Pakistan rental start-up inspired by Airbnb

13 June 2019

A Pakistan-based heavy equipment rental start-up called Fleet, which currently supplies mobile cranes, forklifts and aerial work platforms, is taking inspiration from the Airbnb model and applying it to rental.

The company, which was founded earlier this year by Saqib Qayyum, aims to enable equipment owners to rent or lend their heavy equipment when it is not in use. Qayyum oversaw the rental department of his family’s lifting equipment company in the UAE for ten years before launching this start-up company.

Fleet’s rental yard in Karachi, Pakistan. While the company owns some mobile cranes, it intends to remain asset-light

Speaking to IRN, Qayyum said, “We are trying to help contractors and equipment owners to rent out their under-utilised equipment, so that they can make some extra money off their assets.”

He added that Fleet is looking to create a marketplace where businesses can rent certified and tested equipment at lower rates than traditional equipment rental companies.

Although in its infancy, the business has already started to make good traction. “We’re currently providing cranes to a number of Pakistani companies. This month we signed a multi-million rupees contract with a Chinese state-owned energy conglomerate to provide mobile crane services in Pakistan,” said Qayyum.

Fleet owns some mobile cranes, but it aims to become an asset-light company, supplying equipment that belongs to contractors. It also occasionally sources equipment from traditional rental companies.

The company offers an Internet-of-Things-based telematics system for heavy equipment that allows equipment owners to electronically monitor where and how equipment is being used via a web portal and mobile App. For this, Fleet provides both the hardware and software. Qayyum said, “This is the first of its kind in Pakistan.”

Fleet takes responsibliilty for the transportation of equipment, and while equipment owners are generally responsible for maintaining their own machines at present, Fleet is considering hiring equipment mechanics to offer maintenance services for equipment in its network.

The company intends to create a nation-wide network, with plans to expand into other equipment types, such as excavators, wheeled loaders and dozers.

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