highway delite is verified information and transaction based mobile platform for commuters on Indian highway to view information and transact with highway services including restaurants and other necessary services like lodge/hotels, medical facilities, petrol stations, mechanic, toilets, in a real time location basis.
The startup was founded by Rajesh Kumar G an engineering and MBA graduate in February last year. On asking about how the idea came into picture, Rajesh responded, “I was fortunate to be a part of some challenging consulting assignments during my job in which I traveled more than 10,000 kms on Indian highways and have experienced the problems ‘highway delite’ is addressing. I was convinced about the problem and started as single founder with no idea about how to go about it. But I always believed that things will fall in place once I start.”
The Bangalore based startup has a vision to bring positive competition among highway service providers and assist travellers on hygiene, safety, and security during highway/road trips.
What Market Need does the Startup Solve?
According to Rajesh, commuters who travel by highway roads has to rely on roadside restaurants/ dhabas and lodges/hotels, which they have either never heard of or have never been to earlier. He added that major pain points of travellers are:
- Not sure of quality and hygiene of the food being served
- Not aware of other facilities like restrooms and other amenities related to hygiene and safety
- No idea of where and whom to contact in case of emergency situations (accident/ medical/mechanic etc.)
All the above factors contributes greatly in India’s overall low ranking in tourism competitiveness especially in factors of safety, hygiene and infrastructure. India is placed above 100 among 140 countries in the mentioned factors, hence far from desirable of at-least top 50.
Commuters, service providers and government, the company promises to have value proposition for all.
- For Commuters: Make informed decisions on highways, save time and money, and feel safe and enjoy the journey.
- For Service Providers: Increased business opportunity, positive competition to increase service standards, and promote remotely located brands.
- For Government: Direct benefit to tourism industry, address travel safety, and hygiene issues and promote local heritage and remote tourism situated along highways.
App Details and Traction
The mobile app platform has facilities information and photos of verified restaurants, fuel pumps, lodge including photos of restroom. Further, the platform has for the first time ever introduced accident zones on the map and provided the nearest emergency contact information. The app also have information for categories including mechanic, highway emergency contact, hospitals, pharmacy, and toll gates. As of now the transaction feature is limited to avail discount on restaurant but the company plans to extend this feature for other services as well
The platform can be used either to plan a road trip by ‘Search Along Route’ by entering the source and destination or can be used for real time location basis through ‘Search Near Me’ option, which would show nearest options in the range of 15 kms. The app also provides you with option of filters to narrow down your search.
The startup’s Android app is rated 4.7 on Play Store with 1,000 – 5,000 downloads. It can be used pan India also with limitation of unverified information. The verified route available on highway delite spans around 5000+ kms around Bangalore with information of more than 2000+ verified outlets.
Talking about the direct competitors, Ixigo’s road trip nearby places app is the biggest player in the sector. But the startup have many indirect competitors that too with big giants like Google Maps for route planner, Zomato for food outlets, Airbnb for lodges and hotels, etc.
India has about 2.30 lakh kms of National and State highways (NHs and SHs) in India and about 800 million passengers (including 7 million foreign tourists) travel by road as part of their travel itinerary.
The major challenge in the travel and leisure sector is that it’s not a daily requirement, hence the need is seasonal. The other challenges in this sector involves collecting verified data, developing more precise technology and gaining trust of users.
However, with the idea of weekend destinations catching up and emphasis from the government to improve tourist facilities pan India, weekend phenomenon would see high growth in the coming decade. But the main focus of all the players should be on bridging the gap with innovative platform of services covered with in depth details of the facilities to outrun others.
Image Source: Makemytrip