‘OneWay Cab’ is a one-way inter-city cab service venture guided by the philosophy – ‘Return Fare, Not Fair’. The company owes its genesis to the association between Chartered Cabs and Baroda Taxi Cabs in 2015. The company is mentored by Pankaj Gandhi, Co-founder, who brings over 30 years of experience of transportation services. With headquarters in Vadodara, ‘OneWay Cab’ is founded on the assurance of making inter-city travel affordable and charges only one-way during travel.
At the helm of affairs are Vivek Kejriwal, Founder & CEO and Devang Sanghvi, Co-founder and COO. We spoke with Vivek Kejriwal on the cab-hailing industry, the idea of one-way payments and the future of both – the company and its segment:
What distinguishes OneWay Cab from others in this space?
Unlike traditional cab operators, who charge a two-way fare for one-way inter-city rides, Oneway.cab commuters pay fixed one way fare per each route without any hidden charges or overhead fees. The benefit comes with an on-time guarantee, a trusted team of drivers, and a fleet of clean, hygienic & well maintained cabs. The costs are low too.
How big is the sector currently and how much is it expected to grow?
The market size of car sharing and car rental is huge, though it is difficult to point out the exact size of one way car market. However, considering the flexibility and the huge cost advantage it offers, the potential is undoubtedly huge. Globally, the Cab Market size is set to exceed USD 16.5 billion by 2024; according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. The Car rental industry is one of the most developing sectors in India.
The success that one-way have had attained since its very inception, corroborates this fact. It reaped success with a month-on-month growth of 20%. Technology being the driving factor, alongwith a 24×7 call centre, bookings are also open on the OneWay app and website. It has successfully served 55,000 customers so far. There are 1,40,000 registered customers with it and its app has seen 1,2,000 downloads so far.
As per Ken Research, the car rental market in India is set to grow at a CAGR rate and exceed Rs 800 billion by 2019, due to the rise in number of bookings done online and through apps.
What are your plans to leverage your market share in this space?
We would like to continue our focus on core strengths.’OneWay Cab’ has strategically targeted the under-served tier II markets and these are its strongholds. Cabs connect Category ‘B’ and ‘C’ cities with flair and want to emerge as a game changer in the taxi service business. With growth and expansion in sight, it has maintained an asset light strategy and all cabs running under the ‘OneWay Cab’ brand are on aggregator model.
Adept management is the key to success; the company has done just that and are the market leader in the category. With wide array of services, experienced staff, timeliness guarantee and best of technology, ‘OneWay Cab’ aspires to be India’s largest one-way service provider with last mile connectivity.
How much investments have you gathered and how do you plan to utilise this?
We have raised USD 450,000 (INR 3 Crore) funding for OneWay.cab via Indian Angel Network (IAN) in 2016. We will utilize the capital for expansion, technology up gradation, and hiring processes.
What are the biggest challenges in this space and how are you tackling them?
Driver training and awareness of importance of service quality among drivers is #1 challenge. We believe we are tested with each ride a customer takes with OneWay.Cab – We have innovated new avenues to ensure Driver engagement and to install a sense of professionalism among drivers like sending short training video to drives via whatsapp.
Does ‘one-way’ have a bright future in the country and why?
Yes, because of the cost advantage. Nobody wants to willingly pay for a two-way farewhen they are taking one way rides, but have to do so because they had no choice. We are giving that choice to commuters. Our service is unique and we are solving a problem. As many other companies follow suit, the potential will open up.
Vivek and Devang came up with a unique service that had never been introduced in the taxi-cab segment, and launched Oneway.cab in January, 2015. The company charges only one-way of travel and considers Return Fare, Not Fair.
Oneway.cab has a month-on-month growth rate of 20%, and has successfully served 55,000 customers till date. Its mobile app has registered over 1,20,000 downloads so far.
What are your upcoming expansion plans?
Oneway.cab has strategically targeted the under-served tier II markets and these are its strongholds. OneWay.Cab connects Category ‘B’ and ‘C’ cities with flair and want to emerge as a game changer in the taxi service business. Furthermore, with growth and expansion in sight, it has maintained an asset light strategy and follows an aggregator model.
The company will focus on connecting major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai to tier-1 and tier-2 regions to facilitate affordable cab services for all.
The company plans to expand its network across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and West Bengal, covering major cities like Kanpur, Lucknow, Agra, Varanasi, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Asansol, and Durgapur.
It has been about over a year since the launch of the Startup India campaign, what your views on it?
OneWay.Cab is one of the GOI recognised under “Startup India, Stand up india” initiative. Creating a ecosystem requires a lot of critical factors to aligned in same direction in same time.
It is a good initiative but it’s still evolving. It may take sometime to relaise the full potential. It has brough word “Start-up” in main-stream which was earlier confined in few pockets of the country.
How has your venture benefited from the Startup India campaign?
Government of Gujarat has always been supportive of Start-up. We were also selected as one of the Top 50 Start-ups by the Government in Vibrant Gujarat Summit. It provided us the platform to interact with multiple stakeholders under one roof which is normally a challenge being based out of Vadodara & Ahemedabad.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to take The Plunge?
The advice I would like to give out to the aspiring entrepreneurs are as follows:
- Process before Technology – Design & Test the process before you scale it out on Technology Platform. A bad automated process is bound to fail.
- Focus on sustaining the business before you get funds and spend it on scaling up. Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of hiring and scaling up in a hurry to make profits before putting adequate processes in place in order to sustain the business.
- Employees are the biggest asset you have and you have to keep them motivated to earn their loyalty. Keep the environment transparent and conducive to growth.
- Build your category first – you can look at the competition later. Tap the opportunities and the first mover advantage. Once you concentrate on building the market, you will be quite big for the competition to catch up.
‘OneWayCab’ covers over 440 routes across India with its services currently available in the States of Gujarat, Assam, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand and Bihar. Making its presence felt in north, east, west and central India, plans being formalized to enter southern India soon.