We have all endured boring bus journeys, with dead phones and a random regional language movie playing in the background. Frequent traveler and Zomato’s ex-national sales head Anand Sinha hit upon a bright solution to this problem. “The next time I travelled by bus, I loaded 10 tablets with four movies each and offered them to passengers for ₹100. When the tabs sold out in 10 minutes, I realised that this was a great business opportunity,” says the 27-year-old, who quit his job in November 2013 and, along with former colleague George Abraham, started PressPlay in Delhi this January with ₹5 crore from an angel investor.
So, what do commuters have to do? At the beginning of a bus journey, PressPlay secures the China-made tabs and a set of headphones to the seats of travelers who have opted for the service. They can choose from a selection of movies, music, TV shows, documentaries and games in English, Hindi and local languages, handing over the tab to an employee at the end of the trip. Currently, PressPlay offers 700-800 tabs a day on rent in nine cities — Delhi, Jaipur, Manali, Agra, Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Hyderabad and Nagpur. Raking in ₹10 lakh per month, the company, which has tied up with 50 travel operators and state transport bodies, is planning to rope in cabbies. Will then commuters ditch their smart phones for tabs?