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Indian TaaS startup gogoBus wants to expand to SE Asia with partners

Prasanth Aby Thomas, DIGITIMES, Bangalore 0

Avinash Bagri, co-founder & CTO, gogoBus. Credit: gogoBus.

Indian Transport as a Solution (TaaS) startup aims to expand to Southeast Asia and MENA as these regions have conditions similar to India. Speaking to DIGITIMES Asia recently, Avinash Bagri, co-founder & CTO of gogoBus, explained that finding the right partners in these regions is important to the company.

"We have plans in place to expand beyond India," Bagri said. "Markets of Southeast Asia and the MENA region are very similar to the Indian market, and we are confident that we would be able to find the right partners to extend our company TaaS solution."

The company comes with experience in India's public transport infrastructure, which is notorious for being inefficient. Trains rarely operate on time. Metro rails available in some cities are doing well, but their connectivity is limited. Buses, which is the sector that gogoBus targets, operate across the country but are not reliable, crowded, and slow.

Importance of public transport

While several startups in India are working in the automobile sector, public transport hasn't received the importance it deserves. But for India to attain its goals of reducing carbon footprint and developing smarter cities, this sector requires a massive revamp. gogoBus technology can help fleet managers attract more customers while optimizing for efficiency.

"Our platform digitizes day-to-day operations of the bus-mobility value chain for a bus operator while ensuring a seamless experience for consumers from booking to boarding," Bagri said. "Additionally, our intelligent route algorithm suggests an optimum route based on demographic profile, alternate mobility options, and frequency to maximize asset (bus) sweating."

The company's platform already empowers over 80 small and medium-sized bus operators to manage their total fleet of more than 1,000 long-distance buses daily, with inclusive access to an end-to-end technology ecosystem.

How does the solution work?

Today, location technology is changing the mobility landscape across the world. gogoBus brings the benefits of the same under its TaaS platform to make public transport buses more visible to the consumer.

"We are taking an ecosystem approach to restructure bus mobility with our end-to-end connected apps designed to empower seamless connectivity," Bagri explained, adding details of the various apps that they provide.

Consumer App: Consumers' app specially designed to search and book tickets, available on Android & iOS

Swami App: An app dedicated to operators that help them manage all its consumer booking & boarding and P&L on a real-time basis.

Sarthi App: An app designed for drivers to help them in contactless boarding of passengers. It keeps any kind of unauthorized boarding at bay and is also an excellent platform for live route tracking.

Sathi App: A special app designed for agents to digitize their offline bookings.

Mitr App: An app designed exclusively for helpers or attendants to manage consumer grievances.

Sanchalak App: Admin app to view general day-to-day operations at the top level.

What's driving demand for this?

With dwindling demand during the pandemic, survival became the biggest question for the operators. Using technology-driven solutions to optimize operations became a necessity.

"It was at that point that we realized the power of what we were building and how it can help the industry find the answer to erstwhile questions around demand," Bagri said. "There was ambiguity, and it was the question of survival for many. Our data-backed TaaS mobility platform assists small and medium-sized operators to manage their daily demands, identifying the best routes and guiding them towards the right pricing while maximizing occupancy on every trip level.

Essentially, the solution helps to answer some fundamental questions like which routes to operate, how to maintain optimum pricing, and what should be the strategy going forward.

Partnership and expansion beyond India

Partnerships are important to gogoBus. Bagri said that the company already has a direct API integration with a couple of companies in India on both the demand and supply sides to extend comprehensive end-to-end technology solutions to our customers. They are keen on partnering with more companies to take the solution ahead.

"In our objective to deliver the best travel experience to our users, we are open to new partnerships/integration, going forward, both in India and abroad," he added.

Reinventing public transport

Governments across the globe are now interested in smart transportation, seen as a more efficient and effective solution to current public transport woes. According to Grand View Research, the global smart transportation market size was valued at US$101.26 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.6 percent from 2022 to 2030.

Solutions like gogoBus would have a crucial role to play in making public transport operations smarter. Their effect could become more visible as the company expands to more countries.

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