Time has gone when newspaper advertisements were the channels to attract the customers to get their travel bookings done. Travelers have switched to online search for booking their cabs, both for local as well as outstation trips. Even if we have a look from traveler side, everyone usually searches Google, gets the numbers and starts calling them for availability and cost. Then comes the comparison in terms of pricing, availability, brand, etc. and finally the consumer chooses the brand. There has been a tremendous shift in the consumer habits which are now moving towards convenience and on demand services. The last 8-10 years, the entire taxi services have been narrowed down being operated only online and through apps. The power of technology has enabled a lot of startups to explore and make the most of this potential market. While we have aggregators like Ola, Uber, Meru, etc. already up and running with lucrative offers to increase their customer base, we have a new player, viaTaxi formed by three young entrepreneurs- Paras Vij, Abhay Panwar and Sharat Sharma who have a vision of making their customers happy with their services and making their journey more memorable. In an exclusive interaction with Business2Business, the young founders share more about their startup and how in the market with Ola and Uber being the top names, how are they different and affordable!
The idea: The Founders share, “We analyzed the problem side from the consumers end. We realized that what usually happens is that traveler books his travel thinking he has got the best deal at the lowest cost. The problem is that they are not informed about the hidden charges at the time they book and thus later feel cheated. To overcome these problems, we started working upon our idea to make a universal platform for Taxi Owners and Travelers for their taxi booking needs. This futuristic platform will help every traveler in getting a transparent deal for their journey.”
Security concerns: The Founders share, “Security is one of the major concern for travelers and taxi owners for their journey with unknown travel companions. We at viaTaxi are committed to provide safe and comfortable journey. We have provided an extended feature of GPS Tracking to share their live location with anyone without any extra charges. This feature is helpful for single female travelers or with kids to feel safe on their journey.”
More about the platform: The Founders share, “We try to stay connected with our travelers throughout their journey. We not only help them to book a suitable cabs, but also lead to plan their travel in a way that it becomes a hassle free and well-organized. We make use of our strong network to plan their travel at the best possible rate with a better utilization of time. In many cases the traveler is unaware of the destination that they are planning to visit, we guide our customers with the best and famous places there, and try to make their trip memorable. We always have our ears open to listen to any confusion or grievances between the travelers and the service provider.”
Current network: Sharing more on their current presence, the Founders share, “Our major areas of services include Delhi-NCR Region, Chandigarh Tri-city, Shimla, Dharamshala, Goa, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Vadodra, Surat, Agra ,Mathura, Jaipur, Coimbatore, Chennai, Amritsar, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Alwar, Shirdi, Mumbai, Nashik, Pune, Udaipur.” They add, “Presently viaTaxi has 190+ service providers and 250+ taxis attached on its platform in 70+ cities and 20+ states.”
Revenue generated: The Founders share, “We started our journey with viaTAXI in November 2016 and in just 2 and half months we have generated a total turnover of 4.6 Lakh with over 76 Bookings across India. With a trust that we have built and policies that we have followed, we have been able to cover 26000+ km’s through our vendors in these 2 and half months.”
Future plans: “In coming 6 months, we are planning to launch few new services for the betterment of travelers and service provider. We are looking forward to expand our current vendor network in more than 150 cities with an attachment of 1000+ taxis in this time frame. Moreover we will be rolling out certain policies and services to make our relationship stronger with our customers and service provider,” share the Founders.
What makes viaTAXI different: The Founders share, “In present system the biggest flaw that we find is lack of commitment and many travelers feel cheated by not being informed about hidden charges. To overcome this flaw we are providing a quotation based system in which vendors provide their rates for a booking according to the information provided by traveler on our portal viaTAXI.in. A vendor is free to put a quote based on the factors like the car being provided, base price, chauffeur charges, state tax, toll tax, parking charges, travel limit and after limit charges in a documented manner. This is an opportunity for the travelers to compare different rates among multiple service providers and choose the best for them. All the information is communicated via email and sms to vendor and traveler. In case of any confusion the quotation details available in email and on viaTAXI panel can be used to resolve the issue. In addition to it, we have discount coupon codes and cash-back system to benefit our customers, whose amount get adjusted in total booking amount. We are confident that we will continue making our customers happy with our services, making their journey more memorable.”
Advice for entrepreneurs: “Good Thoughts give you the right direction, follow them and achieve your success.”