Rastey cab has launched its cab-hailing service in 120 cities in India with a fleet of 15,000 cabs, the company said in a statement. The Delhi-headquartered cab service has been operational since 2013, but it had been working exclusively in the corporate space.
The company said that it provides end-to-end solutions to its passenger with its system which has technologies like machine learning and AI in place. “It has an automated assigning, monitoring, billing, alerts, notifications, tracking, threat management and many more, ” the company said in a statement. Details about how AI and machine learning will be used are extremely vague at the moment, but these buzzwords are the toast of the town.
Rastey will face stiff competition from the two goliaths in this space Ola and Uber. But the one advantage that Rastey will have is that Ola serves 106 cities currently and that number includes cities in Australia. Uber is only operational in 30 cities in India, a third of the total number of cities Rastey plans to operate in. But in major cities, where all three operators will overlap Rastey will have a stiff challenge to acquire customers.
In his recent trip to India, Uber’s COO Barney Harford, said that the company will be doubling its investment in India and will infuse in funds of an undisclosed amount to expand its products, partnerships and employee base in the country. And, that Uber has clear strengths in the Indian market and that it see a huge potential in the market. Uber is apparently not interested in doing any minority deals going forward as its commitment to the Indian market is immense. Uber, started operations in Bangalore in August 2013, had a market share of less than 1-2% in 2013-14, which increased to 9-10% in the year 2014-15. Uber maintained the second position from March 2015 onwards.
Ola, which entered the market in early 2011, and had a market share of only 5-6% in the year 2012-13. The share increased to 61-62% in the year 2015-16 (till September 2015), taking the lead in September 2014. Ola’s growth in January 2015 was 75-76%, as compared to 0-1% in June 2012.
Apart from Ola and Uber neck-to-neck race, some prominent businesses are set to enter the space. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio is expected to roll out an app-based taxi service this year, for which it ordered some 600 cars to kick start the service. The service is likely to be called Reliance Jio Cabs.
Vehicle manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd is also set to foray into ride-hailing and cab aggregation business, as intends to make urban electric taxis, and plans to invest in the ride-sharing space.
Besides that, low incentives is now a prevailing problem for drivers partnered with these cabs. The drives have been demanding better incentive structures as their earnings have started falling. The drivers say that they are not able to make their ends meet or pay EMIs for their car loans. Most drivers are dependent on surge pricing for making their ends meet. This has led to a number of other taxi players to enter the market which promise offer better incentives.
Online motorbike taxi company Baxi said that it will enter cab aggregation for which it partnered with various taxi unions in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru. Autorickshaw aggregator Jugnoo said recently that it has plans to enter into cab aggregation services to diversify its business. Chaalak Shakti, a cab union in Delhi launched its own taxi-hailing app in May this year, called SEWA to counter Ola and Uber.