We spoke to Richa Bhalla, the woman behind Pedal Delivery, a new pedal powered courier service in London, with a personality.
What’s the best idea you’ve had on your bike?
Cyclists being able to monetise their commutes in a streamlined manner
Tell us about what your business does?
We run a fully green biycle delivery service in London
Why do you do this?
Pedals is a bicycle delivery service with personality.
I started off my career working in banking. I developed a pretty thick skin being in that environment and learnt a certain level of discipline, but it wasn’t giving me the skills I needed to start my own company, so I made the decision to move to Silicon Valley. I only had 2 years on my visa so I immersed myself in the environment and concentrated on building my network. During this time I learned a lot about the day to day running of a tech business and became accustomed to wearing many hats at work.
Back in London I set out to improve on a system I saw working quite well in San Francisco. I could get anything delivered straight to my door by bicycle. As a first step I started a flower delivery company called Petal & Cycle: on demand flowers in the city delivered by bicycle. My thought process being, if I could get flowers from A to B in one piece, I could pretty much deliver anything.
I learned a lot about the struggles from a customer perspective, namely high and fluctuating prices for deliveries but I also learnt a lot about the cyclists’s perspective. I started speaking to a lot of riders, from all walks of life and came to realize how disgruntled they were with the way things were currently being run in the delivery world. They are subject to mandatory shifts, paid really low wages and are required to only work for one company at a time oftentimes with a very unpredictable schedule. Lack of consideration for cyclists has led to substantial churn of riders at other delivery companies along with very low job satisfaction.
All of these gripes were feeding into a cycle (excuse the pun) which leads to dissatisfied cyclists, unhappy deliveries and poor customer experience. I realized that there was something we could do here.
How long has this business been running for?
What bit of advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t be scared to fail fast. If you have an idea try it to either prove it or cross it off. Don’t save up all your epiphanies for a rainy day that may never come.
What’s the best way for people to connect?
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