October - 2014 - issue > Startup of the Year - Travel & Entertainment

PressPlay: Entertainment On-The-Go for Travelers

Rashmisree Deb
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Rashmisree Deb
Long bus rides have always proved to be boring especially when you are traveling alone. Anand Sinha, Co-Founder & CEO of PressPlay too faced a similar problem while working as the National Sales Head at Zomato. He had to travel a lot within the country and found no form of entertainment on those long journeys. He always hated having nothing to do while traveling and who wished to create a product with his colleague and close friend, George Abraham, who at that time was working as the Country Head for Zomato, UAE. That ended boredom and made traveling more fun. Necessity is the mother of invention and that came into action when Anand was traveling to Amristar for work and decided to conduct a small experiment. He bought 10 tablets and loaded each of them with 5 movies and within 5 minutes he rented all of them out to the passengers. Positive feedback and no resistance with respect to extra cost led to the Eureka moment for Anand to start up PressPlay.

With a giant market size of 20,000+ Volvos and 50,000+ cabs running every day, Travel & Entertainment industry is an eccentric space to enter. Anand along with George, who's also a Co-founder & COO at PressPlay started this dream project together to change the way the country traveled PressPlay, which was born in the early days of December 2013, is 11 months old already and has cornered the market on entertainment services with an aim to eliminate boredom by adding little bits of entertainment in everyday-boring-journeys. The success garnered by the company in such a short span of time is evident by their prompt expansion in over 15 cities across the nation.

Aware of the fact that almost everyone had 3G enabled smart devices these days, integrating the product with the people simultaneously was a core problem. Being an operations-heavy business, the initial challenge that PressPlay faced was to convince such perspective users in order to make the idea executable and engaging. However, the next major concern was to protect these tablets from theft or breakage. PressPlay never wanted to install any kind of hardware permanently inside the buses/taxis or involve a third-party in securing the tabs for them. Therefore, the company spent lot of time in research and development, in order to make their hardware perfect.

A locking mechanism has been introduced that can only be disabled by the operations team at the end of each journey in order to protect the tabs. The bus operators work closely with PressPlay to ensure the safety of the tabs as well. Initiatives like these have helped the young anti-boredom startup gain a strong foothold in the market. The company continues to work hard towards hiring the right talent, making product more innovative and refined, providing world-class customer service, maintaining fifteen offices across the country that run 24/7, and even planning for future launches in order to be recognized nationally by the year end. PressPlay caters to both customers as well as other businesses in the travel and entertainment sector and has already signed three State transport contracts with Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporations.

"Yes, it's all very exciting and fast moving and it can get overwhelming as well. But then, you will have a great day where a big milestone is achieved - either you'll hit a much-awaited sales number or you'll sign a big contract or you'll get a great feedback from a customer - that great day makes you never want to give up," says Anand Sinha, Co-Founder & CEO, PressPlay. PressPlay works on three basic fundamentals - Ownership is the greatest work ethic, non-hierarchical organization structure and freedom to execute new ideas.

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