A UNIVERSITY of Strathclyde graduate who came up with the idea for a mobile luggage storage service while “lugging” her suitcase around London has expanded into Glasgow, after launching in Edinburgh, and has plans to move into other UK cities.

Janani Prabhakaran’s Unbaggaged business, founded in 2019 after she graduated, aims to ensure secure, convenient and sustainable pick-up and drop-off for its customers’ luggage, with the service provided through a fleet of electric vehicles.

The novel luggage service, which has been operating in Edinburgh since launching and serves tourists and people travelling on business, delivers its on-demand offering through an application (app). This app allows customers to access live luggage tracking, following vehicles in real time. Ms Prabhakaran’s expansion into Glasgow has been assisted by Business Gateway.

Taxpayer-funded advice service Business Gateway said Unbaggaged had been “forced to navigate the challenges of the pandemic which severely affected the travel industry”.

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Business Gateway noted it had been able to “signpost” Ms Prabhakaran to funding from Glasgow City Council’s business growth programme.

It said that Unbaggaged had also been supported by the University of Strathclyde’s inspire hub, and had been awarded funding recently by Scottish Edge, which supported the business’s plans to launch in Glasgow in March.

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Business Gateway added: “Thanks to ongoing success and demand for the service, Janani now has plans to extend Unbaggaged’s operations to other major cities across the UK.”

Ms Prabhakaran said: “I knew when I graduated that I wanted to start my own business, and do something more exciting than the typical nine to five. When I found myself lugging a suitcase around London, my idea for Unbaggaged came to life.

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“Business Gateway supported me from the very beginning, and the guidance I received has helped me to better define my customer base, as well as helping to secure funding to expand Unbaggaged further than Edinburgh.” 

Lisa Gibson, adviser at Business Gateway, said: “Janani overcame a lot of obstacles when she first launched Unbaggaged, so it’s fantastic to see that the business is performing so well. I’m certain that the future for the business is bright and look forward to watching it grow further.”