Zinghopper is the latest ride sharing network in the city. Payal Chhabria talks to the founders Arunprasad Durairaj and Vijaybabu Gandhi to find out how it works.

Sometimes, it seems that every idea has been tried and tested before. Then it seems okay not to think of a new idea but to spice up an existing idea with a dash of creativity and present it in a different disguise. Seems like the duo behind Zinghopper knew this all along.

Personal experiences

Almost six months ago, taking the idea of carpooling to another level, Arunprasad Durairaj and Vijaybabu Gandhi, initiated Zinghopper, the latest ride sharing network in the country.

“The idea stems from a personal experience,” says Arunprasad, “I was stuck in Bangalore a couple of years ago when all trains and buses were chock-a-block. A friend happened to mention that a couple of other friends were on their way to Chennai by car the same day. I wished I had known that earlier. Since then, the idea was brewing in my mind.”

Making it a reality did not seem so tough once he met Vijaybabu who was not only like-minded but also keen to quit his full-time job to venture into this.

“Honestly, I saw a desperate need for a service of this sort,” says Vijaybabu, “Zinghopper is really an attempt to satisfy that.” For starters, the Chennai-Bengaluru route is on their charts. After some time they saw the paucity of this service inside the city and opened doors for sharing rides in the local space as well.

“I can assure you that the model has the most advanced security systems,” says Arunprasad, “One of the reasons we allow access only to Facebook addresses is primarily so that we can trace the background of passengers. We even have a feedback process after the journey, so people are aware of what to expect on their way.”

Make friends

Zinghopper is not only a platform that facilitates sharing rides but also making new friends and connecting with like-minded people. Tie-ups with events like the DAM (Dance. Arts. Music) Festival in Puducherry and a couple of NASSCOM events has helped.

“Most people go to these events to meet similar-minded people,” says Vijaybabu, “We give them that opportunity even before they reach the venue. They have the option of travelling with other guests, striking up conversations and making new deals.”

Three weeks ago, Zinghopper launched in Canada with a Canadian citizen and a friend, Ashok Raghupathy, at its helm and is on its way to other English-speaking countries. Got a ride yet?

Log on to: www.zinghopper.in.

More In: Nxg | Metroplus | Chennai | Features