few months.
What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Keep it simple, there is no substitute for hard work and dedication. Don’t be afraid of taking risks. Focus on making your business model strong rather acquiring customers by burning money. Don’t try to buy customers with discounts and offers because this won’t take you long. The journey is not going to be easy but hard work and efforts are worth the rewards.