Mirabilis-backed IntrCity to reach 3-4 lakh passengers by 2025, says CEO

IntrCity SmartBus has partnered with over 30 bus operators and cover more than 650 Tier 2 and Tier 3 routes across India in a bid to expand deeper into existing routes.

By Prerna Lidhoo calendar 30 May 2024 Views icon758 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Mirabilis-backed IntrCity to reach 3-4 lakh passengers by 2025, says CEO

IntrCity SmartBus which runs a fleet of smart buses across 630 routes across 16 states catering to over 2 lakh passengers, is betting on IoT and real-time monitoring to help it achieve a goal of reaching 3-4 lakh passengers over the next year. 

“We expect 80% our growth to come from existing markets. Our future plans involve expanding further into existing routes and solidifying our presence there first. We’ve also partnered with over 30 bus operators and cover more than 650 Tier 2 and Tier 3 routes across India. Developing these routes is what our expansion strategy will look like,” Manish Rathi, CEO and Co founder, IntrCity told Autocar Professional.

The company started its journey on the train side with the Railyatri platform in 2011 and then over a period of time realized that the bus industry has an important role to play in the long distance travel in India. “This was an extremely fragmented market and there was less trust in the bus network. Today, because of tech we have tracking and grievance mechanisms," he added saying that they have significantly expanded operations post pandemic, with a growth of over 600% from Rs 49 crore in FY21 to Rs 288 crore in FY23. 

Recently, the company raised Rs 37 crore in a Series C round led by Mirabilis Investment Trust, valuing the company at approximately Rs 700 crore. Rathi said, “Today we have become a profitable company and generating a revenue of about Rs 300-320 crore annually. But the bigger aspect for us at a product level is that we believe we've created a new category of bus travel in the country,” he said.

Rathi added that in the future, the company would like to look at pollution monitoring or the CO2 level monitoring inside the bus. When it comes to electrification in the segment, he feels it’s still some years away. “When you're talking about taking a journey of at least 300 400 kilometres, electric is far away. In our opinion that product is not ready. Electric has done quite well across into the city is the last mile mobility or within city bus travel but for a long distance bus travel, it is a different game,” he said.

Economically, he adds, it has to be viable for the person purchasing the bus in terms of running cost. “The EV product for a long distance bus travel still has to mature and hopefully in 2-3 years when it becomes mainframe and operators start buying it, we’ll be putting them on the Intrcity platform as well,” he said.

Rathi says the company’s strategy is to go deeper into its existing routes. “Our focus is to give as many options to the people rather than running just one or two bus routes in an area. That's been one of the criteria for scaling ourselves up.”

He added that even though other modes of transport like flights and SUVs etc. are seeing massive growth in India, buses and trains, will always remain relevant for the masses. “Indians are still very price sensitive people, from that perspective, there's no other mode of travel that gives you a journey which costs you about Rs 2.5 rupee per km. When one has to make an inter-city journey 5-10 times a year, cost plays a huge role and that's where trains and buses will always have an upper hand,” he stated.

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