We believe that commute should be reliable, affordable, safe & dignified and by ensuring this we can take the pain away from daily commute. When we are unable to provide reliable service, even if it is due to reasons beyond our control, it deeply pains us.
Over past few weeks and particularly in the last week, our services have been interrupted due to the actions taken by the authorities. This means a few shuttles do not ply on the routes, thus rendering some slots unavailable. This has a cascading effect on other slots (sometimes consecutive) and at times resulting in forced reschedules or cancellations. All this eventually disturbs your time to reach office. On normal days our operations run with 98% reliability (and it is getting better, quickly). However, with 90% reliability and an increase in escalations to our support team by 5X, the response to you gets delayed. We are sorry that you have to go through all this.
We are fighting for the right to reliable, affordable, safe and dignified commute. Good news is we are legit, as per the law of the land, just like school buses and corporate shuttles. However, changing the entrenched mindset takes time. Your patience and empathy during this time give us the strength to pursue our mission of taking the pain away from daily commute and making our cities less polluted & congested.
Shuttling is good, and we are at it to make it better.
Creativity and love for problem-solving are the two key ingredients of the great ideas/products. We @ Shuttl have been solving a lot of Real-World problems related to daily commute and provide our customers, a world-class experience with the best use of these ingredients. The last time we had Hackathon @ Shuttl, we found some very cleverly thought products which went to production and helped us in many ways. Lots of techies and non-techies collaborated to make, break & hack things.
Machine Learning (ML) is an old concept which is finding its real meaning these days.
Living-up to the tradition, we thought of organizing Volume-2 of the Shuttl Hackathon as the team was pretty excited to implement some crazy ideas. A whole week was spent in forming teams and brainstorming for THE idea. We noticed that many things which we used to do a short while ago, are now automated. Machine Learning (ML) is an old concept which is finding its real meaning these days. Google recently demonstrated lots of new products and service using this SciFi-ish concept. As a result, this Hackathon was flooded with ideas using ML.
All minds were riding on musical waves but, fully-focused on their problem statements.
On “the” day, the enthusiasm was on the peak and all pumped-up minds started working on their ideas. Discussions and laptop keyboard sounds filled the air and one of the participants took up the responsibility as the in-house DJ! All minds were riding on musical waves but, fully-focused on their problem statements. Some folks were so enthusiastic that they not only worked on their own idea but also helped others.
After a 24 hrs long marathon coding session, people rested with lot of awesomeness on the table. The freshness of the idea, proposed solution, and wholesome implementation were the measures for the best and it was damn difficult to say which idea was better. There were some amazing implementations around Machine Learning like Smart Mails Classifier (automatically classifies complain emails into relevant categories), Math Assistant For Dyscalculia (a learning platform for people having Math Learning Disabilities), Blind Sight (enables blind and visually impaired people to identify objects through their phone camera) etc. Shuttl Video was an implementation to enhance the in-bus experience of the user by providing some entertaining videos and also exploring the possibilities around a new form factor. Shuttl:Time provided the platform for networking with the co-passengers of the bus based on the shared interests and the proposed solution was not limited to buses. However, the center of attraction was Shuttl Keyboard developed for iOS app to show ETA or other important information while keyboard being used in other apps.
Excitement and enthusiasm of all Shuttlrs show that the Shuttl Hackathon Vol-2 repeated its past success. The implementations were so complete that most of these ideas will become reality (will go to production) soon. Technology is giving us many opportunities and such Hackathons are brilliant platforms to leverage it.
At Shuttl, we always balance work and play & this time we decided to launch our own cricketing league a-la IPL style! We have had sports days before, but we added days of meticulous planning & a gradual build up to this cricket-specific league called Shuttl Premier League (SPL). Player auctions were scheduled a week before the tournament, and captains were assigned. They were given a chance to choose their own team, subject to a budget cap of virtual money. Each player was worth a certain amount of that virtual money which was decided on the basis of the self-assessment of the players. A high energy auction followed, which involved a lot of cross-bidding and high-intensity, competitive negotiations, something that comes naturally to Shuttlrs.
The week that followed was full of excitement, with newly made teams using chai breaks to strategize. Since most of the cricket teams were across the various functional teams in Shuttl, a lot of new bonds were formed. Sledging was taken to a level that would put the Australian cricket team to shame 🙂
Continue reading “Shuttl Premier League ( SPL )”
Commuting isn’t anyone’s favourite thing to do. When you think about it; it really isn’t about where you’re going. It’s about how you get there.
The ‘how you get there’ paves way to how the rest of your day will pan out. Your commute experience has the power to make or break your day and we completely get that.
We have the metro and a bare semblance of public transport. It’s nothing close to what we need but it’s a starting point at-least. We started Shuttl to bridge this gap and provide a better alternative to ‘how you get there’. From here on it’s only going to get better.
With social media abuzz with stats on pollution levels in the city, each Shuttl takes atleast thirteen cars off the roads. (So far we’ve managed to reduce CO2 emissions to the tune of 4000 tonnes!) All with the promise of giving all Shuttlrs an assured seat in an AC environment. So when you travel in a Shuttl, you are not only choosing a hassle free commute for yourself, you are also taking steps to save the environment.
To help you along, we’re trying to make the app easier to use and the boarding experience as smooth as possible. We’re relentless and we’re focused and this is just the beginning.
It’s time to just #TakeASeat #DontStressItJustShuttlIt and enjoy the ride.
Meet us half way. Do your bit to give this city a lifeline; spread the message.
We have all heard the story of the woodcutter, who went to the forest, cut ten trees on his first day of work. He then cut seven trees on his second day and as the days went on his productivity decreased to just one tree a day. The story of the woodcutter resonates throughout the tech and the corporate world. We techies are so busy with our regular work that we don’t find the time to sharpen our axes. We seldom brainstorm or collaborate because no one has the time or the drive after a long day to sit down for a brainstorming session. We are like the Avengers, except we never assemble. We are like individual superheroes, who have amazing powers and united we could do so much more but divided we are like molecules of scattered idea, no platform to coerce and collaborate.
That was the idea behind Hackathon@Shuttl, a platform to bring together our developers, architects, designers and PMs to showcase their abilities, ideate, create and innovate. Divided into teams, these hackers competed to create innovative products and develop coding hacks that can make a difference in the greater scheme of things. The platform meant those participating could showcase their talent and ideas and collaborate on code in an intense 24-hour showdown.
The event took place on the 26th of August’16 and by the end of the day, we saw a lot of potential innovations being built and some even caught our eyes. One of them was Wiz, an app that connects people with similar interests along with one more called Step Up, which is basically an app that helps complete your resolution and goals by making you focus. Amongst the other honorable mentions were the Lane Switching Alarm with video processing, Energy Consumption Monitor and the Carbon Footprint Monitor. However, the app that stole the show was an idea that involved an app, which will act as an assistant to other apps.
It’s heartening to see that many Hackathon projects these days, are making it to the application stores and giving techies a brilliant platform to showcase their skills.
This, intense, caffeine & Pizzas-fueled day, brought us together to brainstorm and ideate on innovative solutions to real problems that threaten to disrupt our day-to-day lives. Shuttl Hackathon was a brilliant success and we hope they conduct some more of these sessions that seeks to make a change for the greater good.
Meet Gupta, Sr. Architect, Mobile Apps @Shuttl
With so much caution around startups these days accentuated by the Flipkart-IIT fiasco and winding-up of a few food-tech ones there is still hope and lots that startups have to offer (and much that they don’t). Having worked with both, startups and established MNCs with their People function let me expound what works in your favor early in your career if you do decide to head the startup way.
- Courage: With the entire DNA of a startup built around entrepreneurship there is no better place to witness courage, first-hand. Our traditional jobs, schools, colleges make us highly risk-averse. We are scared to experiment, averse to new possibilities, comfortably giving-in to status quo. But, nothing great was ever achieved from one’s comfort-zone, sipping a Pina Colada on a beach! Working with a startup gives you access to co-founders, entrepreneurs, and mavericks who inspire you to create, nurture and sustain an idea. An idea, that they chase religiously, against all odds even at the expense of being labelled as deranged at times.
- Knowledge: With most of the startups hiring brilliant individuals from pedigreed institutes, you get to work with the best brains in the industry. (Having said that, I’d like to mention that I do not attribute intelligence to pedigree. It’s only a qualifier and not a guarantor of exceptional future performance). The quality of discussions, access to leadership and the mentor-ship that you get is truly enriching. Fresh graduates, this is for you, you will cherish this exposure forever. Who knows you might not even require that PG degree that you’re gunning for!
- Lateral Exposure: One key advantage of working with an early stage startup is that you are not labelled to a particular function. Irrespective of what your degree states, if you believe you can add value better elsewhere and show promise, then why not? This is a restrictive attribute in larger organizations (with very few exceptions), once your blinkers are on, you are expected to tread that one single path that you see. I personally know many individuals who feel ‘stuck’ with their jobs and see no hope whatsoever of a lateral movement. However, they are equally responsible as they are not willing to risk (refer #1).
- Learning Curve:I’ve seen many Graduate Trainees at startups function and scale up that would put most Management Trainees from celebrated colleges to shame. I always wondered why some of them were able to perform at such superlative levels with no so-called, traditional management skills? The simple answer to this is, self-belief. You are offered shoes a couple of sizes bigger to fit-in. What do you do? You ‘grow’ fast, faster than others and prove your mettle. Unknowingly, shooting beyond the traditional performance curve because you never know that your baseline itself was set way higher than average.
- Passion: You will come across individuals so maniacally obsessed with the product/service that their startup offers that the craziness is sure to rub-on. It’s this selfless passion, commitment and energy that makes startups stand out. You own the idea as much as a founder, right down to the last guy. There’s no greater feeling than watching that idea grow, bigger and better everyday. Having said that, it would take blood, sweat and toil but the journey is worth it. A personal suggestion, never join a startup whose idea you do not identify with. You will never feel connected and without passion you are bound to fail.
Despite the above, there will definitely be certain drawbacks (if one may call them) that one might find against a traditional job – work that expands to fill your time, lesser job security, not the swankiest of offices, no frequent corporate lunches, and lots of ambiguity at work. But, trust me, the journey is worth it IF you are willing to dare.
Vishal Naithani, HR Lead, Shuttl