Bikers Highway is a Pune based startup founded by Vikash Kumar Banerjee and Chitra Banerjee. They are India’s first verified and certified used two-wheeler platform.
A complete first-hand buying experience when you visit us, be it offline or online, says Vikash.
We got an opportunity to talk with Vikash, the founder of Bikers Highway and see what he has to say. I am sure his interview with us will inspire you.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Bikers Highway is India’s first & only verified & certified used two-wheeler platform enabling consumers’ to buy used two-wheeler at the doorstep after test ride that too with warranty & other unmatched features. We are dedicated to simplifying used two wheeler buying decisions. We empower people to realize how easy is to buy a used two-wheeler by making their search a delightful experience through our features, technology and innovation. We are dedicated to meeting all aspects of consumers’ needs around two-wheeler vertical.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
It was when we faced the challenges to buy a used bike in 2013; first the whole experience wasn’t smooth, second, it ended up furiously to start a venture on ‘dogfooding’ principle where we don’t sell used bikes which we ourselves can’t use it, as far as quality is concerned.
The problem we solve: We are India’s first ‘Phygital’ commerce company in used two-wheeler space. A complete first-hand buying experience when you visit us, be it offline or online. When you go to buy a new bike, you get a warranty, free services, loan, insurance & RTO formality done under one roof. The same feature we have introduced in pre-owned two-wheeler space.
Furthermore, you can’t expect a new bike delivered at your door-step. But once you visit Bikers Highway, you can take a test ride at your door-step to own it. No need to come out from your place to own a quality used bike anymore. A complete hassle-free buying experience at your door-step.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I & my wife Chitra Banerjee started this venture. Bikers Highway is a brainchild of Chitra, a housewife turned entrepreneur and I was into developing strategic business alliances in South-East Asian countries for few of my US & Middle East Clients before involving myself into Bikers Highway.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
We started our journey from Pune on November 13, 2013 and still going strong. Pune is Oxford of the East and making it the most promising place for two-wheelers & Pune witness maximum number of new two-wheeler sales in India. A pilot store is opening shortly in Bangalore.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
Quite interesting to answer this one, when few more start-ups came later in 2014, we were like what would happen now? What we would do now? They are well backed as far as mentorship & funds are concerned.
To most people, paranoia carries a negative connotation. We believed it is one of the most valuable attributes a founder can have. It is about self-reflection and having the courage, humility and discipline to constantly ask uncomfortable questions that can potentially poke holes in your strategy and challenge your conventional thinking.
I am, however, suggesting that you keep a healthy level of paranoia with respect to the processes and procedures that you develop as you execute your ideas, as it’s the unintended consequences, or outcomes that you never saw coming, that can tear it all apart.
Things changed over the period in four & half years for us. We stick to our inventory-led model and kept our focus on bringing quality to customers. We see a trust is building up in customer’s eyes, though it’s still a long way to go. Dedication towards bringing out quality makes us different from the market places in this space. Not to break that trust which we’ve been doing since four & half years keeping us awake and enough motivated.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
Fortunately, we have prepared our business for competition and change by continuously evaluating the market environment and adding strength and resources strategically so that when new developments arise, we aren’t asleep at the wheel.
Anyone who’s focusing on bringing best of the quality would become our competitor. Competition is the critical driver of performance and innovation. It benefits everyone by enabling us to choose from an array of excellent products at affordable prices. We are trying to be better in bringing out only one thing & that is Quality.
We know the competition, we know the customers, and we bridged that gap by becoming India’s first phygital commerce company in used two-wheeler space to differentiate us from our competitors.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
Answer: When you have a dedication you do not feel it’s hard for you. When you start enjoying what you love doing, trust me you would find a way to mange it well.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
Answer: Yes, we have raised funds through individual investor & looking forward to raising further from those institutions/investors who would understand & appreciate that we are an inventory-led model and do not wish to become a marketplace for sure in future as well. We do not want to lose control on delivering the best of the qualities that we are known for since these years.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
The biggest misconception people have about us when they treat us as a marketplace which works on a model to charge a commission on each sale. They have that misconception because this is what the culture is being created since decades in pre-owned two-wheeler space. The reality is most of the auto dealers are working on inventory-led model but didn’t focus on transparency in dealing & bringing out best of the qualities. Had they done so, we wouldn’t have been here.
What gets you excited about this company?
Answer: The excitement when you find your name is acknowledged with other four big companies in Ken Research ‘ India used two wheeler market outlook to 2020’ or when your name flashes that it was Bikers Highway who started this model and later others have come. There are stories each day from each customer which keeps us going. We want to keep it simple and to the point that buying a quality used bike is just a click away through Bikers Highway .