In a bid to address the challenges of rapidly growing children outgrowing their possessions and the environmental impact of discarded products, a Bengaluru-based startup called Gro Club has taken a unique approach by introducing a bicycle subscription platform for kids. In an exclusive interview with Indianexpress.com, Pruthvi Gowda, Co-founder and CEO of Gro Club, sheds light on the innovative concept behind the venture.
The underlying principle of Gro Club’s bicycle subscription model is to provide parents with an alternative solution to the traditional approach of purchasing products that children quickly outgrow. Gowda highlights this predicament faced by parents: “Our kids go through a behavioural and physical transformation so whatever the products you buy, they literally outgrow them in a span of six months or one year. That puts pressure on us parents to buy new products for them, leaving a trail of single-use products.”
Recognizing the need for a sustainable and cost-effective solution, Gowda and his fellow co-founders, Roopesh Shah, Hrishikesh Halekote Shivanna, and Sapna, conceptualized Gro Club in early 2022. Their goal was to revolutionize the way bicycles are acquired and utilized by children in India.
Gowda’s vision is clear: “We want to change the traditional thought process of buying a bicycle for kids. When you already know that your kid is going to outgrow this product in the next 12 months to 15 months, why can’t you just subscribe or rent a product instead?” By shifting the paradigm from ownership to access, Gro Club aims to minimize wastage and promote sustainable consumption practices.
The startup’s subscription-based model offers parents the opportunity to provide their children with bicycles on a temporary basis. This not only circumvents the need for frequent purchases but also aligns with environmentally conscious choices. As Gowda points out, a conventional bicycle is designed to last around a decade, but when children stop using them due to growth, they often end up abandoned in households or landfills. Gro Club’s approach curbs this cycle of wastefulness, offering a more eco-friendly option.
Gro Club’s journey since its inception has been marked by notable progress. The startup boasts around 5,100 active subscribers in Bengaluru, with approximately 45 per cent of these subscribers belonging to the ‘aspirational’ class. This indicates the broader appeal of the subscription model, transcending socio-economic boundaries.
The concept of subscription-based consumption has gained traction in various industries, from streaming services to fashion. Gro Club’s innovation adapts this approach to address the unique challenge of children’s growth spurts. By providing affordable access to bicycles, the startup caters to both financial considerations and sustainable living principles.
Gowda’s vision extends beyond just the bicycle subscription service. He envisions a shift in consumer behavior, fostering a culture of mindful consumption. This initiative not only has the potential to alleviate the financial burden on parents but also to inculcate values of responsible resource management in the younger generation.
In conclusion, Gro Club’s bicycle subscription platform signifies a convergence of innovation, sustainability, and affordability. By challenging the conventional norms of product ownership and advocating for shared access, the startup reflects a broader trend of conscious consumption. As Gro Club pioneers a new way of approaching childhood essentials, it not only addresses an immediate need but also sets a precedent for a more sustainable and responsible future.