After maternity leave, Ketaki was looking for an idea to start her own firm rather than going back to corporate life. Initial thought was toys library. But after few discussion and due diligence, she realized that there is huge untapped market for sharing economy and great opportunity for people to share their spare items with each other.
Ketaki and Anubha’s families are friends for years and meet very often. When the idea was discussed everybody got interested immediately and RentSher was born. Both founders and extended teams have spent countless hours together to build the platform.
“Our planet is definite and we cannot assume to exploit it indefinitely. With growing population and drying out resources, we have to enable everyone to share in order to use the existing resources before thinking of taking more from our planet. With invent of internet and social media, sharing has never been simple,” says the co-founder Ketaki Shah.
RentSher.com is first of its kind online rental platform where people owning personal items can rent it to others for a specific period of time. On RentSher, one can find costumes, toys, books, home appliances, electronics, and many more on rent. It manages payment, delivery, and collection of items.
The co-founders are inspired by the book “What is mine is yours” and passionate about collaborative consumption and caring by sharing. Located in Bangalore, RentSher was started in November 2014 with a startup capital of about 15L. The company is self-funded.
Ketaki Shah has done her engineering in IT from Shivaji University and handles day to day operations ranging across inventory management, operations, finance, and delivery. Prior to RentSher, Ketaki was working as Test Lead at Cognizant Technology Solutions.
Anubha Verma advises and oversees RentSher on the technical roadmap and user-features. Anubha has done her Bachelors and Masters in Computer Science and Technology from IIT Delhi and has worked on cloud technologies in giant IT industries like IBM and Google.
Sustaining our planet for our kids and grandkids is number 1 priority in our agenda. The stress on nature is best exemplified by our national animal – tiger or “Sher” in Hindi. Once aplenty this grand species is endangered now with our never ending thirst to use the planet for humankind. We are not sure if there will be any left for our kids and grandkids to see them in their natural habitat and get awed by their presence. So we need to save Sher by sharing.
The concept is apt for internet savvy urban population who care about environment and are open to the concept of sharing! The company has also seeded the idea with an inventory of products that people most definitely need on rent (need occasionally) like children’s costumes, educational toys, power tools, new electronic gadgets, etc.
The team is truly making efforts to spread the concept of collaborative consumption and intend to provide seamless experience online and offline.
In the initial days, the four months old start-up invested more on website development and inventory building. Now the focus has moved to supply chain. Getting critical mass of products, hiring right talent, and choosing the best amongst the several ideas considering the limited bandwidth for implementation were the biggest challenges.
According to co-founders the Journey of RentSher has been amazing so far. Every day is a rollercoaster of hits and misses. Yet within short span of few months, the team have managed to achieve many significant milestones from hiring first employee to getting first order on launch day.
The start-up would like to launch complete platform for both renters and owners by March 2015. Getting critical mass on website and managing entire Bangalore is included in their short term plan. In long term, they want to be synonymous with renting personal items. The enthusiast team would definitely like to expand geographical footprint to major Indian cities.
Sustainable planet, collaborative consumption, and sharing economy are the common interests shared by each and every one at RentSher. When asked about their advice to new start-ups, the co-founders say “It’s too early to start advising others. However, would definitely like to tell anyone who has an idea – Do you research and diligence, but once convinced, just go for it. The journey is definitely exhilarating irrespective of the outcome!”