National

VowCabs: an aggregator for tier-2 centres

AJ Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on November 25, 2015

Planning a trip from a tier-2 city to the nearest town and want to hire a cab? And you end up paying to-and-fro charges to the cab operator for that one-way trip?

Imagine a situation where you want to book a cab urgently and your mobile battery is down, making it difficult for you to book on an app-only platform. You can approach the nearest ‘VowCabs’ driver so that he will take the booking and drive for you.

Tech platform

A Mangaluru-based start-up, Innate Enterprises Pvt Ltd, is planning to tackle such situations for travellers in tier-two centres of the country through its technology platform – Vow.

Ravi Bora, co-founder and CEO of Innate Enterprises Pvt Ltd, told Business Line that the company works with cab operators and provides them the technology platform to book the ride for customers.

The customers can book the cab using mobile apps or through the call centre. They can even hail the cab where the driver will take the booking for them. They can track their rides in real-time and get printed receipts.

He said ‘Vow’ provides an even playing field for traditional operators to compete with the app-only aggregators.

Shankar Bharadwaj, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of the company, said the traditional cab operators have a set of their own customers, and Vow’s technology platform will help them streamline the operations.

Unlike in the app-only aggregators, it will not affect the customer base of the traditional cab operators, he said.

To-and-fro fare

Asked if the traditional cab operator, who is getting to-and-fro fare for a one-way trip, will agree for a one-way fare under ‘VowCabs’ service, Pratyush Kumar, Chief Strategy Officer of the company, said it will benefit the cab operator.

“If you don’t disrupt the ecosystem or don’t challenge, everything will remain the same,” he said, adding that the cab operator doing limited outstation trips now would get trips with this service.

Programme launch

Bora said the start-up has made the beta launch of the platform. The services will be launched in Mangaluru, Kukke Subrahmanya (a temple town in Dakshina Kannada district), Kodagu district, and Manipal and Udupi in a couple of days.

The company is planning to launch its services in centres such as Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Agra and Allahabad in January.

The start-up, which has entered into agreements with around 25 operators in Mangaluru, Udupi and Kodagu districts, is planning to bring around 100 operators onto the platform by December 15, he said.

The start-up, which is incubated in the Science and Technology Entrepreneurs’ Park of National Institute of Technology Karnataka, has 17 members, he added.

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Published on November 25, 2015
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