Delhi’s cab drivers have finally launched their own person service, and they’ve started off by taking potshots at their former employers.
“Cheaper than Ula-Ober,” proclaims a promotional poster for Sewa Cab, that began operations on nineteenth could. Sewa Cab had been planned of throughout the motive force strikes that had unfold across the country earlier this year. Uber and writing paper drivers had been complaintive the decrease in their bonuses and incentives, and had been trying to induce the businesses to bring back the payment structures they’d at first signed up for. Their protests were to no avail, and Uber and writing paper refused to yield. That’s once the drivers had determined to create a cab person company of their own.
It’s in some ways that the final word move of defiance — starting up your own company once you’re sad with the terms your bosses set for you, so taking them head on. Sewa Cab is merely every week previous, and is slowly finding its feet on Delhi’s jam-pawncked streets. Its app already has quite cardinal downloads, and is presently rated four.3 on the Play Store.
For Associate in Nursing app that was designed by a workers’ union and not a technology company, Sewa Cabs is pretty slick. The app needs users to sign on with their email addresses and phone numbers, so sends Associate in Nursing SMS OTP for verification (which it detects automatically). Its interface is incredibly the same as Uber and Ola’s — the app detects your location on a map, and informs you if there ar cabs close. Clicking on “ride now” gets the motive force to decision you and reach your location, and you give them a code to verify yourself. Once the ride starts, a fare meter calculates the fare based on the distance travelled, and payments are to be made in cash. Sewa Cabs has two variants — Eeco, which costs Rs. 5/km, and Alpha, which costs Rs. 6/km. Both variants have a Rs. 40 base fare and a time charge of Rs. 1.5/minute.
One crucial aspect in which Sewa differs from Uber and Ola is its “Hail and Go” feature. Sewa Cabs have prominent signage, and can also be hailed directly from the streets. The driver will enter the rider’s phone numbers into the app, and the app will display the fare at the end of the ride. Sewa says it’ll send riders an invoice when the ride is over. This should help the company build an initial userbase, and also utilize excess supply.
Uber and Ola probably aren’t losing any sleep over Sewa Cab just yet, but there are signs that it could eventually become a serious competitor. Sewa Cab had made a formal announcement of its intentions just over two months ago, and to have built an app, on-boarded drivers, and kicked off operations in that period is fairly remarkable. It helps that what seems to be driving these drivers is a deep sense of injustice — drivers feel that Uber and Ola were essentially middlemen, who were eating into their hard-earned money. Both Uber and Ola take 20-30% commissions on fares drivers earn. Sewa Cabs, being driver run, will keep less than 1% of the fares. “Whilst we firmly believe in the freedom of markets, it is necessary that the drivers are not exploited by VC-funded companies in the name of competition,” the company says.
While Sewa Cab has done well to launch so quickly, teething problems do remain. It’s hard to find cabs at the moment, as several users have pointed out in its reviews. we tend to couldn’t notice a cab at our location either, however were able to eventually notice some cabs by moving our location around. many users have additionally discovered that their cabs aren’t cheaper than Uber and writing paper, however that’s graspable — Sewa Cab doesn’t have the VC cash to subsidize its rides.
Sewa Cab is aware of the chances ar stacked against it, not solely within the sort of 2 billion dollar startups who’ll be needing to crush the young upstart, however additionally with maintaining with fast-changing technology and navigating India’s byzantine cab person rules. however it hopes its drivers can move and build a solid company against their former masters. It’s not aiming to be simple, however if Sewa Cab will become a viable business, its story are going to be mentioned just in case studies in business colleges for years to come back.