When Nikita Lalwani, a Vadodara-based instrumentation engineer began cycling to work to reduce her commute time, more of her colleagues followed suit. Two years later, she became India’s first-ever Bicycle Mayor, a programme run by BYCS, an Amsterdam-based NGO. She then launched Cycling Cities in 2018 and the Crooze app in April 2021, now incubated at GUSEC.
“Cycling is a more common and acceptable mode of transport in a lot of countries. However, it’s still seen as fitness equipment or a poor man’s mode of transport in India. I wanted to change that through Crooze, offering people Corporate Rides, Heritage rides, gift a cycle and other initiatives. More and more people are choosing to cycle today, empowered by more than 50+ Bicycle Mayors in India.”
Crooze now has 18000+ downloads without any marketing, with 18000+ cyclists across the country who have cycled over 1 Crore kilometres in distance, saving over 1700 tons of carbon dioxide in the process. Through its partnership with fitness brands like Yogabar, Fast&Up, Freewheeling, Wizbiker, ChooseMyBicycle, V-Three and others, Crooze provides its cyclists with a gamified experience.
“8 out of 10 people who buy cycles end up not using them. We tried to change that by connecting with cyclists at the point of sale to introduce them to the cycling community through the Crooze app which has close to 200 cycling clubs across the country.” For her initiatives as the Vadodara Bicycle Mayor, Crooze won the Mobility Startup of the Year Award by SGCCI in August 2021 with Nikita getting an honorary mention in an NDTV Documentary titled ‘Cycle for Change’.