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Nawal’s rental power bank startup Plugo to cater to sharing economy

Author : Saipriya Iyer | Published Date : 2020-03-09 

Nawal Lodha, former Enterprise Architect at Cisco, has recently founded Plugo, India’s power bank rental platform that is IoT-enabled and fully automated. The platform has been co-founded with Abhishek Kumar, U.S.-return techie who serves as the head of engineering. It was incubated in August 2019 under Nasscom’s 10000 Startups initiative.

The startup has created a network of Internet-connected vending terminals to offer and dispense power banks across various locations such as offices, metro stations, airports, etc. It is subscription-driven, with a rent-charge-return model. The users can locate any nearest dispenser on their phones through the Plugo app, sign in and pay a security deposit of ?199 (refundable) to eject the power banks from any of the terminals. There are over 900 terminals in nearly 800 locations across Goa, Surat, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.

Plugo offers hourly, monthly and yearly plans, based on the usage. Plugo’s power banks have 5,000 mAH capacity, which comes with 3 inbuilt cables to charge USB Type B and C as well as iOS devices. The company is now aiming at leveraging opportunities in India’s thriving sharing economy, which is expected to capture $20 billion by 2024.

Nawal Lodha, having spent over 10 years at Cisco, has maintained a long history of dabbling in various emerging technologies such as IoT, building next-generation platform APIs, discovering customers and use cases, and operationalizing the products.

For instance, when India’s IoT ecosystem was in its nascent stage in 2018, Mr. Lodha identified and focused on an essential use case, power banks & mobile charging, to cater to the increasing media consumption led by smartphones and rising number of gamers. He also addressed the rise of the sharing economy, in which people rent cars, houses, furniture, bikes, etc.

Lodha was reportedly quoted as stating that various investors are identifying the sharing economy as one of the latest trends. A distinct behavioral shift of customers including their reliance on various share spaces such as Bounce, a bike rental platform, will lead to the development of new business models to fit the emerging trends.

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Saipriya Iyer

Saipriya Iyer

Saipriya Iyer presently works as a content developer for fractovia.org. Having dabbled with the domain of content creation for nearly half a decade, she now boasts of an enviable portfolio, holding substantial experience in penning down pieces related to technology, finance, and a wide spectrum of other industry verticals. A qualified computer engineering graduate from the University of Pune, Saipriya can often be found leveraging her knowledge of software technology and electronics in her write-ups. She can be contacted at- [email protected] | https://twitter.com/saipriya_i

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