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Night riders

People love to party late but don’t want to risk driving afterwards. For Ankur Vaid, Saurabh Shah and Mishal Raheja, this wasn’t just a statement of fact, but an idea to start Party Hard Drivers in Mumbai.

Rajshree Kukreti | Print Edition: July, 24 2008

How did you come up with the idea for Party Hard Drivers?

It was an idea borne of need. We were out partying one night and felt the necessity for a driver. We did a recce of the existing services, spoke to people and realised the immense potential of such a facility. With drunken driving a serious offence, we knew we were on the right course.

How long did it take to develop and launch it?

It took us around three months, and we launched it in Mumbai in December 2007. We invested Rs 2.5 lakh, but did not have to look for office space as Shah already had one. I gave up my job with an ad agency to work full time on this project. Shah continues with his stock broking business, while Raheja is an aspiring actor.

Is the service limited to late nights?

No, our services are available during the day and for outstation trips too.

What are the charges?

For the night service, we charge Rs 500 for five hours (10 p.m.—3 a.m.). For the day and outstations trips, the charges vary.

How has the response been?

Overwhelming. We have provided services to over 1,000 clients so far and recovered the investment in the third month. Currently, we are ploughing back the profits into the business. We started with 40 drivers, but now have 100 on our rolls.

What are your expansion plans?

We are aiming for such a service in other cities and have started the groundwork. We are also looking to partner events and hold awareness rallies on the perils of drunken driving.

How do you ensure customer satisfaction?

We hire only seasoned and well-mannered drivers as the client’s safety is our prime concern. We also customise our services for regular clients.

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