Each one of us, at some point of time, must have faced the issue of finding a parking spot for our vehicles. Finding a parking spot is a daily chore which is an irritating and time taking task. And even if you do find one easily, the thought of the safety of your vehicle looms around at the back of your mind. Overall, it is a necessary task associated with an unpleasant experience. As per IBM Survey, a driver wastes up to 19 minutes to find a parking space in Delhi. The situation is even worse in Mumbai and Bangalore. Well, some people are problem solvers and like to take up the tasks on their shoulders to solve the daily problems we all face. A retired Deputy Commandant from the Indian Coast Guard, has recently embarked upon his entrepreneurial journey to provide a solution to this problem. I am sure all of us would like to wish him success in his endeavour of changing the way India parks it’s cars! ParkMate is an App based solution to provide hyperlocal on demand car parking valet-services for your parking needs.
ParkMate offers one of a kind of on demand valet – parking solutions , where, in the ParkMate app one can enter the destination they are travelling and book a valet. When the driver reaches the destination, the valet collects the car, geo-tags it and parks it to the nearest available parking spot. The valet delivers the car whenever the driver needs it. The driver would no longer need to waste the time driving around to find a parking spot. From the safety of your Vehicle to the efficiency of the operations, here are some FAQs for more information about how ParkMate provides a solution to your parking woes. Allow me to introduce you to the CEO of ParkMate – Dy Commandant (Retd.) Dhananjaya Bharadwaj, a six-sigma green belt and an agile development professional.
Where did the idea of ParkMate emanate?
Back in 2016 when I was about to get married, I used to travel all across the Delhi-NCR for shopping and other arrangements. Every time, when I used to reach a destination I had to wait almost 20-25 minutes either to find a car parking or else, I used to drop my parents at the destination and say “aap chalo mai gaadi laga kar aata hu.” It was a very big hassle for me. We searched for applications offering a solution to the parking problem. We found some apps which were offering online booking of parking spaces in some limited areas but even after booking a spot online, I had to travel to the parking spaces which in most cases were 500 m-1 KM away. That’s where this idea came to my mind. We started working on this idea back in 2020 and began our research on how the parking industry operates. What are the problems the general public faces and what could be the solution to those problems.
What were the efforts and data analysis carried out to develop the APP?
We did an extensive study spanning over 17 months including an on ground survey across cluster markets of New Delhi. After our research and survey we found that the most convenient way of parking for people is Valet parking. But this facility was available in either some hotels or selected high end restaurants. Why couldn’t this facility be extended all across the city? And that is what we, at ParkMate, are doing. We will provide on demand hyperlocal Valet services to all, across Delhi-NCR. Before going ahead with the idea we had to firstly identify the key choke points where parking congestion begins and what are the hot spots where our services could be best tested. We validated our idea without an app in one of the prime locations of Delhi and then decided to go ahead with our product design. We also identified what type of UI/UX would be best suited for a person driving a car where he/she would not need to focus much on the screw and the driver would be able to make a booking by one or by two taps. That is how we started building our application.
How have the early days of the App been ? Any challenges faced ?
It is an industrious and challenging task to introduce a new service to the people. We are a new brand, a new service and we are doing our best to build and earn trust among new users. However, people of Delhi-NCR have been very kind to us and have welcomed our services with open hands. We did have some challenges to meet before we even began our operations. First challenge was to hire so many drivers with good knowledge of the local markets. To cater for drivers, we strictly hired only those people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. We have also reached out to parking contractors and are setting up an arrangement which would enable them to more efficiently utilize their manpower and parking spaces. Next challenge was to integrate our mapping technology in our valet application module. The mapping tech was mandatory to guide our valets to the nearest available parking. We had to carry out extensive mapping of such locations. At ParkMate, we are a team of 7 core members and a fleet of our parking buddies.
How are you catering for the security and safety concerns?
Our valets are authenticated by customers through an OTP based verification. All the cars that we pick up are geo-tagged. So, a customer can always track where his/her car is. Whenever the car is parked at the designated location, the car’s image and parking ticket’s images are uploaded in our application so that the customer can be sure that the car is parked in a legal parking spot and also cross check the parking ticket fee. Till the time a customer’s car is with ParkMate, full responsibility of its safety and care lies with ParkMate.
What is the current status of the App and what are your Future plans ?
We are in our MVP stage. We are already live and serving through AppStore and PlayStore. We are already offering our services to customers across Karol Bagh, Lajpat Nagar, Noida Sector 18 and in DLF mall of India area. We are expanding our services to other areas at a steady rate and we will likely cover all major markets of New Delhi-NCR in coming weeks. We plan to expand to other Tier-I cities in the future also and proceedings for that are already in advance. The mapping of some target cities is already in an advanced stage. We will be introducing subscription plans and some new facilities which are not being offered by any other company very soon.
What would you like to say to the young and budding entrepreneurs of this country?
The journey of building a startup is lonely. Do not hesitate. Believe in your idea only after actually testing it on the ground.
1. Do not listen to people who criticise 9-5 jobs. There is nothing wrong with 9-5 jobs. Become an entrepreneur and you will have to work 24 hours.
2. Do not start a startup just as an excuse to quit your job. Startup, only if you want to create an impact on the society and if you really want to solve a day to day problem.
The APP was launched on 22 October 2021 and the ParkMate team is confident that ParkMate will provide a solution to your daily parking problems. A Mechanical Engineer by qualification and a Marine- Engineer / logistics manager by experience, Dy Commandant (Retd.) Dhananjaya is very optimistic about the way forward.
You can connect with ParkMate on-