The concept of sharing, or rental economy, is turning from sublime to ridiculous. There are companies sharing workspace to reduce initial capital investments and help promote innovation through shared ideas. On the other extreme, you can hire a pet—it cuts the tedium of looking after a puppy or a meow fulltime.
Estimates vary on the global size of the sharing economy. Brookings in a study released last year projected it will reach $335 billion by 2025. Retail market experts say that apart from hospitality and real estate, rental economy for items such as textiles, furniture and luxury goods in India is insignificant.
“This practice has proven to be beneficial for consumers because of lower price with reduced expense and maintenance, which will drive the rental market size,” says Ankur Pahwa, partner and national leader, e-commerce and consumer internet, EY India.
So, startups are looking to find a model that works the best for them. Right from hiring beds and linen during family get-togethers or office parties, the rental...