Three bikers Niraj Taksande, Jigar Vora, and R Bhushan Karn from India’s premier Schools, IITB & IIMI, found it too tedious to clean their bikes after every ride. Over 12 crore bike riders used to meet the same fate everyday in India. The weariness ignited the three young turks’ passion to create the Express Bike Wash.
Love is when…you like someone as much as your bike,’ has been a popular saying among the bikers since time immemorial. Despite time constraints, they usually prefer to clean/wash theirs bikes at their own rather than giving it to someone else.
“In India, the hesitation is more because of the lack of professional bike-care centres,” says Jigar Vora, an IITB alumina, now Director-R&D, Entropy Innovations
“We have been passionate bikers since our engineering days. And, as passionate bikers, we are very excited towards bikes and equally towards their maintenance, detailing / polishing and other services. The basic maintenance is a necessity for every bike. There are professional car care centres, but no two-wheeler
With 3100 startups present and over 800 setting up annually, India is the fastest growing and 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world
care centres. This made us think of something new to introduce into the market. We soon realised there is a huge potential close to our passion.
“The Express Bike Wash is a fully indigenous technology that we have designed, starting right from the scratch. The idea came up somewhere in Jan 2013. Thereafter, we built our own R&D team. In Jan 2014, we launched the prototype of India’s firstever automated bike wash system in a Bike Week Event Goa.”
The Automatic Bike Wash System
“This automated bike wash takes 2-5 minutes against the manual traditional wash which takes at least 30 minutes to 3-5 hours. Moreover, the manual rubbing or scrubbing harms the polishing part. The Express Bike Wash system has been developed keeping bikes’ priority at the top. It does no harm to the bikes’ polishes. Thus never lets you trade the thrills of riding because of maintenance concerns.
There are around 25 nozzles at the bottom and on the sides of the roll-over. The nozzles are controlled through touch-enabled LCD panel. As soon as we press the buttons,lower and upper nozzles start the washing process. We have a soap dispensing unit with customised formulation, specially developed for bikes’ soil & stains removals.
The system is backed with Wastewater recycling plant. Hence in contrast to the other bike-wash cleaning present in the country, there is no waste. A manual cleaning can consume around hundred litres to wash just one bike. Thanks to the recycling plant, Express consumes just 8-10 litres.
The entire system is portable and can be mounted on wheels. Hence we can move the machine from one place to other. Given that the basic requirement such as electricity and water are present.
Since the system was launched in Goa, there have been improvisations and it is still in the evolution phase. So far, no patent has been applied for this indigenous technology.
Delving into the Business Metrics
“A traditional bike wash charge is `70 onwards, while ours from `50-`150. We provide one stop solution to take care of the regular life cycle of bikes. This includes detailing and other services too, that goes up to `500.”
The system has been launched at some of the authorised Hero and Honda service stations. We have two stores of our own – one at RCity, Ghatkopar another at RCity, Mulund. Further, we are coming up in more locations like petrol pumps. And in the quiver are one at Koparkhairne and another at Churchgate petrol pumps.
Getting Dr Mobius on board
The credit of getting Dr Mark Mobius, a big foreign investor on board goes to Rajesh Sehgal, an investor in the company himself. He is Sr. Executive Director & Head – Private Equity – South Asia, Middle East & Africa, Franklin Templeton.
“We are tapping on franchise model. With four installed and 25 more in line, the journey has been very exciting so far. In the on-going government initiative, we would love to play a big role in terms of motor vehicles’ cleaning and awareness.”
And in the end, the express bike wash system gives you the reason to keep your bike in good condition as motorcycle boots are not good for walking!