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Old 14th April 2015, 10:51   #1
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Default Sakha Consulting Wings - Hiring a female chauffeur (Delhi)

Given below is my experience of hiring a female chauffeur in the NCR area.

Requirement
I wanted to hire a female chauffeur for my wife. We got married recently and as she is new to the area as well as a new driver, hiring a chauffeur for the initial period made sense. I own a Ford Ecosport (manual) and given the height of the vehicle, it requires getting used to before becoming comfortable driving the car in city conditions.
With the recent news of misdemeanors by drivers in the NCR area, we were very apprehensive of hiring a male driver for my wife. I realize that it is not reasonable to stereotype the entire driver community on the basis of the recent incidents, however, it was more a matter of being able to trust and feel comfortable.

Options available
Searching the internet and speaking to various people from the chauffeur industry, I wasn't able to find a lot of options to hire a female chauffeur on a monthly basis.

Sakha Consulting Wings
The best option that suited my requirement was provided by Sakha Consulting Wings Pvt Ltd. Their website link is www.sakhaconsultingwings.com. Sakha Consulting works with Azad Foundation to provide a career opportunity to females from under-priviledged sections of society.

Hiring Experience
The hiring experience was great. I gave a call to the placement cell (number provided on the website) and explained my requirements. I was asked to fill up a registration form online and submit my request. I received a call back from the company after a period of 8 days and a couple of follow up calls. The company sent 2 available chauffeurs for the interview and the test drive.

The drivers
All the drivers enrolled in Sakha Consulting undergo a rigorous training program that usually lasts a year. They are taught driving skills and self defense along with other relevant skills necessary for the job. The candidates I interviewed were well groomed and had good communication skills (both English and Hindi). On the driving front, I was pleasantly surprised on how well they were able to handle the vehicle. They were unsure about the controls and were a bit nervous during the initial phase of the drive but that's natural. Upon completion, I selected one candidate based on her comfort level with the car.

Verification
As the drivers are enrolled within Sakha and spend a good amount of time training with the organization, they do not carry out a formal police verification. However, they encourage the clients to get the police verification done if required. I would be doing this in the next couple of days.

Charges
The standard charge for hiring a chauffeur through Sakha is Rs. 7000 plus taxes (roughly around 8000). This to me is a steal! However, as the hired chauffeur resides in Badarpur area, I had to account for her travel allowance which to me was very reasonable. The working hours negotiated were 10 hours a day with one weekly off.

Conclusion
In the end, I would certainly recommend Sakha Consulting for anybody who has a requirement for hiring a female chauffeur. It gives you a chance to also contribute in a social cause and provide opportunity to women.

NOTE TO MODS: Please remove/re-categorise if required.

Cheers,
Saurabh
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Old 14th April 2015, 12:47   #2
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Default re: Sakha Consulting Wings - Hiring a female chauffeur (Delhi)

Thanks for sharing, it is an absolutely great effort by Sakha to enable women to become independent.
Hope this get the right encouragement to increase presence to other cities as well.
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Old 14th April 2015, 14:53   #3
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Default Re: Sakha Consulting Wings - Hiring a female chauffeur (Delhi)

Many thanks for sharing a review of this unique service. They've clearly found their niche. I see Sakha is also offering cabs driven by women.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDesertRat View Post
The standard charge for hiring a chauffeur through Sakha is Rs. 7000 plus taxes (roughly around 8000).
Wow, that is seriously well-priced. In Mumbai, regular chauffeurs command 12-13k a month. Specialist female drivers will have a higher asking salary.

Do you pay Sakha or the driver directly? If it's the latter, is there any kind of placement fee too?
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Old 14th April 2015, 18:31   #4
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Default Re: Sakha Consulting Wings - Hiring a female chauffeur (Delhi)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Wow, that is seriously well-priced. In Mumbai, regular chauffeurs command 12-13k a month. Specialist female drivers will have a higher asking salary.
Exactly. My brother is the Senior Operations Manager for Meru in Delhi and he was equally surprised by the package being offered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Do you pay Sakha or the driver directly? If it's the latter, is there any kind of placement fee too?
The salary is paid directly to the driver. However, the taxes are paid to Sakha.

Cheers,
Saurabh
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Old 15th April 2015, 12:34   #5
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Default Re: Sakha Consulting Wings - Hiring a female chauffeur (Delhi)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDesertRat View Post
The salary is paid directly to the driver. However, the taxes are paid to Sakha.
If the salary is paid directly to the driver, then what tax is payable to Sakha? There is absolutely no tax payable by them to the government as the salary isn't paid to them. Further, even the driver falls in the tax-free bracket as women who make <2.5 lakhs a year don't have to pay any income tax in India. It is likely that the tax component is being pocketed by them.
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Old 15th April 2015, 12:59   #6
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Default Re: Sakha Consulting Wings - Hiring a female chauffeur (Delhi)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
If the salary is paid directly to the driver, then what tax is payable to Sakha? There is absolutely no tax payable by them to the government as the salary isn't paid to them. Further, even the driver falls in the tax-free bracket as women who make <2.5 lakhs a year don't have to pay any income tax in India. It is likely that the tax component is being pocketed by them.
Not sure Rush, but there can be a service tax component on the bill @12.36% as of now if the bill is raised directly to you by the consultancy company (provided that the company falls in the ambit of service tax). The OP should be in a better position to let us know that. Also, not nitpicking, but the underlined part in the quoted part of your post is now true for men too. The IT slabs did away from gender discrimination a couple of years ago.

Last edited by saket77 : 15th April 2015 at 13:24.
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Old 16th April 2015, 12:49   #7
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Default Re: Sakha Consulting Wings - Hiring a female chauffeur (Delhi)

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
but there can be a service tax component on the bill @12.36% as of now if the bill is raised directly to you by the consultancy company (provided that the company falls in the ambit of service tax).
Ah, good point. I believe service tax would be applicable. However, that is only the case if the bill is generated by Sakha. The OP mentions that he pays the salary directly to the driver, hence my concern.
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Old 16th April 2015, 12:53   #8
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Default Re: Sakha Consulting Wings - Hiring a female chauffeur (Delhi)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Ah, good point. I believe service tax would be applicable. However, that is only the case if the bill is generated by Sakha. The OP mentions that he pays the salary directly to the driver, hence my concern.
Yes, if the salary is directly paid to the driver, it will be exempt from Service tax. Also, if the annual turnover of the consultancy in question is less than Rs. 10 lacs, then it does not fall into the ambit of service tax; even if they raise a bill directly to the customer.

Regards,
Saket

Last edited by saket77 : 16th April 2015 at 12:54.
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Old 16th April 2015, 14:14   #9
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Default Re: Sakha Consulting Wings - Hiring a female chauffeur (Delhi)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDesertRat View Post
Charges
The standard charge for hiring a chauffeur through Sakha is Rs. 7000 plus taxes (roughly around 8000). This to me is a steal! However, as the hired chauffeur resides in Badarpur area, I had to account for her travel allowance which to me was very reasonable.
Thanks for the first hand review. They were also featured prominently on Satyamev Jayate - That's how I got to know about them. They should market their services more aggressively - hardly anyone knows about this wonderful service in this city who is in dire need of them.

How much does it cost you then - everything included?
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Old 17th April 2015, 15:49   #10
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Default Re: Sakha Consulting Wings - Hiring a female chauffeur (Delhi)

Surprising, isn't 8K quite low for Delhi!
We pay my wife's driver around 11.5K plus the regular festive bonus(es) in a low cost city like Pune
I understand that the norm in Pune is between 10-12K
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Old 21st April 2015, 14:12   #11
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Default Re: Sakha Consulting Wings - Hiring a female chauffeur (Delhi)

Points worth mentioning

1. The component that needs to be paid to Sakha is the service tax (12.36%) although they still have not confirmed the payment details.

2. I am still waiting for a formal contract that was promised to be sent to me. This should clear up things on what components make up the cost.

I believe the reason they have not being aggressive about marketing themselves is probably because of the perceived mismatch between demand and supply. I reckon they are still falling short on the number of trainees.

On an unrelated note, the driver had her first mishap/mistake albeit minor. . This happened while taking the car out of the parking of our apartment prime reason being limited visibility owing to driver's height. I am still keeping her on as I do understand there will be a learning curve.

Cheers,
Saurabh
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