Harsh Dhand, an IIT-Delhi postgraduate, teamed up with Oxford MBA peers Abhijit Shaha and Karandeep Singh Vohra (they are no longer with the company) to start a peer-to-peer rental platform that evolved into a marketplace for rental businesses. Later, Vaibhav Doshi, an early investor in RentSher, joined as a Co-founder and currently heads the company in West Asia.
"The sharing economy got us going. We were amazed at how companies like Uber and Airbnb tapped into the idea of convenient non-ownership and wanted to take it further," says Dhand. "Events-related merchandise, electronic items and costume rentals had always been there, but it was an offline, fragmented and seasonal market. When our P2P platform came up, offline vendors also wanted to list their wares, and that gave us the idea of starting a marketplace."
How It Works
Unlike most rental start-ups with inventories, RentSher's has an asset-light model with no capex required for procurement and no operational expenses needed for storage, maintenance and logistics. It runs a product discovery and booking platform and provides a SaaS-like feature to help vendors with operations while the central team works as a concierge desk to ensure hassle-free, on-time delivery. The firm offers options ranging from daily to monthly rentals, and currently focusses on three broad categories - event venues, electronics and equipment, including wheelchairs and medical beds. Revenue comes from the margin per order and a share of the rent. To date, over 100 SMEs and start-ups, and more than 60,000 retail customers, have opted for RentSher's services. Key B2B clients in India include Adobe, Mercedes and Zomato. The company has recently signed an MoU with the Government of Sharjah to become its preferred rental partner.
The global rental industry is worth $40-50 billion and Dhand is pushing for a bigger share of the market pie. RentSher will set up operations in Saudi Arabia in the next six months and expand to 13 more cities in India and West Asia. It will also explore new markets in the US and the UK, and enter more big-ticket categories such as large equipment.
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