This Tamil Nadu taxi service offers a choice of vehicles, whatsapp booking
Tamil Nadu-based start-up Oor Cabs, an aggregator, is introducing a new form of taxi hire system which it claims will help drivers earn more money and also help customers get value for money .
Launched from Coimbatore, Oor Cabs is introducing car services from today and plans to add taxi services in three months. In a first of its kind, the promoters say customers can book via WhatsApp and for each booking they would have a choice of three vehicles and a variable fare to choose from.
The company says that instead of imposing a flat rate, its partner drivers are given a rate range and they are free to set a price within the range, either in the lower range or in the higher range. Customers should pay the money directly to the driver.
An important change is that the aggregator would not collect any commission from the drivers. “This way, drivers’ income will increase by at least thirty percent if they switch from Ola or Uber to us,” says Mr. Maria Antony Issac, Founder of Oor Cabs. He adds, “Our system guarantees minimum profit and reasonable income to drivers and protects customers from predatory pricing.”
About 200 cars have already registered in Coimbatore. The city has a fleet of 12,000.
“We expect around 500 people to join us soon after our launch and 4,000 in two months,” says Issac.
“The verification takes some time. We make no compromises. It is only if they produce all the papers that we enlist them,” he adds.
Oor Cabs collects a fee from customers for each ride between a minimum of nine rupees and a maximum of ten percent, its sole source of income.
The start-up also promises a slew of wellness measures for drivers.
Each driver, the company says, will be covered by Rs ten lakh accident life insurance. A canteen would provide subsidized food. There would also be a canteen for the supply of food and a store for the supply of groceries at a fair price. Drivers would also be entitled to earned leave.
“We would fund this with our CSR diverting 10% of our revenue for this and once we grow in volume that would be possible,” says Issac.
The business plans to gradually expand to smaller towns where trading is the norm, before expanding to Chennai.
“We expect around 500 cars to sign up before launch. It should be over 4,000 in two months. We are seeing good response. We will then gradually expand to other small towns that have now implemented place a negotiation system for taxi/car rental,” Mr. Issac added.
The seeded startup raised 1.5 crore from friends and relatives.
An IT professional with an MCA, a few years ago Mr Issac had moved India’s Competition Commission against predatory pricing and “exploitative practices”. The idea for this model started there.