Stephen Neil Gershom
Li Keqiang, the current premier of the state council of the people’s republic of China once famously said, “Changes call for innovation, and innovation leads to progress.” This seems to be the case for EBW India. Express Bike Works India is a startup based out of Mumbai, which created India’s first automatic two-wheeler washing service, promising a fast, energy efficient and environment friendly two wheeler washing service for the first time in the country.
India, like most south-Asian countries has a large number of motorcycles and Namma Bengaluru is said by many to be the city with the largest number of motorcycles in the world. With a large number of motorcycles, also comes the problem of keeping the motorcycles running efficiently and neatly. Indians got around this problem by either washing their two-wheelers at home with a few buckets of water, or at the local washing centre, or the vehicle would be washed at the After-Sales Service Centre of the manufacturer when it was given for a routine service. The only problem with this practice we had become accustomed to over the decades is that, it used up two precious resources – Time and Water.
A typical motorcycle wash in the unorganized sector usually takes 15-20 minutes and uses around 250 – 350 liters of water, depending on how dirty the motorcycle or scooter is, and the water would then be drained out into sewage drains, proving to be a massive wastage of the natural resource. This is exactly what EBW aims to change.
Express Bike Works India utilizes a scientific setup, ensuring the maximum utilization of resources like space, time, water and labour. A 150 sq. ft. area is sufficient to set up an entire franchise, making it ideal for small spaces. The setup consists of one main unit into which all the motors, filters and piping is integrated. Why the filters? Well, more than 90% of the water used in the wash is recycled through these sand filters and reused for more washes, making EBW one of a kind.
Mr. Ravikumar, the owner of EBW India’s franchise in Hennur, Bengaluru, said, “Cost vs time and quality vs time are the two main advantages we play at, washing the bikes in the shortest possible time with the best possible quality. While 60% of our customers give utmost importance to the eco-friendly wash we offer, the rest are here to save time. We have fantastic customer acceptance, with many repeat customers because we are far removed from being in an unorganized industry, to being an organized service”.
At EBW, the process is fairly simple, the motorcycle is wheeled into the unit and placed on the main stand. Once the doors have been closed, the washing procedure can start, which involves the automated arm moving above from the front to the rear of the motorcycle twice over. The machine then turns on the hand held water gun which would be used by the attendant to wash out any remainder of dirt in spots unreached by the mechanical arm. The motorcycle is then wheeled out, dried and wiped by hand.
Mr. Kumaran, a first time customer said, “EBW is a very good initiative, which saves time and energy. I am very happy with the result, as my motorcycle was very dirty, but is now all cleaned up. They use recycled water which is an added bonus, as I’m helping conserve the environment as well. I might soon become a regular customer”
Founded by passionate motorcyclists who are also IIT and IIM alumni, EBW India is an initiative like none other. EBW is much more than just an eco-friendly motorcycle washing franchise, as they offer an array of preventive maintenance services. Services like, brake adjustments, drive-chain lubrication, engine oil changes are the basic mechanical services offered, while aesthetic enhancement services include Polishing, Waxing and Teflon coating. These services can be availed individually or even as a combination published in EBW’s ‘Menu Card’.
Mr. Ravikumar further said, The market for such services is opening up slowly, and there are huge advantages, like using 100-120 litres of water and reusing the same water to wash a number of two-wheelers at EBW, compared to using around 250 liters to wash a single motorcycle in the unorganized sector. the recycling also helps filter out the dirt and grime accumulated on the motorcycles without the need to release the grease and oil into the environment”.
EBW also has a server which counts the number of motorcycles washed, as each machine updates its daily statistics directly to the central database which tracks and stores data from the 19 stores currently operating in different parts of the country, with 2,37,224 satisfied riders and 12.08 million litres of water saved. EBW will soon be opening 51 more stores.
Deepak Ravikumar, the manager at the EBW centre located in Hennur said, “EBW seems like the only place you would want to come, if you value your time, want quick service, and people who work passionately, in turn producing quality work while handling your bike. All this combined with great value for money makes EBW a great place to get your two-wheeler treated well”.
This market though, seems very lucrative and is only opening up now, with one more competitor to EBW on the national level named BikeCleanse. BikeCleanse too has 19 operating stores with 75 more stores expected to open soon. The future for Two-wheeler servicing and washing in India seems very clean indeed, both for the vehicle as well as for the environment.