On the Right Track
In 2011, Carey Fan MBA’12 and Amar Amin MBA’12 pitched an idea at Babson San Francisco’s inter-university Rocket Pitch. In three minutes with just three slides, they shared the plan for
MatchpointGPS, a connected car startup for consumers in India.
The idea was a winner: Fan and Amin took home third place in the competition.
At the time, MatchpointGPS was still in the development phase, working toward building the operation in India. Now, more than six years later, the company is on track to earn millions in sales this year.
It’s a success story defined by a strong partnership, a quick pivot, and off-the-charts growth. And, it all began at Babson.
Before MatchpointGPS came to fruition, Fan and Amin met at their MBA orientation in Wellesley.
In their first class at the San Francisco campus, they were placed into the same group and found they worked well together.
“Amar had a lot of strengths that I didn’t have,” said Fan. “He’s the perfect complement and the right person to work with.”
Both came to Babson with entrepreneurship in mind: Amin was looking to start a business, while Fan was looking to turn his company around. Meeting in class was good fortune, as their strong working relationship led them to develop the idea for MatchpointGPS, which leveraged Fan’s expertise in technology and GPS, and Amin’s business development skills.
“At the time, I was waiting for any kind of opportunity,” said Amin. “This was the little push I needed. I quit my job June 30 [of 2011] and was on a plane to India on July 1. Off I went.”
Today, MatchpointGPS is a vehicle tracking data company that provides car owners in India with the ability to stay connected to their cars at all times.
Using the MatchpointGPS app, users can track their car’s location, speed, and historical data points (mileage, routes taken), and more. While every customer has a unique use for the app—some care about the vehicle itself, while others (like families) care about the people inside—the technology brings what Fan calls “the ultimate peace of mind” for those wanting to stay connected at all times.
Today’s version of the company is different from the pair’s original idea. At first, they envisioned a B2B model, selling the technology as an accessory for vehicles.
“After 40 or 50 days of that approach, we sold a grand total of zero,” said Amin.
They quickly pivoted to their current B2C approach, thanks in part to a partnership with HDFC, a large bank in India that Amin helped establish. “One of Amar’s great skills is his ability to create new connections and partnerships,” said Fan. “The partnership with HDFC is when everything started to change.”
That change worked. This fiscal year, MatchpointGPS is on track to close at $25 million+ in revenue. The company employs more than 200 employees in more than 40 cities in India. Their customer base spans more than 800 cities and towns across more than 10 states in India. And, as the growth continues, they look forward to adapting to the challenges posed by that growth and continuing to dominate the connected car market.
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Reflecting on their success, Fan and Amin are proud of the fact that MatchpointGPS was built at Babson. “We started it while still in school, did it with our own money,” said Fan. “Our professors taught us to act upon things instead of overanalyzing. It’s what attracted me to Babson, and helped us take the first step.”
For fellow entrepreneurs looking to launch a venture, Amin and Fan both recommend just going for it, and not getting hung up on the idea of creating something completely new.
“Glamorous ideas aren’t the only ones worth pursuing,” said Amin. “You won’t run out of challenges or advice, but at the end of the day you have to get out and do what you have to do to move forward.”