Bangalore-based self-driven car rental startup Zoomcar has appointed former Procter & Gamble executive Sudhindra Reddy as its new chief operating officer, a person directly familiar with the development told VCCircle.
Reddy, who confirmed the appointment, said he took over his new assignment last month. As part of his responsibilities, he will streamline all processes and execute strategies to expand and scale up the company’s operations. Reddy replaces Paritosh Gupta, who left the company in August.
“While this will definitely be a new experience in terms of business model and modalities, my earlier professional stints always involved interacting with people from multiple corporate functions as part of strategy execution. I hope to bring that conditioning and experience to the new assignment as well,” Reddy told VCCircle over the phone.
A civil engineer and a management graduate by educational qualification, Reddy was previously with FMCG giant Procter & Gamble for nine years, where he held multiple positions in verticals such as operations, logistics and costing. Prior to joining Zoomcar, he was a manager in the initiatives and cost delivery division for the FMCG giant. Before P&G, he worked with the Department of Defence.
Reddy’s appointment comes at a crucial juncture for Zoomcar as it is in the midst of a significant expansion phase.
Established in 2013, the firm is looking to foray into the overseas markets and is looking at Asia and Africa as its next port of calls. In an interaction with VCCircle in August, Zoomcar chief executive Greg Moran said the company was looking to expand its operations to more than 20 countries by 2020.
It is also looking to tilt its fleet operations more in favour of an asset-light model through its Zoomcar Associate Program (ZAP), which Moran has touted to be one of the chief drivers of Zoomcar’s next growth phase.
ZAP, which was launched early last year, allows individuals to purchase vehicles on behalf of Zoomcar, list the vehicle on its platform, earn from it by renting it out, and then share the profits on a monthly basis. Moran had said that he expected ZAP, which accounts for 20% of its fleet, to grow exponentially and account for nearly 85-90% of its fleet.
However, Zoomcar is also not likely to completely abandon its inventory model. In September, VCCircle had reported that it had struck a Rs 35-crore ($5.45 million) financing agreement with Ford Credit India Pvt. Ltd, the non-banking finance arm of automaker Ford India, to buy cars.
The company has also recently introduced a tech-enabled cycle-sharing service, PEDL, in Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata, after a three-month pilot. Moran had said that the company had put 3,000 custom-made bicycles on the road, which do four-five trips a day. The company charges Rs 10 for half an hour and is targeting a cycle fleet of 10,000 in the short term.
Moran, who founded Zoomcar with his friend David Back in 2012, worked as a renewable energy project consultant in the US before moving to India. The company has so far raised around $30 million from marquee names like Ford Motor Company, Sequoia Capital, Nokia Growth Partners, and angel investors Aarin Capital chairman TV Mohandas Pai and former US treasury secretary Lawrence Summers.
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