Amongst the most exposed verticals to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak is the automotive and transportation industry, which is currently amidst unprecedented uncertainty. “Car rental is deeply impacted in general because of the COVID19 crisis. However, this has made people seriously think about low-cost rentals that could compromise on health and safety standards as they go easily unchecked,” says Raghav Belavadi, Founder and CEO of Hype, a luxury car rental app to help people live their dreams of enjoying a ride in the car of their dreams and experience luxury. In an email interaction with CXO Outlook, Raghav Belavadi talks about the impact of COVID-19 on the car rental market, significant trends in car rental apps, how are car rentals ensuring the hygiene and safety of their travellers, and many more.
How technology has evolved in the automobile sector?
Earlier technology was limited to just Automobile Mechanical Engineering. But, with time, an automobile has become a computer or a mobile phone in motion. With all the Hi-Tec gadgets, Apps nowadays, the entire automobile is built around a mobile phone. This requires futurising vision, dedicated R&D and competitive spirit. “Innovate or Perish” is totally applicable to the automobile sector. Your car is not more just a car but a mobile computer, a safety grid, and a home for the most part of your lifestyle.
Could you give us an overview of car rental industry amid the COVID19 Pandemic?
Car rental is deeply impacted in general because of the COVID19 crisis. However, this has made people seriously think about low-cost rentals that could compromise on health and safety standards as they go easily unchecked. It has also created ample opportunities for the premium car rental market. People are going to be wary and selective choosing the brands for their rental rather than a runoff the mill providers.
What are the significant trends in car rental apps these days?
Car rental apps emerge like mushrooms every now and then. Aggregators, super aggregators are always on the constant acquisition mode to engage and target the customers. Customers are usually unaware of the apps they use. They may be risking their data to an unknown or a loosely assembled App. Especially on Google Playstore, the risks are higher.
How are car rentals ensuring the hygiene and safety of their travellers?
The Mass mobility sector may be trying hard to adapt to a totally new challenge of hygiene and safety standards. This is not surprising as they never built that business model around an experiential or a high-quality ride. Sanitising the cars regularly, separating the driver and passenger sections in the vehicle, providing masks and sanitisers and so on are the usual practices that are coming up.
What are the techniques used to achieve the effectiveness of car rental apps?
Car rental apps usually work in Silos and may not be able to track the driver or the passenger travel history. If the travel history can be gathered using location tracking devices or Apps and integrating with the rider apps, it may be useful to ascertain who has travelled where and categorise them as high risk or low-risk passengers.
How has the lockdown affected the Automobile industry?
The automobile industry is affected just like any other businesses. It hit harder because the entire mobility of people is restricted. The hunch is that people may buy more cars or rent premium cars than choosing mass transportation in the coming days.
About Raghav Belavadi and Hype – Luxury Car Rental
Raghav Belavadi is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering and a serial entrepreneur. After saying Goodbye to his leadership roles in global corporates such as Accenture and others, he decided to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams. Hype – Luxury Car Rental does find its clientele amongst movie stars and big businessmen but is not limited to just the richer strata of the society. Many of its customers include the average salaried who get their dreams of driving luxury cars fulfilled at affordable prices. It is a game-changer in the market where luxury cars are not easy to rent, especially for the choosy ones who want the perfect ride.