Gaurav Biswas was at the height of his career when he decided to go it alone. Working as a director for the global consulting firm Aecom, he was involved in some of the UAE's most recognisable projects such as the Atlantis Hotel, Yas Mall and, recently, the Warner Brothers theme park. But the 36-year-old decided to branch out on his own and start a business after hearing from one of his friends in his home country, India, who had struggled to book a lorry there. Flying regularly to Los Angeles at the time for work – where he was a frequent user of Uber taxis – he thought of creating an Uber for lorries and after consulting cofounder Pradeep M, the two set up Trukker at the end of 2015. It operates in India and the UAE.
This morning I was up at 5am because I had a radio interview but typically I wake around 8am. I take my daughter to school and then get on a call with my cofounder and the technology team in India over Skype. They are an hour-and-a-half ahead, so that is why I start the day talking to them.
I get to the office. We have a quick 15-minute meeting with the team in the UAE about who is doing what. Trukker is an Uber for lorries, so we aggregate the lorries in the market using a platform where the users can book a lorry instantly and get a quote based on the distance of the pickup and drop off locations and the time it takes to do that transaction. It is very much like an Uber or a Careem, where it is based on how far you are travelling and the kind of car that you select. We offer a range of vehicles; you can get a quote online – as soon as you book you get an instant confirmation. Right now we manage about 70 lorries in the UAE. There are six of us – a small team at the moment, another person is joining soon.
Two people handle phone calls, the other two people are primarily business development, so they have meetings all day mostly out of the office. I am pretty much the jack of all trades. I have multiple roles throughout the day.
I have phone calls with clients, some business development. We are targeting construction companies at the moment. Later today I have three other meetings. Right now in the UAE we have different business verticals, the first being the B2C [business-to-consumer] home-moving market, where anybody moving in the UAE can hire professional movers and choose to pay online or cash. The main focus for doing Trukker is really to solve the B2B [business to business] problem that industries use lorries for moving their goods. Clients right now have to call a transporter and if they are not available they have to call somebody else.
We have a working lunch and go to a coffee shop to have a sandwich together and talk about other things.
If I am available I pick up my four-year-old daughter. That is one of the advantages of working for myself, it gives me that flexibility of trying not to have meetings in that half an hour time slot. I bring her home and she has half an hour on the iPad, so she watches cartoons.
I get back to my office. Every day is quite different. Some days I might have a meeting so I drive straight there. Other times I speak to the marketing team about how many leads we received that morning. The marketing team is busy until 6pm or 7pm in the evening. My input would come if they have a question about a particular transaction. I focus more on business development with the larger key clients and also working on our finances, handling the bank accounts – a bunch of stuff.
We encourage our teams not to sit at their desks for too long. At the moment our office does not have a breakout area but we have some nice coffee shops in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, so we take half an hour and grab a coffee and have a break.
I leave the office, depending on how critical things are that we have to do. Some days are busier. I live and work in JLT and my daughter goes to school in JLT, so it is quite easy in terms of the commute. I am back home in 15 minutes and if I walk it’s 20.
I spend an hour with my wife and daughter, touching base on their day before dinner. My wife is a professional. She is a senior manager with a Dubai company. It’s an exciting world that we have.
I am a late sleeper because after dinner is my time to catch up on news and what’s happening in other parts of the world in the technology space. I find things to share with my team and catch up on Facebook. I also go to the gym three times a week.
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