StartUp Ideas

Recently I was in a huge pickle! I left Hyderabad in March due to COVID-19 and thinking this would be a ‘maximum’ one-month scenario, kept my bike at a friend’s flat. We all know how that turned out and with the situation ever-worsening, my friend too decided to leave for his hometown. Now, I had to move the bike before he leaves and also find someone to hold on to it till all this ends! Thankfully, there was someone who could receive it for me.

Let me tell you, my bike is not a bitch- never has been one for all 7 years- but this time it decided not to start! Maybe three months of me not riding finally got to it. Either way, I needed to find some other way to get it ten kilometers away. This is when the Porter App came to the rescue! I did look at a few of its competitors too but nowhere else had a coupon that gave Rs. 200/- off!

Before going into my user experience, let me tell you a bit about the company (and pretend that it’s not a way to get the Keyword in the heading):

Porter App: Book Mini truck, Ace, Piaggio online!

Porter is a logistics company based out of Bangalore. They claim to be India’s largest marketplace for intra-city logistics and have operations in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad. Founded in 2014, the company employs a 300+ strong team and claims to have had 3.5 million+ bookings to date!

Even so, I only knew the app as something which I vaguely heard about from a friend, like, two years ago. As a light-packer, I’ve never really needed to move things around much. I do understand its importance though as I’d rather push the bike 10 kilometers myself than argue with truck drivers anywhere!

At the time of my booking, Porter was showing a Tata Ace, two 3-Wheelers, a pickup truck, and even a motorcycle (to deliver small packages) as my available options nearby. You can add a helper too, who is basically the driver helping you to carry some of the load. 

I decided to go with the 3-wheeler+Helper option.

I invested in a stock and got 254% returns!

Booking and loading the bike 

I actually wanted to book an Ace because it has four wheels and sits lower but unfortunately, the app wasn’t showing one with a helper. The Piaggio Ape can fit my bike (Yamaha R15 V2) but I was concerned whether it would be stable. Nonetheless, I booked the Ape knowing very well that if the driver comes without a rope or anything to hold the bike I will be in for deep shit!

Very soon a vehicle was assigned and driver ‘Mr. Mirza Firdouse Baig’ called my friend at the receiving side. He expressed his concern that the Ape might not be suitable for a bigger bike (thinking the R15 is some kind of big Yamaha Sportbike) and asked to book an Ace instead! We assured him that it will be fine.

The Ape (in fact, a Bajaj Maxima) was in front of the gate in 30 minutes! Not sure if every one of Porter’s three-wheelers have the same features but mine looked like this:

Frankly, more than I ever asked for! The vehicle had raised metal beams all around the bed so that it was about the same height as my bike. The driver fastened the bike with a rope and carefully placed cardboard near those parts which were closer to the railing so as to prevent scratches. When my friend sent over these pictures, I was so relieved and impressed, that I asked him to keep the keys in the bike itself!

20 minutes later, everything was good to go!

Transport and Unloading

The bike went completely off the radar within 15 minutes of leaving the flat. Nothing was showing on the map and I took comfort in thinking that this was a glitch. It was and within the stipulated 45 minutes, the Ape (or Maxima) magically appeared in front of its destination.

The driver called me, instead of my friend who was waiting at his place (even though I had given the latter’s number at the time of booking), and after a brief confusion and few phone calls, we sorted things out! The bike was unloaded in no time and Mr. Firdouse took his leave.

So, in like 2 hours, a process that I set-up for at least four days (and contemplated for nearly a week) was complete! Even with all its problems, these are times when I really feel indebted to the technology we have today. I’d say ‘what a time to be alive’ but you know…

My Review of the Porter App 

Overall, as someone in Kerala who moved something between two places in Hyderabad, I rate Porter’s service highly –4.75/5 (and the driver 5/5). There is really nothing to complain about, and the service was exceptional. I even got 50% off (up to a maximum of Rs. 200) for my booking. I don’t know if the coupon still works but anyone who needs it can contact me via mail.

If I have to nitpick, the inbuilt map of the app was not picking up the right location and I had to manually place the holder. As I mentioned, the driver’s location also disappeared while moving.

In the hindsight, Rs. 533/- for an 8 km ride seems a bit too much too. Although, I really shouldn’t complain because I got it for Rs. 333/-. Their competitors are charging the same, if not, more!

Will I use the app again? Hopefully not any time soon. However, if a similar situation arises it is what I will use or recommend.

This is not a sponsored post of any kind.

Thank you for reading. Hope you have a nice day or a crazy night!

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