Meru Cabs - Redefining the Local Taxi Commute
Commuting by taxi in cities like Mumbai and Delhi was a nightmare – constantly dealing with flat rates, faulty meters, creaking vehicles, rash rude and negligent drivers etc. That was until Meru Cabs rolled out its fleet of market redefining taxis.
The pioneers of air-conditioned radio taxis in India, Meru Cabs, launched in 2007, have changed the way the local metered taxis in metropolitan cities operate. Meru began in Mumbai and is now present in Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Meru is not only India’s first but also largest taxi operator with 3000+ cabs in its fleet and has revenue of Rs. 100 crore (approx.).
Founded in 2006 by Neeraj Gupta, the biggest challenge was to get the permits: the government had stopped issuing fresh permits in Mumbai. So Meru came up with its first innovation: it bought the permits from existing operators by paying a premium. By the first quarter of 2007, it had 50 cabs on the roads. Meru owns the cabs, while the drivers pay it a fixed Rs 700 a day and buy their own fuel. They get to keep anything extra. This way, a driver earns an average of Rs 13,000-15,000 a month, nearly double the earnings of a regular taxi driver.
The challenges at Meru were a combination of business as well as technological challenges. The local transportation industry in India has been largely an unorganized sector and they did not have any significant role model to follow for the business processes or technology architecture. Meru studied the models in various developed countries and adopted them to suit local requirements.
Meru Cabs, a world class metered call taxi service was presented the NASSCOM-CNBC IT User Award 2008 in the Travel Segment. The award is in recognition of the pro-active and holistic approach to IT adoption and the seamless alignment of IT with the business strategy of the company.
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