Race Against Time – Ashwin Jain And Karrar Taher

It all began with a question in the minds of Ashwin Jain and his young friend Karrar Taher, “Where can we get a good self-drive experience to our liking at an irresistible price point, absolutely hassle-free from a single service provider with a choice that we are hunting for?” There was no answer to this and thus was sown the seed to come up with Driven, India’s first integrated self-mobility service provider that caters to self-drive and ride rentals providing premium beauties like the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, Audi RS 5, Jaguar XJL, BMW 7 Series to bicycles like the Cannondale and more. Ashwin and Karrar get candid with RITZ as they excitedly talk about Driven and how it has made a mark in the city of Nawabs. 

Located in Hyderabad, Driven stemmed from this very thought, the fundamental lack of luxury rentals in the city. The two buddies embarked on the journey with an idea to offer self-drive, self-ride experience ranging from a Nano to some of the fanciest cars found in the country, from street bikes to super-fast bikes and bicycles like the premium Cannondale to the unique Surly, that you always wanted to own, drive or ride. It is the answer to the prayers of every car, bike or bicycle seeker who wants to rent these beauties.

“It took us less than a year to formulate the idea and get to the pilot mode. We launched our services formally on April 20, 2016. Initially, we have rolled out our services with a fleet of 150 cars, 50 bikes and 7 bicycles,” explains founder and partner Ashwin Jain.

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“We strongly believe self-mobility will eventually become the preferred mode of mobility and that is how Driven was born. Currently, we are witnessing a 30% month on month growth in our operations. The demand is in the upward trajectory for our exotic cars, bikes and bicycles,  beside the regular model range that we offer from different brands,” adds Karrar Taher.

The Driven core team is a perfect unison of youth and experience, comprising Karrar Ahmed Taher, Ashwin Jain and their families. While 27-year old Karrar is a management graduate and is passionate about riding, playing football and billiards besides his dream project, 41-year old Ashwin Jain is an engineer who is extremely passionate about cars and bikes. He has been in the car rental business for over 19 years.

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Driven has a fleet of luxury cars such as Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, Audi RS 5, Volvo S60 T6 Polestar, Mini Convertible, Mercedes Benz E 350 Cabriolet, Jaguar XJ, BMW 7 Series and Mercedez Benz S Class. Luxury motorbikes that are stealing the show are Ducati Monster 821, Triumph Rocket 3, Tiger Explorer and Thunderbird Storm, Harley Davidson Fat Boy and Forty Eight, Indian Scout, Benelli 600 i and 600 GTS, Kawasaki ZX 14R and Z1000, etc., in the premium range. The Cannonade Trail 6 and Quick 5 bicycles too are high on demand.

Even celebrities are going gaga with this new experience in town and recently Anushka Manchanda was super elated as she rode the Indian Scout, while Vir Das zoomed around on Driven’s Triumph Bonneville.

Driven will expand its fleet to 3000 cars and 1500 bikes over the next three years in two phases. These expansion plans will be funded through internal accruals and strategic partnerships. It has also initiated dialogue with potential investors to raise funds.

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In the first phase, Driven will launch in Chennai, Bengaluru, Goa, New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Udaipur. Phase two will see operations in Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Nagpur, Lucknow and Shimla.  These expansions are in addition to adding locations and neighbourhoods in the cities where Driven is currently operational – Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Vizag and Vijayawada.

Driven has simultaneously come up with a café which is by auto enthusiasts. The café offers exotic coffee with a combination of snacks that will rev up your mind and soul before you pick your favourite car, bike or bicycles. The garage-themed ambience is quite cool too.

“The café idea is to offer a great ambience and connect point for the client to transact. ‘Driven café’, is a biker brotherhood offering a selection of gourmet coffees, teas and vegetarian food at affordable prices. And the philosophy is ‘Why rent from a lot when you can rent from a coffee shop”, state Karrar and Ashwin together.

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