WhistleDrive, AI and blockchain-powered transportation system

WhistleDrive provides Transportation As A Service (TaaS) to Corporates. They provide Fleet of Cabs & Bus Shuttles, End to End Technology and Ground Operations to make Office Commute safe and fully efficient.

WhistleDrive provides corporations with three solutions: 

  1. Whistle Fleet
  2. Whistle Shuttle
  3. Whistle 360°

Whistle Fleet is an industry compliant fleet managed by an expert team to handle operational complexities in the employee journey.

Whistle Shuttle are shuttle services for that last-mile connectivity from Metros and other access points across cities.

Whistle 360° is a tailored and fully managed solution, which they call it a “Transportation As A Service (TaaS) Model. They take complete responsibility for the whole transportation processes of a company right from Rostering to Billings i.e. an End to End Solution.

Recently, during an interaction with one of the WhistleDrive representative, we go to know more about the company’s working model and their upcoming goals. Here is a glimpse of that…

WhistleDrive, AI and blockchain powered transportation system

What is the Advantage of WhistleDrive?

Our biggest advantage is, we provide fleet and technology as an add-on. So we know and understand the real ground challenges and it helped us to build the software with an eye on all the corners. And with the advantage of the Whistle Tech Software, our on-ground operation teams are much more efficient in the overall transportation management.

Our development team is always working on updating with the newer versions regularly to make the application more seamless, reliable, and transparent for all stakeholders involved.

And the next big competitive edge we have over our competitors is the operation’s compliance, safety measures, and 24×7 support team. We are committed to going that extra mile to make the transportation process more efficient. Be it providing an on-ground support team, advanced technology features, and Helpline team.

Our Scale:

– 3 Cities (Hyderabad, Bengaluru & Chennai)

– 32 Clients

– 700+ Fleet (Hybrid model, having approx. 20% of own fleet)

– 3500 trips a day

– 15000 employees moved every day

– 1,00,000 trips per month

What are the Achievements of WhistleDrive?

  1. Awarded one among ‘The 50 Emerging Startups in India- 2019’ by Business Connect Magazine.
  2. We are awarded one among the ‘10 best startups in Hyderabad in 2018’ by Silicon India.
  3. Finalists in the HYSEA 2018 Annual awards & 2019.
  4. We are the first company to get selected into the first cohort of T- Hub’s Lab32 program (T-Hub: Asia’s biggest Startup Incubation Hub)

Our business expansion:

-We are currently operating in Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore and expanding our footprints to other major Metro cities in India (Pune, Mumbai and Delhi).

WhistleDrive is one of the most popular startups. What made you venture into this field? What exactly is the motivation behind it?

Our pilot on Employee Transportation operations started in September 2017.

———-
The genesis:
In 2015, location-based services were taking over the market and I really wanted to be part of the wave and solve a critical problem with real-time location sharing technology. From personal experience and a bit of on-field research, I quickly realised that there is a considerable market for car driver services. We built an end to end solution for the problem and the customer adoption was very encouraging and we quickly grew in numbers. 

In time, we realised that the same technology can help manage corporate employee transportation and did a pilot run. It was a massive success and we soon started providing fleet services along with the software solution.

How challenging it was to transform your dream into reality? What were the challenges did you and your team face dealing with the local authorities? What are the new challenges now?

It feels great! As we started with Driver on-demand services for car owners and did a dry run for about 8 months. It took aWhile for us to understand the market expectations and communicate with our partner drivers efficiently.

We realised the need for a strong structure and adopted a process-driven approach which helped us grow by 5x in the next 3 months. And then we realised that the same technology can be applied for corporate employee transportation and piloted with a B2B client and It was a massive success. We understood that the DNA of B2C and B2B business is the same but it’s just the scale that’s different and started approaching new clients.

All it took us is, understanding the opportunities in Employee Transportation and applying the same at that scale.
And it took a little while for us to adapt to Employee Transportation, and later we took off with the hybrid fleet model (Partnered cabs + WhistleDrive owned cabs) which has built us more predictability in operations, even at times of ad hocs requests and vehicle breakdowns.

Today, we operate with 800+ Fleet, with around 20% own fleet which brings more support for clients, other cabs partners and for us, in terms of cost savings and utility.

How exactly artificial intelligence (AI) is helping you and WhistleDrive to make fleet and transport management, and logistics easier?

Our end to end automation software minimizes a ton of manual intervention to ensure significant cost savings to the client and provide timely service ensuring high employee satisfaction. Our live tracking dashboard enables an eagle eye real-time location view of all the cabs to the client’s staff on an interactive map to ensure efficient coordination and high employee security and safety. WhistleDrive AI-driven analytics will help clients comprehend the heaps of activity data that you need for business decisions on detailed interactive dashboards.

What is the potential of blockchain in providing deep insights to help WhistleDrive make fleet management and logistics easier?

Data is critical. Blockchain will ensure that the data we collect is safe and is protected. This helps us keep the data safe from manipulations, especially in terms of billing and while dealing with the employee data.

Billings are generated based on the trips that are there are recorded daily. Billing is a critical part and to the blockchain will keep the data away from any fraudulent. And our clients can view the reports and billing in the client dashboard anytime.

Can we find WhistleCabs sometime in the future? What about a dedicated cab Service?

And in the long run, we are focused on building an eco-system for an employee transportation solution, only for B2B.
But With the rapid growth in co-working spaces, we would like to offer WhistleShuttle services in the same  B2B space. However, we also see possible opportunities in solving inefficiencies in Intra City Logistics particularly in E-Commerce & FMCG channels.

At present, our focus is only Corporate transportation and we are looking forward to operating on a PAN India level.

How long before we can find WhisteDrive operating everywhere in India, including the suburban regions, or at least in the metropolitans and all major Indian cities?

Currently, we are operating in Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru. We look forward to entering Pune and Mumbai in the next few months and by mid-2021, we are looking to operate PAN India.

Where do you think, WhisteDrive stands in front of the competitors, or other companies offering the same services? What are your strategies to be always ahead in the competition?

There are only a few players in the market who are providing an integrated solution (fleet + Software). And with our flagship “Transportation As A Service (TaaS)”, we are making technology as a default.

While understanding clients, we do an in-depth analysis of their requirements and we provide a customized solution. Right from Rostering to Billing, We take care of End-to-End transportation operations. Most of the processes are automated with our Whistle Tech Software. So less manual work involved and very minimal chances of errors.

With a strict background and compliance checks, we ensure that all fleet and drivers documents are valid. Our application comes with all the latest safety features like Number Masking, SOS Alerts, Route deviation Alerts, Location Sharing Option with Friends & Family, Speed limit monitoring and a dedicated 25/7 Support team. With all these in place and working together, we make sure the experience and process are more seamless, reliable, and transparent for all stakeholders involved.

We are committed to going that extra mile to make the transportation process more efficient. Be it providing an on-ground support team, advanced technology features, and Helpline team.

When can WhistleDrive has its presence in the middle-east? Do you have plans to venture out in other countries, besides middle-east?

Though we are receiving a good request from the middle-east region we are bound to spread our operation across PAN India for now.

How does it feel to be one of the most successful startups in India?

It feels great, obviously! But at the same time, it gives a great responsibility to set an example for the new startups. We are extremely grateful for everything that has come along our way. We are learning and growing together day-to-day. 

What steps should a start-up take before transforming their dream into reality? Do you have anything to say for the new startups to motivate them?

My mentor Shailu said one thing to me and it made a mark in the way I do things. He says “Live full or why bother”. I would advise the same to the young entrepreneurs. And my personal advice would be, Be extremely curious. That’s how you learn things. Be the energy tank that keeps the team pushing their limits.

Look at the opportunities ahead of time (in the long term). As a leader, you should have a clear purpose and the long term vision to drive the rest.

Safety is a very important aspect of Employee Transportation. What are WhistleDrive efforts for Employee Safety?

Though employee transportation is just perceived as a fleet or fleet and software, there is something beyond just transportation. It’s also the employee safety and security. Employee Safety is the top-most priority for us. And corporates also have a very critical eye on it.

Employee Transportation is an everyday activity and we move thousands of them. Hence we want to make it more safe with the help of technology. Abiding by the industry safety standards, our efforts on compliance and background checks, safety features in the application, we ensure that we create a safer environment for employees and partners. We will go that extra mile for safety”- Rakesh Munnanooru Founder & CEO, WhistleDrive.

At the Operational level, We ensure that – All our cabs and drivers undergo a stringent 3-layer verification process before onboarding including Police Verification certificate– All cabs are fit and have first aid medical kit, fire extinguishers, umbrella, torchlight, tool kit etc for employee safety.

Our compliance and EHS teams are on duty to check the documents and also verify, do surprise alcohol checks and more.

Technologically, our application will help with – Number Masking: mask the employee mobile numbers while contacting the drivers through application.

Live Location Sharing: enable employees to share their live location with their family members and friends.

SOS button: Use the SOS button in case of emergencies, which alerts the transportation teams, WhistleDrive team and their emergency contacts with the live location tracking link

Command Centre: The Clients can have an eagle eye view and can track all the trips along with their live location stats.

Moreover, it also gives alerts on route deviation, over speeding, and more on the transportation admin dashboard. And the industry is very specific when it comes to employee safety. We abide by,– No women employee first pickup or last drop, Providing escorts for night trips when there is a women employee.

Apart from that, we train and educate our drivers and employees about safety by conducting regular inspections.

We are committed to going that extra mile (With our mission) “to transport million people a day to work and places they love through a technology-enabled, efficient and safe transportation”.

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