Shutterdrives founder, Zahoor Hassan’s love for automobiles started when he was five years old, when his father would bring magazines on automobiles home.
Zahoor, Founder of Shutterdrivers
“I used to sneak them into my classes in college and delve into them. In the early 2000s when Bangalore was booming with Cyber cafes I used to go and browse cars online. I would go to the showroom as soon as a car was launched and collect the brochure. These brochures have piled up over the years to occupy half the real estate on my bookshelf,” says Zahoor.
And just like any other aspirational petrol-head, he wrote to a leading automotive magazine expressing his desire for automobiles and requesting for an editorial internship. He however knew that getting an interview call was way too ambitious.
“I didn’t even receive a response to my query even after multiple follow-ups. That’s when I realised if I had to fulfil my passion, I had to do something 10x more challenging and that’s how Shutterdrives was born,” says Zahoor.
Shutterdrives is a digital platform for automotive reviews and news, experience drives and travelogues. It started as a WordPress blog in April 2017 and is now one of the seven websites in India to feature a web application called ‘Find My Vehicle’ that churns out all the specifications and features of a vehicle that the consumer is looking for.
“The biggest challenge we faced initially was to convince automotive manufacturers to give us the opportunity to review their cars. Our case was further diluted as I had no prior experience in the media industry,” says Zahoor.
The first break
What helped was getting a Mercedes-Benz car for a review. When Zahoor learnt that their media car (test car) was in Bengaluru he wrote to their corporate communications head, explaining the merits of publishing a comprehensive review of their luxury offering on Shutterdrives.