Big Idea

That raw nerve in personal mobility? Park+ has found a way around it

This start-up scopes out empty parking spaces and allows drivers to book them on-the-go or in advance 

In cities such as Bengaluru or New Delhi, it is not unusual to see people reaching offices half an hour or an hour early just to find a parking spot. These unfortunates can be seen driving in circles every day looking for a vacant spot, trying to sweet talk or bribe the security guard of a nearby shopping centre or restaurant, or shouting at another driver who backed into a space they had been racing towards.

It is nightmarish. In fact, it should have been Parking on Elm Street, with Freddie holding up a ‘Parking full’ board anywhere you turn.

Thankfully, today we can exorcise such horrors with parking-technology apps. One such is Park+.

When the start-up’s founder Amit Lakhotia was working in PayTM, he observed that the guard at the entry gate did not know if there were parking spots free. Only a guard at the exit gate knew that. But if the first guard went out on a limb and said, no, there weren’t any free, then Lakhotia had no option but to try his luck at Noida Authority’s parking that was 500 metres away. Here again, he could be turned away and then he had to drive on and look elsewhere. In all, he spent 15 to 20 minutes daily on this merry-go-round. “It was a criminal waste of time,” he says.

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