Competition in the cab hailing services space is set to hot up with hundreds of small taxi and fleet operators set to take the fight to Ola and Uber. Come February, small taxi operators will join hands to form a common platform, perhaps creating the world’s largest partnership in the taxi-aggregator space.
The operators will use a newly created umbrella platform ‘Mind Your Fleet’ (MYF), available online and on mobile, to reach out to passengers.
As many as 50 operators, such as Eco Rent A Car, ixigo, MTaxi, Fab Cabs, Flash Cabs, Bluesky Cabs and Orange Cabs, have already signed up to join the platform.
On their own these operators have been unable to compete with the heavily discounted tariffs being offered by the likes of Uber. To begin with, they will together bring nearly 5,000 cars on to the platform.Launch likely in Feb
“We have been working on this technology for the last two years and now it’s ready for launch. We have been in discussions with relevant partners in the transport eco-system and are gearing up for a February launch,” said Malvinder Singh Rikhy, Founder and the brain behind MYF.
The platform will unite drivers who own just one car and fleet owners with hundreds of vehicles. Further, all the fleet operators, irrespective of the city, can be accessed through one single platform with interlinked apps for different operators.
“There are thousands of taxi and fleet operators in every city and we are looking at bringing everyone on to this platform,” Singh said, adding that the app can be used for single-fare bookings as well as mass bookings such as corporate events. The platform expects to register 20,000 bookings a day within six months of launch. MYF will levy a one-time set-up fee and a nominal transaction fee.
For companies such as Eco Rent A Car, MYF will bring in efficiencies and additional revenues. At present, we don’t have a front end to consumers and we expect this marketplace to be our marketing front. We are in the process of deploying the software and once implemented it will help us increase revenues multi-fold and bring down costs,” said Rajesh Loomba, Managing Director, Eco Rent a Car.
For taxi aggregator ixigo, which already has tie-ups with 15 cab aggregators, including Ola, MYF means more business.
“There is a lot of inventory lying offline and this will help bring it online. We will be leveraging this technology to bring small fleet owners on to our search platform. Further, MYF will help us reduce our time to market,” said Aloke Bajpai, Co-Founder and CEO, ixigo.
MYF will provide booking management, fleet management, corporate management, billing and accounting features to customers and drivers.
This comes even as a global alliance between Ola, Didi, Lyft and GrabTaxi has been formed to take on Uber. The alliance, with joint partner products rolling out in the first quarter of 2016, will enable users to hire cars across India, China, South-East Asia and the US.