Eight college buddies giving up cushy jobs for their brainchild — an integrated tracking platform, embarked on a quest that ended as Dhundhoo, quite literally. The Hyderabad-based IoT startup’s real time school bus-tracking solution, now operative across the country, came through after many interactions with parents over a couple of years. Concerns were raised around the time wasted at bus-stops, uncertainty of the bus location, of little or no responses from drivers and obvious safety issues after the child boards the bus. Dhundhoo’s USP is its two-way solution also catering to the schools admin, helping them manage various buses and routes at once.
“We install the GPS device in the buses, map the pre-defined route and provide solution to parents. The devices also provide data about automobile repair, an RF ID card where parents can know if the child has boarded the bus. Everything related to bus is on our system — the routes and stops. Parents can download the app through an OTP-based registration. Login credentials are also provided to admin staff who can add details, notify change in routes if necessary,” Swapnil Tamgadge, Dhundhoo’s CTO informs.
There are many players in the industry that provide tracking solutions, the ideas though weren’t tailored for schools.
“We wanted to trace the problem, parents are not aware of bus security issues,” Rohit Jain, a business development and finance strategist at the firm mentions. The journey hasn’t been easy of course, dealing with schools meant they had to please decision makers at many hierarchies. “Yet going back to school was fun, you feel younger for a while, it’s challenging to convince them,” Swapnil adds. Most schools give little time for Dhundhoo to prove their act right, but the group has faced these challenges well.
Dhundhoo is also part of the Nasscom 10000 startups initiative, T-Hub, the tie-ups help them with right mentorship, wider access to investor base, events, networking with potential clients/conglomerates, assistance with Google and Amazon Cloud. Currently a subscription based service model (SaaS), they aim towards a MaaS (Mobility as a service) model in the future.
What does the change entail? “This will integrate various institutions onto one platform, help us collect data, parameters to serve clients better as per their need. For instance, you can plan a single journey through different means of transport at once, while seamless payment is ensured. The aim is to make public transport more accessible, save time, avoid traffic congestion and be eco-friendly at the same time,” Rohit and Ashish Kumar (COO) informs.
They’re also exploring a solution with trucks, packing, moving, importing and exporting. “These are long journeys, commercial vehicles, cabs that could be tracked. That we also deal with the hardware segment (a rarity in the startup ecosystem) is our advantage.”
How startup friendly is Hyderabad? A unanimous voice from the team raises, “People are open to technologies, we have been here for long, enjoy working with the crowd here. It’s a culture growing day by day, the vision we have ahead keeps us engrossed. We do have our differences and discussions, that only help us come up with a better product.