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Old 30th October 2009, 00:08   #16
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Well how much do you think Meru or Easycabs must have paid for the exclusive rights for city-airport-city taxi transportation?
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Old 30th October 2009, 00:19   #17
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Originally Posted by cruiser_1982 View Post
Wow!!! an interesting read. I never thought such a business model exist. May be a slightly OT here, but do the Call Taxis in Chennai follow the same model? These guys seem to use GPS and always send the nearest cab. May be the Meru cabs in Bangalore and Hyderabad serve mostly airport passengers, as the airport is far off from the city.
OT: Which cab service/company are you referring to?

Nice experience Zappo, now thats dedication
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Old 30th October 2009, 00:30   #18
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During my 2 month long stay in Mumbai few months back, I used Meru cabs for daily pick and drop. Knowing Mumbai traffic you can guess I had to spent more than 2 hrs daily in taxi mostly chatting with Drivers. The business model explained by svsantosh is same what I came to know from them. The only difference is (it may be diff in Mumbai) that -
1. The daily fees there is INR 750.
2. As some of them (drivers) explained, if they are going on leave for couple of days, they have to inform MERU in advance and deposit their car at company's garage. During this period they don't need to pay daily fees.

Also as Zappo mentioned, the call center is just a facility provided by the Meru and Driver don't require to use that always. for Last two weeks of my stay, I had this deal with Driver who will come at fix time daily (on weekdays) at my place to pick me up without me calling to call center. Not sure they need to update company or not but they can't escape as GPS system installed in the cars will track them. ( I remember one of the cabby asking me if I know how that GPS system works and is there a way to 'deactivate' that as he is planning take his family to some place and dont want to tell company for some reason)

I was also told by one of the driver about the 'nexus' between call center ppl and drivers.

One of the driver also told me that there are recovery agents appointed by the company and if driver don't pay up for consecutive 3 days, recovery agents will have a word with him. In Mumbai, Meru has some arrangement with Axis bank wherein the cabby can go to any branch and deposit the daily fees in 10-15 minutes.

what else hmm, one driver told me that initially company has promised a certain number of taxis and during early days they could save a handsome amount but now there are so many Meru cabs are on roads that their daily saving has came down heavily.

and lastly one interesting thing - the Bidding Process. I read that in a papper kept at the back of driver seat. Whenever you make a call to Call Center, the executive there starts a bidding process wherein 4-5 taxis are given the choice of source and destination at the same time ( it is flashed on the instrument fitted in the car). The driver can either reject the bid or can participate in it by pressing one of the four switches . these four switches are for different times that driver will take to reach the pick up location. (10, 15, 30 and 45 minutes). The one who bids for the least waiting time and is the first (in case of more than one bid for same time) is given the booking. the driver than accept the booking and gets passenger's (your) details while driver's details are SMSed to the passenger (you). Neither this is a fool proof system nor it works all time but chalta hai..!

Last edited by kanwal : 30th October 2009 at 00:35.
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Old 30th October 2009, 01:19   #19
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Nice experience Zappo, now thats dedication
More than dedication it is desperation for these poor guys. He told my friend on the 1st ride that how they hardly get enough passengers to make some decent saving. That is why he wanted my friend as his regular passenger whenever he needs a cab.

If the guy remembers when you are going to be back after 3 weeks it shows that how much importance they now give to cultivate their regular passengers.

Oh! By the way, there is a little difference in one point between what he said and Santhosh mentioned here. According to him they deposit some 20k with Meru as deposit. And if the car gets banged, irrespective of whose fault it was, Meru forfeits that money immediately. Poor chaps.
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Old 30th October 2009, 01:27   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappo View Post
More than dedication it is desperation for these poor guys. He told my friend on the 1st ride that how they hardly get enough passengers to make some decent saving. That is why he wanted my friend as his regular passenger whenever he needs a cab.

If the guy remembers when you are going to be back after 3 weeks it shows that how much importance they now give to cultivate their regular passengers.
I know Zappo - a poor attempt of me trying to be funny :(

If you see my previous post in this thread you'll know how I feel about all this.

It is indeed a tough life for these guys.
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Old 30th October 2009, 11:58   #21
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Nice thread here!
Sad to know such a good service operates on so thin margins. But again, it ensures only the hardworking and committed manage to survive the model.
Otherwise I think this will go the auto rikshaw way. Too low operating costs leading to saturated market to bad service. No one in bangalore could get the auto guys to behave and hire to the destination you ask for.
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Old 30th October 2009, 12:07   #22
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Nice thread, this one.

I didn't know the details of how these cab companies work and I rarely use cabs anyway.

It's sad to hear that the drivers need to really rush through their trips and rack up multiple major trips per day to make ends meet. I'm not sure whether this amounts to being "hardworking" or being "exploited".
Do the drivers working for Meru/Easy Cabs have any union like MumbaiTaxi Drivers union for the regular black n yellow (or blue) cabs?

How does the Meru/Easy cab system work compared to the cabbie systems abroad?
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Old 30th October 2009, 12:19   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappo View Post

Since then my friend has used this cab around 8 times and he invariably lands up at the designated place to pick him up. The best was last month when my friend went to Prague for 3 weeks. ......................................landed here and was still in the baggage queue the cabbie called him up to inform that he is at the airport waiting for him outside in arrivals section.

That is just fantastic customer service! Hats off to this cabbie!
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Old 30th October 2009, 12:33   #24
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On a working day, Rs.950 is not a big amount, the driver gets that money in one to & fro trip to Airport!
But, when he takes a leave OR a strike in city, taking Rs.950 from him is not fair!
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Old 30th October 2009, 12:49   #25
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This model is like setting killers on the road! This is very sad and the transport authority / RTO etc must intervene and stop shifts beyond 14 hrs.

I have driven cabs when I was studying in Aus for 8 months. This is how the model was.

1. Book a cab from a cab depot (no fixed cabs) 1 week in advance. Its like a roaster system.
2. All are 12 hrs shifts.
3. What ever money you make share it 50:50 with the cab company and cab company pays for fuel and maintenance.
4. The meter prints a detailed report after each shift which gives details on how many kms you have driven with meter on and without meter on, Average Speed , top speed, idle time etc. It then calculates What money you have made and what money you should have made for that average. It gets very hard to cheat. It gives you a room of 15% at the most.
5. You are allowed to bunk 3 shifts in each quarter before being fired. You can however cancel a shift 24hrs prior.

This encourages the driver to work hard and at the same time make enough money for both the parties.
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Old 30th October 2009, 12:55   #26
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On the face of it, Meru (and others) are exploiting their drivers left, right and center. They are probably able to evade labour laws by signing contracts, instead of having drivers on regular payroll. Still, the contracts can easily be shown to be exploitative in any court of law. Maybe the drivers do need to come together and form a union or something.
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Old 30th October 2009, 12:59   #27
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For a year:

They pay Meru:
950 x 365 == 346750

Lets assume they cover 100000 kms in a year.

They get: 1400000

Deduct what needs to be paid to MERU.
140000 - 346750 == 1053250

Kms to run per day:
100000/365 == 275 (rounded off to nearest number divisible by 5)

Average speeds in city = 20 kmph
8 == 160
12 == 240
14 == 280

Now lets compare it to a say a Techie. LOL pure comparison. Work conditions and other stuff cannot be compared. So does the educaional qualification and experience.

So he needs to work for 14 - 16 hours to have CTC of 10.5 lakhs per year.

A senior level manager in a Service Firm earns that much. A Senior software engineer in a products firm just about manages that much.

Problem is when they have a lot of them.

Or else its a great business model beneficial to both parties.
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Old 30th October 2009, 13:16   #28
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Spitfire sir ,you are exaggerating hours ,14-16 hours of software work ? . IT guys get casual leaves ,sick leaves,paternity leaves,adoption leaves,marriage leaves ,study reimbursement ,medical insurance.....not to forget sat and Sunday holiday,free internet and cofee/tea/snaks freeeeeeee .Its not right to compare both .
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Old 30th October 2009, 13:17   #29
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Forgot to add. The driver has to put the petrol in. I noted that they put around Rs 500 each time. Translates to every third fare.

Some points to note. They loiter around areas where there is perceived demand so that they can grab the fare asap. Some catchment areas are:
St Marks Road
Marthahalli
Indiranagar / Domlur intersection
MG Road/ Brigade road junction early morning
Diamond District
near most 5 star hotels
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Old 30th October 2009, 13:20   #30
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Having worked on a marketing campaign with Easy Cabs, I know this much that they do subsidise the day payment incase if there is special fare or campaign.

And the daily fixed payment rates are also City specific. In Hyderabad it is 750/- per dayfor Easy Cab and Meru.
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