CHENNAI, India — Bangalore is known as the ‘Silicon City’ of India, so it was no surprise that two young and tech-savvy American entrepreneurs Greg Moran and David Back chose the city over other international locations to start Zoom, India’s first membership-based self-drive car rental service.
And the New Ford Figo, India’s most awarded car ever forms over half of Zoom’s current fleet, further reinforcing its reputation as a reliable, fuel efficient and fun-to-drive car.
Moran said Zoom aims to ease Bangalore's constraints such as a lack of taxis at peak hours.
"Our service is looking to mitigate the typical pain points in Indian cities," said Moran. “So Zoom will offer its customers aggregated parking spaces to alleviate parking challenges. Its cars will come with large-screen tablets that will be loaded with maps, voice-controlled directions, traffic and parking information.”
Zoom is an adaptation of the car-sharing business model that has been popularized globally by ZipCar. Currently, car-sharing is present in over 20 countries and has taken hold in the US, Europe, Brazil, Turkey, and China.
Navneet Singh, national fleet manager for Ford India, who helped Zoom zero in on the Figo, said that, “the Zoom entrepreneurs were drawn by Ford’s global reputation as a technology leader, its range of fuel-efficient and fun-to drive vehicles and the fact that Ford India has a solid brand appeal among their client demographic (25-40). We also supported them by enabling their app-based technology on the Figos as well as fast delivery and prompt service through our local dealer Cauvery Ford.”
“The Figo is the perfect hatch for Zoom since it zips around town, has solid fuel efficiency, and is easy to park (we also love the built in Bluetooth!),” said an excited Moran, adding that “in the near future, we will certainly look to expand with the EcoSport and possibly even the Fiesta. The EcoSport will be the true flagship given its fuel efficiency, slick styling, and SYNC technology.”
Zoom focuses exclusively on self-drive and does not provide drivers as part of the service. This is a radical departure from the prevailing trend in the Indian transportation sector, where car rental services are largely chauffeur-driven. Zoom vehicles can be hired on an hourly or daily basis and booking times are completely flexible, so there are no rigid 4 or 8 hour packages. Zoom’s tariffs include the cost of fuel, insurance, maintenance, and tax starting at Rs. 199/hr (approximately US$2) or Rs. 1,999/day (approximately US$40).
Zoom’s model is focused on locating vehicles in convenient, easy to access places that are a short walk from a member’s residence or work. It is working with real estate developers, universities, hotels, and corporate IT parks to station its vehicles across Bangalore.
In fact, Moran has just placed another order for three more Figos to bolster his fleet and has ambitions to expand it to 20 cities across India in the next three years.
Kinetic Blue Ford Figo with Zoom branding