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The honcho who sold his sedan

gurgaon Updated: Nov 27, 2012 01:20 IST
Deevakar Anand

He is the co-founder of three companies, is an illustrious alumnus of IIT-Delhi and IIM-Ahmedabad and has two envy-inciting luxury cars parked outside his sprawling bungalow. Yet, 47-year-old Prabhat Agarwal cycles around the city in a humble bicycle.

"This is my answer to the problems of urban living such as traffic gridlocks, pollution and lifestyle issues," says the Gurgaon resident.

Agarwal pedals his way to office, markets, malls, Metro stations and even to five-star hotels for elite meetings — much to the amusement of passersby.

A firm believer of non-motorised modes of transportation such as cycling and walking, Agarwal also co-founded a group, India Cycle Service, to promote cycling as a means of commuting.

"My preferred mode of transport within Gurgaon and nearby areas is cycle. For long distances, I use Metro. Sometimes, I use public transport and if necessary, the fuel-economical Maruti Alto," said Agarwal.

Talking about his experience of cycling around the city of high-rises, Agarwal says lack of secure cycle parking spaces, no dedicated cycle lanes, risk of accidents on roads with fast moving traffic and one-ways are some of the major challenges he faces.

"We can promote cycling in a big way if such challenges are tackled," he said.

Other than cycling, Agarwal is also part of many community-development initiatives.

He is the co-founder of three firms -- Parsec Technologies, Parsec Loans and Whowhere Inc.

But despite his super-busy schedule, he takes out time to personally mentor students from low-income neighbourhoods in Delhi and Gurgaon. He also co-founded a project called 'sunhaira sikanderpur, which aims to transform Sikanderpur Basti by empowering the around 70,000 migrants living there through interventions in education and sanitation.

Besides, he is also part of the working group of National Public Bicycling Scheme — an initiative of the union ministry of urban development — and a mentor to Impact Carbocuts, an initiative to promote cycling in western India.