Bored on long bus ride? Hire tablet PC for Rs. 100
For Rs. 100, Pressplay offers passengers a tablet PC and headset on loan, pre-loaded with English and Hindi movies, TV shows and documentaries, more than 1,000 songs, and many more.mumbai Updated: Oct 06, 2014 19:51 IST
Two young Delhi-based entrepreneurs have launched a unique travel service across 10 cities in India that makes boring long-distance bus travel an entertainment-packed journey. For Rs. 100, they offer passengers a tablet PC and headset on loan, pre-loaded with English and Hindi movies, TV shows and documentaries, more than 1,000 songs, and a children’s section featuring games and content suitable for kids.
Called Pressplay, the company was set up by Anand Sinha, 27, and George Abraham, 26, in May. Both are former sales executives at restaurant review website Zomato.
The idea came to Sinha when he faced the problem of long distance bus rides with nothing to do. In March 2013, he rented 10 tablets, loaded films on them and boarded a bus from Delhi to Manali, as a test run.
“All ten tabs were gone in minutes,” he said. Sensing potential in the market, Sinha quit his job in November and teamed up with friend and flatmate Abraham. Together, they raised initial funding from friends and family, bought non-branded imported tablets from China with a battery life of five operational hours, and registered their company as Pressplay.
They now have 3,500 tablets, which they distribute at depots across 10 cities, in collaboration with a total of 30 private transport companies and three state road transport corporations. The ten cities are Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Manali, Agra, Pune, Goa, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Nagpur. The three state transport bodies are in Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka.
“In all, we hand out a total of 1,000 to 1,200 tablets daily,” said Sinha. Once a tablet is assigned to a passenger, it is locked to their seat, to prevent loss or theft. Upon arrival at the destination, another Pressplay agent is waiting to collect it.
“The five- to seven-hour journey between Delhi and Jaipur becomes a breeze with these tablet PCs,” said Urmila Rajoria, executive director of the Rajasthan transport corporation.
Rohan Dewan, owner of Leo Travel Heights, a private-bus operator based at Connaught Place, New Delhi, said, “On an average, more than half the bus passengers accept the offer of the rented tablet. Business has improved since I invited Pressplay on board.”
Sinha and Abraham are now planning to raise more funding and expand operations. Already, you can pre-book tablets via the Pressplay website (pressplaytabs.com) or rent directly from Pressplay agents at bus depots, if your bus operator does not have a tie-up with the company.
For the passengers, Pressplay has been a welcome surprise. “I was settling in for a dull ride to Goa last month when I saw a Pressplay agent handing out these slick tablets to passengers. For Rs100, I enjoyed five hours of movies and entertainment,” said Mumbai resident Apeksha Kaul, 24, an agro-business executive.
“I often travel by bus and now my journey will never be boring again,” said Ayush Garg, a mobile app developer from New Delhi, who discovered Pressplay while he was travelling to Manali in August. “The tab had many Hollywood and Bollywood movies to choose from. I spent my ride watching movies — for half the price of a single theatre ticket,” said the 22-year-old.