A 45 minutes cab ride to work every day, is when the idea of “iCabMedia” was born. That was the beginning of iCabMedia a Digital Taxi Advertising & Entertainment Solutions inside a cab.
My journey begins in the US, where I pursued my higher education. This sought after getting a high paying, comfortable, corporate job in the HealthCare IT industry. It was when I first began to develop a passion for a successful business. I always wanted to move back to India, having my family here. My prospective base here was still on my mind. Hence I took a transfer with the same company with their office here in Mumbai.
It was back then in mid-2017, that I finally made a decision to quit my job. Therefore, I decided to begin my entrepreneurial journey and founded iCabMedia. The venture started with a simple idea of setting up digital screens inside taxis on an app-based aggregator model. There was no concept of digital entertainment within a cab like an OLA or a Uber in India back then.
Hence, together with a dear friend of mine and now my co-founder Nipul Parekh, we started off. We both thought of integrating digital screens with entertainment and advertising model. This was for the cab aggregators and the passengers while in transit from point A to point B across India. For passengers in transit, it would be a great idea to get some entertainment. For advertisers and brands, it would be a fantastic way to promote themselves via a unique advertising model.
We believe that India is a very fertile ground for start-ups. The pace at which the country is developing is tremendous. With this mindset, we started to conduct background research on iCabMedia.
But to our surprise, a significant obstacle dropped in our way. After investing 6–8 months in building contacts and the business model, big players jumped in a similar concept. They inaugurated their digital screens Pan India. We realised that it might become difficult for us to sustain the current model. Especially, at the early stage of our start-up, we didn’t want to take the risk.
Nonetheless, we shifted our model within the limits of our industry itself. We had invested time in marketing our own brand name. Our venture, iCabMedia was already a brand itself in the cab advertising market then. We made some internal changes to our existing business model.
In the new model, we planned on partnering with vendors. They would give us access to their digital screens, digital rooftops and other taxi advertising related products. We connected with advertisers and brands who would want to get access to the digital screens for promotion. Thus, we became a bridge between the advertising brands and the digital screen vendors. This helped in streamlining the advertising and entertainment process and removing our stress of holding any assets to ourselves.
So, talking about myself I always wanted to be an entrepreneur and my own BOSS. I saw an opportunity at the right time at the right place. Therefore, held onto it in to form iCabMedia. The choice of moving from a fixed high paying comfortable corporate job to becoming an entrepreneur was a conscious one.
Now that I am working for myself, I am representing my business, this distinguishes everything and makes me more passionate. Even though entrepreneurship is a different and tougher ball game. But I can choose it over a corporate job all over again. One distinguishing factor that can make me choose entrepreneurship every time, is the satisfaction I derive from it.
Entrepreneurship teaches you a lot in my opinion. The first thing it teaches you is patience. In the initial days, there is ample excitement. But things don’t change overnight, we have to bear with this fact.
It takes a lot to run a start-up, I can state this with my experiences working for iCabMedia. With your skills, you also need to learn the ins and outs of sustainability in business. The nuances of running your business change you as a person. You get to learn new things every day. The learning includes everything from managing your finances to dealing with the vendors.
If I talk about iCabMedia, our foundational core value is to “never overcommit”. Over-commitment is not only going to give you trouble but will also diminish your brand value in the market. It is not only with clients but also with the vendors that we abide by the rule of never committing. Over-committing over and above our capacity will only reduce our credibility.
While you might be superbly doing by yourself but the presence of a co-founder helps a lot. I am fortunate enough to have a fantastic co-founder on this journey of building our start-up. Nipul and I have both graduated from colleges in the US and have been friends since then.
Both of us hold a passion for building start-ups with innovative ideas for integrating technology. I reckon it’s a must in today’s day and age. What works for us, is the combination of my skills with my mindset and that of his with his mindset.
My expertise comes at the front end of working with clients and the marketing side of our business. Whereas Nipul’s expertise comes into the handling of technical requirements of our business. Ever since the structure of our organisation changed, the roles have been slightly altered too. Now that not much happens on the technical front on a daily basis. Nipul also takes care of the other aspects of the business, marketing being one of them.
It has been a great experience so far and we hope to continue and make it better every day.
This was Kirtan Adiecha and Nipul Parekh, founder and co-founders of iCabMedia. Today representing them as a “Global Taxi Advertising Solutions Company” based out of Mumbai. After making massive structural changes within their company, iCabMedia. These zealous entrepreneurs took the adversities of surviving in business and establishing it. Instead of giving up entrepreneurship, these enterprising individuals strived to change the course of the stream.