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Sharing is (kind of) caring: now you can rent the essentials
RAGINI BHUYAN  12th Oct 2013

A screenshot from the website Irentshare

arl Marx would have approved. Well, not quite. Irentshare.com doesn't exactly do away with private property, but lets you enjoy other people's private property for a small price. "The idea struck me two years when I and my friends were really inspired by the zeitgeist movement, which advocates community based activism and constructive work. I tried to help some friends in JNU set up an internal network there where students could offer their items for rent as well as borrow. However, we were unable to execute the idea then," says Rishabh Kapoor, co-founder of the website. Later, a meeting with a mutual acquaintance, Vardhman Jain, helped him to realise the idea. "I realised that for such a venture to subsist, there had to be a commercial angle to it as well. Things really took off when our third co-founder, Abhishek Ambatipudi, stepped on board and helped us develop the website," Jain explains.

Irentshare works on the simple model of providing a platform where people who want to rent out their items can list it on their site, and others who want to borrow can choose what they want. Borrowers have to pay a security deposit, and can also ask for logistics support. Irentshare does a verification of both the renter and the borrower. People are also encouraged to leave testimonies on the website, talking about their experience. In case you are feeling generous, you have the option of 'sharing' your goods, where anyone can request to borrow your good for free. You might then ask, what's the role of the guys at Irentshare?

As anybody who has taken the risk of letting out their premises will tell you, there is always the chance that you will not find your place in perfect condition when your tenants leave. At least you have a lease agreement to consult in that case. Irentshare has a team of five lawyers who are there to look into any disagreement or disputes between renters and borrowers. "For high end items like SLR cameras, ipads, iphones, laptops, etc, we have brought in a professional renting company because we know that individual owners might hesitate to offer their expensive, personal gadgets. However, our aim is to make sure that eventually even individuals feel comfortable sharing or renting their items, no matter how expensive they are. Our intention is to reduce wastage and unnecessary expenditure," Kapoor explains. On the website, you can rent anything from a bed and a table to a dholak and a harmonium, kitchen stoves and cutlery, a pool table, a suitcase and more, even a whole array of books available for share. The founders informed Guardian20 that in the three and a half months that they have been operational, they have already completed 7 transactions without any hitch whatso ever.

 
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