MARKING A first for any government-owned company, the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), a PSU under the Ministry of Power, has moved from local taxi operators to Ola Corporate for all official trips of employees barring the top management.
The move, aimed at reducing financial costs and enhancing operational efficiency, is expected to be replicated by other power sector PSUs, such as National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) Limited.
“Since mid-April 2017, we have incorporated the services of Ola Cab as an additional travelling solution for official assignments on a requirement basis. All officers in the rank of General Manager and below have started using Ola Corporate now. Officials above the rank of General Manager will keep using cars provided by the government,” said a senior PGCIL official.
Currently, PGCIL has hired the services of Ola Corporate for officials working in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). Based on the experience, the company is likely to extend the move to other major cities, said a senior official, adding that other PSUs under the ministry, such as NTPC and REC, have been nudged to follow suit.
Ola Cabs, NTPC and REC did not respond to queries from The Indian Express seeking official comment. The PGCIL official said that the PSU had to earlier hire taxis from local operators through a “cumbersome” tendering process, which involved “various complexities”.
“The taxi firm would always have to keep the cars on standby for our company’s usage and the fare calculation at the end of the trip remained under suspicion at times. Services of Ola Cab is application-based and cabs can be booked conveniently through the mobile application from anywhere, anytime. Its app-based travelling solutions and point-to-point services are the main benefits,” said the official.
Various ministries and PSUs under the central government usually issue tenders to hire taxi services based on their requirements. The cars and drivers hired through such a process have to be available with the PSU anytime during the day.
“Ola Cabs are being booked by employees of Power Grid through the Ola app installed in their mobiles. We have not faced any problem of surge pricing till date. There are no specific cars provided for Power Grid. Ola Corporate sends cars as per availability,” said the PGCIL official.
Asked about the monthly savings that the PGCIL was expecting from this measure, the official said it was too early to analyse the numbers as they had started using Ola’s services just two months ago.