My Road Runner – Mangalore’s One-Stop-App For All Your Needs

My Road Runner – Mangalore’s One-Stop-App For All Your Needs

There’s a different app for everything today — if you want to order food, there’s Swiggy and if you want to book a cab, there’s Uber and if you want to send a parcel there’s Dunzo. But in China, they have ONE app for everything — if you want to order food, there’s WeChat and if you want to book a cab, there’s WeChat and if you want to send a parcel there’s WeChat!
Until recently, no app in India has tried to do the same thing — until in our very own Smart City of Mangalore in our new Digital India, an entrepreneur couple decided to build My Road Runner, and create one app to rule them all!
Putting Mangalore On The Digital Map
Prince Pinto and Michelle Pinto are exactly the kind of people you would expect to become entrepreneurs. Prince worked with Infosys for 7 years as a Data Analyst and Michelle was a Techno-functional expert in the Hospital Management sector before they decided to ditch the corporate life and start their own startup. But they did one thing differently — instead of running off to Bangalore like every other aspiring entrepreneur, they decided to build their company in Mangalore itself.
“I saw that all apps were essentially aggregators – Swiggy was an aggregator for food, UrbanClap was an aggregator for services, Uber was an aggregator for cabs.”, says Prince. “Which is why I asked the question — why not build an app that aggregates everything?”. “China has done it.”, adds Michelle. “They have WeChat. So why can’t India do it?”.
Starting-up and Growing-up
You could say that their timing was perfect. The idea occurred to them in 2015 and within one year, in March 2016, they had started My Road Runner. They decided to take the Amazon-approach. Today, Amazon sells everything. But when it started, it was just selling books. Similarly, My Road Runner started by becoming an expert in fish delivery to your doorstep in Mangalore.
Of course, Prince and Michelle took the lean startup route. They started their services through WhatsApp —  an app that everyone was already comfortable using. The fisheries industry in Mangalore is unorganized and My Road Runner stepped in and started to supply their customers directly with the fresh fish from the Mangalore docks. This was a master-stroke and it helped My Road Runner gain traction with Mangaloreans and establish a pool of loyal customers.
Very soon, they expanded their operations and started the delivery of groceries and meat. In 2017, they launched Android and iOS apps and started a pick-up and drop-off service. This was immensely popular and as the number of orders increased, My Road Runner managed to secure a round of seed funding and used the money to further their footprint in Mangalore.
Meeting Milestones and Planning Ahead
My Road Runner has completed over 50,000 orders in 2019 alone and is currently expanding to include services like carpentry, plumbing, electricians and saloon-at-home.
“We want to give visibility to all vendors from Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities. Vendors in Tier-1 cities have enough apps catering to them. But they are suffering because these apps with millions of dollars in funding don’t really care about the vendors.”, says Prince. “We want to grow with the community and lift up the vendors as we grow ourselves.”
In the next year, My Road Runner plans to expand to 5 more cities in Karnataka and increase it’s footprint in Mangalore as well.
“We see the potential to move quickly and meet the needs of Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities.”, says Prince. “Our team believes that there is a promising and bright future for My Road Runner.”
The Joy of Starting-up In Your Hometown
The journey so far hasn’t been without challenges. “Mangalore is not as quick to move as Bangalore or any other metro cities.”, says Michelle. “When we transitioned from WhatsApp to our own app, we had to give our customers some time to adjust. But this is our community and we grow with our community or we don’t grow at all.”
Once My Road Runner launched its pick-up and drop-off service, Mangaloreans fell in love with the app. “We once had a working mother get us to pick-up freshly pumped breast milk and drop it off at her home for her child.”, says Michelle. “It’s moments like these that make us believe in the product that we are building for the community.”
There is no minimum amount you need to order for when you use My Road Runner. “We have had grandmothers ordering a single vegetable and people ordering band-aids.”, says Prince. “And we deliver them all with the same enthusiasm!”
With Mangalore poised to become a Smart City and technological growth across India and the world accelerating year-on-year, My Road Runner is perfectly positioned to ride the wave and the team is currently looking for investor-partners to ride the wave with them. “I feel proud of my team for having built this company and this app out Mangalore.”, says Prince. “If you want to build something big, you start at home.”

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