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Tank up in return for ads on wheels is this start-up’s mantra

Tank up in return for ads on wheels is this start-up’s mantra
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First Published: Mon, Nov 10 2008. 10 21 PM IST

 Win-win idea: CASHurDRIVE CEO Raghu Khanna. Hemant Mishra / Mint
Win-win idea: CASHurDRIVE CEO Raghu Khanna. Hemant Mishra / Mint
Updated: Mon, Nov 10 2008. 10 21 PM IST
Bangalore: Raghu Khanna wants to give outdoor advertising a twist. He has an offer for car owners—he can get them free fuel of up to Rs5,000 every month!
Win-win idea: CASHurDRIVE CEO Raghu Khanna. Hemant Mishra / Mint
Khanna’s firm, CASHurDRIVE does on-vehicle advertising by placing advertisements directly on privately owned vehicles and compensates the owners on the basis of distance covered by them.
“It is not a new idea. Advertisements on scooters, buses and autos have been there. Our idea is to organize the mode of on-vehicle advertisement and pay off the customers in return,” says Khanna, 23, whose firm was launched in August and has 78 vehicles carrying its advertisements. He says the concept is a win-win situation for both car owners, who get free fuel, and advertisers, who get a new medium of campaigning.
To enter a car into the CASHurDRIVE pool, a vehicle owner first registers with the firm online, giving proof of ownership of the vehicle and a driving licence. Khanna’s firm puts a vinyl-wrapped ad on the vehicle—covering four doors, without touching the windows, bonnet and the boot. For covering 20-50 km a day, a vehicle owner gets a coupon of Rs1,200 a month that can be redeemed at petrol stations of Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. Depending on monthly mileage, the coupon value can increase to Rs5,000.
So far, 13,500 vehicles have registered with the company.
Funded initially by personal savings of Khanna and his father and Rs1.25 crore raised from venture fund VC Hunt, CASHurDRIVE plans to have 1,350 cars with its advertisements on roads by March.
The company—operating in Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Shimla, Panchkula, Gurgaon and Faridabad—plans to expand to Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata and New Delhi over one year.
For the advertiser—CASHur-DRIVE counts eight including Reliance Communications Ltd and Vodafone Essar Ltd—the costs are between Rs4,000 and Rs10,000 a car, from which an advertising margin of 15-20% goes to CASHurDRIVE.
Srini Vudayagiri, managing director, Lightspeed Advisory Services India Pvt. Ltd, calls the CASHurDRIVE model “innovative” but questions scalability options since individual car owners may not warm up to the idea. Making alliances with taxi operators would be a much better proposal for such a business idea, he says.
CASHurDRIVE is one of the nominated companies at the Tata NEN Hottest Startups competition, of which Mint is the official print media partner. Details of the competition can also be accessed at www.livemint.com/hotteststartups
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First Published: Mon, Nov 10 2008. 10 21 PM IST