Ravneet Singh, 22, a gaming enthusiast began his corporate life about 6 months ago and with the new life, gaming took a backseat. His expensive gaming console ($500) was catching dust in the cupboard until Ravneet came across Mutterfly. Mutterfly is a peer to peer rental marketplace that allows its users to earn by renting their unused products. Ravneet is not alone as a survey by Olx shows that the amount of unused items in Indian homes has reached a whopping Rs 78,300 Cr. With help of Mutterfly, today Navneet has recovered more than 80% of this PlayStation cost in just 6 months and is looking to invest in and list other gaming consoles on Mutterfly. Mutterfly today as more than 80,000 users in Mumbai and more than 3000 users have listed their products for rent.
Similar to Mutterfly, there are players in different categories that are helping Indians rent out their unused assets and earn with every transaction. For instance, Airbnb, a platform that lets users rent out their spare rooms or houses to guests, has found tremendous success in India. For most Indian travellers, this has become the first choice of accommodation while visiting different cities. Similarly, Zoom cars newest offering Zap, allows you to list your car for the dates and times you are not using your car. This effectively allows your car to pay for itself. While on one side, brands are helping Indians monetise their assets, on the other hand, they are helping aspirational Indian millennials achieve their ideal lifestyle without buying anything. For instance, Saachi, a photography enthusiast always stopped herself from pursuing her passion owing to the expensive camera equipments. With services like Mutterfly, she has started renting high-end cameras starting at just Rs 650. If you compare this, it will be less than the cost of a cheese burst pizza.
As per Mutterfly’s survey carried across 8 cities, an average Indian house has Rs 30,000 worth of unused products. This not only reflects the impulsive buying behaviour of Indians but also shows the hoarding mentality prevalent in the system. In the age of Generation X and baby boomers, ownership was considered a sign of status and prosperity. However, the aspirational Indian millennial is challenging the notion of buying and resorting to alternative forms of ownership. This has led to a huge boost for the rental ecosystem in the past decade with travel, accommodation and transport sectors seeing a mass adoption. In terms of rental adoption, USA leads the way with 21% of consumers using products and services. China has 3% adoption and while there are no concrete numbers for India, this would be pegged less than 1% mark. This shows the market opportunity and its not long before we shift in consumption pattern with the rational Indian consumer advocating a rent-first mindset.
Written by Akshay Bhatia, Founder and CEO of Mutterfly