Moneycontrol

Budget 2023Budget 2023
Upcoming Event : LeapToUnicorn - mentoring, networking and fundraising for startups. Register now
Budget 2023
Budget 2023

Look who's riding electric bikes in Bengaluru

With officegoers working from home during the pandemic, Bengaluru's delivery workers have been powering Yulu app's electric bikes business.

January 15, 2022 / 04:54 PM IST
Yulu estimates that 17,000 gig workers have used their electric cycles in 2021. The company even designed an electric vehicle with a goods carrier that can carry about 10 kg load.

Yulu estimates that 17,000 gig workers have used their electric cycles in 2021. The company even designed an electric vehicle with a goods carrier that can carry about 10 kg load.

If he weren’t working for Swiggy in Bengaluru, Shantanu would have been with his family in Kharagpur, West Bengal. He works about 12 hours a day, crisscrossing East Bengaluru to deliver food to its residents mostly living in large apartment blocks. He gets exhausted but is grateful for the new job that’s only six months old. Shantanu told me his story when I met him in Whitefield. He was standing in front of a at 7 am, waiting for his order that had to be delivered to an apartment a kilometre away.

“I came here three years back to work as a security guard,” Shantanu said, “but the salary (Rs 6,000) was not enough to support my family.” Struggling to make ends meet, he asked friends who were working as delivery boys for food delivery aggregators. They were making more money but all of them had their own two-wheelers. He, however, couldn’t afford to buy even a second-hand scooter. In August, last year, one of Shantanu’s roommates suggested that he try out the Yulu app. Through the app, he rented out an electric bike for a day after he had registered on Swiggy. “It was convenient. Since then, the cycle is my lifeline,” he said.

Yulu co-founders, including its CEO Amit Gupta, had visualized their MMVs to “decongest the infamous Bengaluru traffic and improve its air quality” when they started the company in 2018; their intention was to change the mindset of the white-collar commuters who wouldn’t leave their cars for cycles. The first stand of rental bikes appeared in Bellandur, a neighbourhood with several special economic zones housing MNCs. The electric cycles were aimed at the professionals living in the vicinity.

Amit Gupta Amit Gupta