Co-Founding a Unicorn and Solving a Social Problem
Co-Founding a Unicorn and Solving a Social Problem is something a few of us dream of. Yet, there are some with experience of founding 2 Unicorns and building a 3rd on a Social Impact Problem. That is Amit Gupta of Yulu for you.
Welcome to Season 2. After a rocking Season 1, we are back yet again with amazing speakers. In this Episode 1 of Season 2, we feature Amit Gupta of Yulu Bikes. Remember those cute small little bikes that we see in the central business districts of cities such as Bangalore? That’s Yulu for you.
India’s Transportation Problem
India is a gigantic country with lots of problems. And as John F Kennedy once said, in the Chinese language, the words danger and opportunity are represented by the same letters.
And so it is for India. India has more than 500 cities that are being pulled apart by various forces – migration of rural workers, the arrival of technology, remote work due to covid, change in rural incomes due to agricultural bounty, and government schemes. This results in the city’s infrastructure coming up short.
As a result, it creates a sense of chaos that permeates the whole city. And this chaos gives rise to problems that are also opportunities. Problems such as transportation to colleges, workplaces, malls, amongst others. Solutions to these problems sometimes are in the form of public and private transportation or a combination of both.
Bangalore’s Transportation Problem
In the case of Bangalore, the city and state governments have never kept pace with the need for roads, transportation, electricity, water, and sanitation needs of the city. This has resulted in the city having close to 10 Million vehicles for a population estimated at around 15 Million.
This is a terrible vehicle ownership ratio. This has given rise to severe traffic chaos, bad last-mile connectivity from metro stations to workplaces and homes. In Bangalore, Silk Board – an infamously notorious traffic junction to cross is a butt of many jokes. Many techies rue that one can finish reading an entire book while waiting for the traffic jam to clear.
Backdrop for founding Yulu
It is in the backdrop of this problem that Amit Gupta chose to found Yulu. The last mile and an urban transportation problem that continues to destroy people’s lives due to the failure of India’s government and the success of its politics.
However, Amit Gupta is no stranger to problems or companies. Amit has seen a startup or two in his life. Amit was a founding team member of InMobi, one of India’s lesser-known Unicorns. At InMobi, not only was he instrumental in InMobi becoming a Unicorn, he eventually worked on Glance, which became a Unicorn created by another Unicorn. Co-Founding a Unicorn and Solving a Social Problem was something that came to him after inMobi and Glance had reached some degree of stability.
After an amazing ride, Amit decided to use his smarts and experience fixing India’s urban transportation problem. He is making a dent or two in the problem—another outstanding episode for you to listen to. Listen, share and leave us a review wherever you get our podcasts.