For Sayyed Aziz, a garment manufacturer based in Mahim, operating a cab business was just one among several other business initiatives he could think of. Starting from September 2015, Aziz now has a fleet of at least 16 cabs that operate within the city.
“What started with one cab and as a part-time business, has almost become my full-time job. With sixteen cabs and a turnover of up to 20 lakhs in a month, I am a full-fledged entrepreneur now,” Aziz said. Aziz is one among thousands of cab operators, operating their cab fleet by renting them to various cab aggregators in the city. The operators purchase cabs by taking loans from banks, rent them out to various cab aggregators, and later, earn commissions.
“Earlier, we would do it for call centres or corporate companies, needing vehicles to ferry employees. However, with increase in commuter dependence on cab aggregators like Ola and Uber, the importance of our service has increased. Thus, making income and accessing loans, have been facilitated,” said Anil Shinde who operates five cabs from Seawoods and offers his fleet to Ola.
Ola and Uber believe this helps them increase their fleet. To make the whole process easier, aggregators have come up with mobile applications.
“Through the mobile app, we manoeuvre activities of cabs and cab drivers from home. Moreover, figuring out the current balance, total number of rides completed and earnings, with break up in cash and online payments, has also been simplified,” said Rasika Shinde who helps her husband Anil in operating cabs in the city.
Operators believe technology has made managing their task easy. “We are able to monitor log-in details, daily earnings and performance, all from a single window in real time. Because of this, surveillance on our cabs and giving more time to other activities becomes simpler,” added Shinde.
“Entrepreneurs are key to our mission of building mobility for a billion Indians. Tens of thousands of driver-partners who joined us with a single car have grown with us to become operators, owning more cars over the years,” said Sumit Tuteja, Senior Director, Ola.
What makes operators happy, is the hope of expanding their business and making steep profit out of it. “ With smartphones and the growth in technology, our business has been simplified. Today, I can think of bringing ten more cabs with the confidence that these would make profit for me,” Aziz said.