How this Startup solving the outstation cab booking problem.
09th, November 2017 - Tech Startup
Founded by Amit Grover, AHA Taxis is India's preferred platform for outstation taxis, with the unique benefit for consumers being - one way taxis. You can chose any city to any city on the website or mobile app, make a booking at half rates compared to offline taxi vendors, and there is a 90% chance that AHA Taxis will serve your trip. They are aiming to make this 100% in future. At the back end, AHA taxis have a huge network of taxi drivers, who have the vendor app, and get notifications of customer trips. "They serve the trips, and form the core of our offering." said Mr. Grover. This process of bringing customers and drivers together is what has been AHA Taxis strength and they are growing this every day pan-India.
Mr Amit Grover is a middle class person, born and brought up in Kanpur. His parents have always been an inspiration for him to aim high and work hard to achieve the aim. As they say in India, students first become engineers and then decide what they want to become. He too moved to Delhi to pursue engineering and graduated as a mechanical engineer from IIT Delhi. He joined Infosys as the 10000th employee in 2001. "I admired Narayana Murthy alot, from the time he came to IIT Delhi for granting the degree during convocation ceremony and my proud parents were sitting in audience watching me with the great man who had built a great company as an entrepreneur." said the founder. After 2 years with Infosys, He went on to do MBA from IIM Indore. After post graduation, He joined Asian Paints, then moved to Onida in Chairman's office.
His career has always been a work in progress. After Onida, he started Nurture Talent Academy, which is India's first institute for training entrepreneurs, and for 5 years he moved across 125+ cities in India, conducting workshops for college students. While running Nurture Talent Academy, he was in a new city almost every third day if the week. During one of these trips, the AHA moment happened. "My train ticket was cancelled at the last moment. I was so desperate at that time, and looked for other options to reach home - flight was unaffordable, bus too messy, and trains unavailable. All taxi drivers asked for return fare, though I just needed the drop" tells Mr Amit. Drivers say that they do not have a booking to come back, so they have to come back vacant and so a customer needs to pay. Thoughts struck hard, that even after 70 years of India's independence; we do not have an affordable and available travel option. That moment he decided to solve this really challenging and complex problem for India.
On being asked as to how AHA taxis competes with individual or small taxi owners being a very niche player in the uncategorised segment. Mr Grover said "we don't. In fact, we provide those individual taxi owners or vendors an opportunity to earn more by giving them customers." Vendors earn extra from same taxi, same driver effort and same spend on diesel - rather than run empty on road. Many of the attached drivers are now able to utilize their taxis 30 days a month compared to 5-10 days a month earlier. It is entirely their choice as to how many trips they want, from which city to which city and at what rates.
AHA taxis' taxi network today, covers far-flung areas including Haldwani, Kasol, Kharagpur, Rameswaram, Somnath, Kandaghat, Mashobra,, Saputara, Mandarmani and Guruvayoor apart from all metros. Most of us have not even heard of some of these places although we are well-read and well-travelled individuals. The company has developed key technologies for automatic driver allocation, auto-pricing, vehicle tracking, number masking done by its in-house technology team. Last month operations were started in East and North East India, covering Kolkata, Kharagpur, Guwahati, Ranchi, Jamshedpur among others. They strongly believe that the potential is limitless.
In recent development, drivers of Ola and Uber underwent a strike which made them halt their services. But he believes that there are small number of drivers and company employees who create such situations. Ola and Uber have done a great job in bringing professionalism, quality, reduced customer prices, increased driver earning, but some irresponsible people create wrong expectations and indulge in mismanagement, which leads to strikes, violence, service disruption etc. At AHA Taxis, every individual acts responsibly by ensuring a balance between company, drivers and customers, so its a win-win-win for all.
There are no false promises of business to drivers, hidden terms for customers. They have a dedicated operations team for driver engagement which is available 24*7.
At AHA taxis, numbers are not the aim. The aim is to serve customers with complete trust anywhere and anytime they need.
Cab aggregators are serving a really complex and evolving market, which is infinitely huge. You take any train between any two cities for next 24 hours, and you will find all tickets are in waiting. So that many people are looking to travel at any given point of time, which is a huge market opportunity amounting to at least 10 billion dollars a year.
In last two years, We have grown from 5 co-founders team to a power-packed young team of 37+ members, our operations from 135 Cities to 4000+ cities, and it has been an incredible journey.
AHA taxis raised an undisclosed amount in Pre-Series A funding. Backers included ah! Ventures and Lead Angels Network. The company plans to use the funds to expand its reach to newer geographies, and further strengthen the operations and service offering to customers.
"We at AHA taxis aim to serve millions of customers across India, and take our Technology, operations and marketing, worldwide in next 3-5 years. Our vision is to be an alternate to train in India." concluded the founder.
Website: AHA Taxis
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