Sunil Gupta has an experience of over 25 years in leading MNCs in India across FMCG and business & financial services like Hindustan Unilever, Thomas Cook and Kuoni. His skills in the areas of sales, brand building, new business development and business re-structuring have helped in the creation and execution of strategies that have delivered high growth and profitability in diverse businesses. For the past couple of years, his passion has been the development and deployment of unique IT solutions for customer management and automation of business processes.
For decades, the symbol of mobility around the world has ideally been the private car. In India too, car ownership is considered a status symbol. But this concept of mobility is undergoing a paradigm shift.
The rise in urbanization is driving increased demand for mobility in India over the years. This fast-paced growth has also been accompanied by related problems such as inadequate parking space, increasingly congested roads, and highly-polluted air due to our dependence on fossil fuels. As a result, there has been a shift in the consumer’s mindset and mobility patterns who are now focusing more on experience rather than ownership.
Moreover, particularly with millennials, the idea has moved away from being a proud owner of a car towards valuing the mobility that a car provides. This was further evident when Deloitte’s 2019 Global Automotive Consumer Study highlighted that 64% of India’s millennials questioned the need for purchasing and owning a car.
The ball has rolled as the car rental companies have been quick to accommodate the changing needs of the consumers. Players in the car rental segment have realized the need to sustainably grow the mobility ecosystem, both from an economic and environmental point of view.
Changing face of mobility
The rise of mobility as a Service (MaaS) is reshaping the way one travels from point A to B. Moreover, the car rental market is expected to reach$214.04 billion by 2027. This has further propelled the mobility providers in developing a new range of mobility propositions such as self-drive car rentals, carpooling, car subscription, and short-term leasing.
Reasons for the shift
In most large cities around the world, consumers can access a bike, scooter, or car without owning one, simply with the purchase of a subscription. The concept of car rentals or subscription or leasing is not new in several other countries. However, in India, it has gained massive popularity only recently.
The global pandemic has been a recent contributor to this growth story. COVID-19 resulted in an economic crisis, leading several consumers to act cautiously when it comes to purchasing a brand new car. Thus, renting a car is seen as a safe and flexible alternative.
Most of these car rental service providers offer individuals access to a suite of cars, with maintenance, roadside assistance, and insurance included for one all-inclusive price. The main advantage of the subscription model is that it is cost-efficient, and the consumer is not tied for years to only one car.
Furthermore, the on-demand aspect of shared mobility is another reason adding to its rising popularity as urbanization makes owning a car less convenient than it once was earlier.
Shared mobility is a data-driven, user-centred paradigm, powered by the growth of smartphones. Therefore, leveraging the potential of new-age technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics, car rental providers are consistently innovating to offer the best user experience and ensure the safety of customers.
Therefore, considering the present scenario, shared mobility provides an alternative way to move more people in a way that is faster, cleaner, and cost-effective than current options. It won’t be wrong to admit that car rental players will create a new ecosystem of shared mobility in the years to come.
More About Sunil Gupta
Avis India is a joint venture between Avis Budget Group and Oberoi Group of Hotels and is the leading car rental and leasing company in India. It is the only vehicle mobility Company in India which offers end-to-end mobility solutions – chauffeur-driven vehicles for short term rentals and long-term rentals and vehicles for operating lease and self-drive in India. Since Sunil Gupta joined the company 8 years back, the company’s revenue has grown over four times, IT solutions have transformed the Company and Avis has become one of the Top 3 operating lease companies in India in the 5 years since the business was launched.
He is a B Tech from IIT-Varanasi and a PGDM from Indian Institute of Calcutta, followed by management development programs in Leadership and Strategy at Hult Business School, Ashridge, UK and Insead, Fontainebleau, France. He is married and has a daughter and son who are a constant source of inspiration. His passions are travel, cycling and economics.