Published: 20th October 2018
Get anything for rent from laptops to jewellery on RentSher and save your money
Too broke to buy a laptop, but need one urgently? Try RentSher, an online platform where you can rent just about anything
In today's world, you can buy just about anything. But sometimes, we end up buying things that we need just for a little while. What if there was another option, like say, renting? Yes, renting isn't a new concept. We rent houses and thanks to companies like Ola, Uber and other local dealers, we even rent cars. But we're talking about renting something like a laptop, printer, projector, tablet, television or even an LED wall for an event. Doesn't sound trustworthy? With RentSher, an online platform that provides all these kinds of electronics and much more for rent, you need not worry anymore. And they are all available at just the touch of a button.
Started in 2015 by Harsh Dhand and Abhijit Shaha (who no longer works with the start-up) in Bengaluru, the company has grown well in terms of business and customer satisfaction so much so that in just two years, they have spread to metropolitan cities like Pune, Chennai, New Delhi, Mumbai Hyderabad and in the UAE as well. "My friend and I were looking to start something new and we explored many opportunities in the education and health sector. But we realised in 2015 that there were no online platforms renting electronics or equipment. There were some offline players and those still exist. Thus, this idea of RentSher was born which was incorporated at the end of 2015 and launched in 2016," says Harsh, who has over ten years of experience in the corporate world.
From fancy costumes for at kids' birthday parties and clothes and jewellery for a photoshoot to gadgets like branded tablets — you can get almost anything on RentSher's website
When it comes to creating something new and bringing investments to the company, Harsh has always been a big name in the market. After completing his post-graduation in IIT Delhi in 2005, he joined Philips as a researcher. Two years later, he went abroad to pursue an MBA at the University of Oxford. In 2008, when he returned to India, at the age 27, he became the youngest person to hold the post of Venture Manager in Philips. "During my tenure, I was able to launch several new products in Philips and also gained some global exposure. Later, I joined IBM and handled their business contracts and new technology sales in the Asia Pacific Region. The corporate world journey has offered me a lot to learn and understand," he says proudly.
So, being familiar with the product domain, we wondered which was the first product they posted on RentSher. "Initially, it was just electronics, furniture and also, clothes/costumes for various events. Later, we expanded to laptops, medical supplies like wheelchairs, respiratory equipment, medical beds and even doctor services. With this, we feel that the huge gap that existed in renting and sharing commodities between customers and vendors has been filled." This level of confidence is why we aren't surprised to learn that the company, which once started with a small investment of ₹30 lakh, has now received large investments from the UAE and from India as well. "In January 2018, the company received an angel funding of ₹8 crore in India and recently, in June 2018, we have raised $1.1 million from Shorooq Investments and this will for the UAE project. Last year too we were able to raise around ₹11 crore in two different rounds," Harsh says happily.
Positive responses from customers is one thing in the market that has helped us come this far. We make sure that even though our products are rented, they are of good quality and after using these products and our services, they feel happy
Harsh Dhand, Founder and CEO of RentSher
However, nothing comes without its own set of challenges. Like every other start-up, this three-year-old online rental platform has been through its fair share of challenges to convince their vendors and customers. But they found a way. "We started providing incentives to the vendors who also take care of delivering the products to the customers. This helped us reduce our operational responsibility in the market," he explains. Though the co-founder, Abhijit Shaha no longer works with the start-up, Vaibhav Doshi, who initially joined as an investor for the company, is now a partner at RentSher. Harsh says, "Vaibhav was impressed with the concept and he decided to work with us. Having studied the market in the UAE, we decided that this kind of platform will make a big difference to the people. Now, he manages the UAE operations in Dubai. We plan to extend operations in Saudi Arabia too this year. With better investments, we are planning to expand to 15 more cities in India and some parts of West Asia as well."