Vipul had started ‘CommuteEasy’ before joining ISB. It is a unique car-sharing network to connect people who share the same route and timings. His second venture, ‘Lifeisoutside.com’ was incubated by the Wadhwadi Centre for Entrepreneurial Development (WCED) and launched after he graduated from ISB. It is a premium weekend getaway and a short break portal aggregates an interesting genre of experiences and allows its users to search, discover, research, plan and book their getaway. He credits management education for helping him understand the importance of building a scalable business model. Currently LifeIsOutside has over 1500 unique visitors each day and CommuteEasy caters to about a 1000 each day.
Here are the excerpts from an interview with Mr. Vipul Kasera, Founder, CommuteEasy & LifeIsOutside.com:-
What led you to start CommuteEasy and LifeIsOutside.com?
CommuteEasy.com: I used to carpool to work and absolutely loved the concept. However, once I returned from a client visit in Sydney, my carpool had got disbanded and it was hard to find others on my route. Thats when I decided to set up commuteeasy.com to connect people who share the same route and timings.
LifeIsOutside.com: Yamini and I are both avid travelers and we found a lot of people seeking suggestions on short breaks around the city. We realized the information wasn’t easy to come across and when available was extremely unstructured. The concept behind LifeIsOutside.com is simple. We aggregate the most exciting getaways within a driving distance from the city and structure them in a way that makes discovering and planning a quick holiday a breeze.
How WCED helped in your second venture ?
While running a start up, its easy to get caught up with the operational challenges faced on a daily basis while the bigger picture takes a backseat. The team at WCED did a great job of helping maintain an eye on the company’s roadmap that was charted out and be a useful sounding board during the course.
Scaling up plans.
We are looking at tying up with a lot more corporate houses to handle their team outings, setting up travel desks in each of these companies. We are also looking at increasing our depth and breadth of coverage on the supply side. We aren’t looking at raising money immediately.
What excites you the most as your journey as Serial Entrepreneur?
It’s too early on in the game to consider myself a serial entrepreneur. So I can just tell you what excites me most about running in a start up.
When you are working with limited resources, be it in terms of capital or team bandwidth, there is a constant need for optimization and ingenuity. A start up setting allows you to constantly experiment as the inertia to try anything new is extremely low. The thrill of building something from scratch that adds immense value to a large number of users is unparalleled.
One key learning from ISB
The ability to sustain has to be built into the DNA of the company. There were several case study’s of promising start ups that paid a heavy price for maintaining a high burn rate. This learning has made up make a conscious effort to stay as lean as possible and ensure our burn rate is manageable without compromising on growth.