KOCHI:The story is set in a populated residential area in Kochi. It was raining heavily. A woman in her thirties walks up to the street to hail a cab or auto rickshaw, whichever comes first. The rickshaw stand on the street sports a deserted look. And, not another vehicle is in sight. Taking a temporary respite at a waiting shed, she logs on to an online cab company app. The screen reads out some impossibly exorbitant rate for a ride to a location that is less than five minutes away, thanks to the rain. She, being sensible about her money, checks another app serving the same purpose. It also showed the same results. Taking her chances, she finally books an expensive ride to her office.
To make sure the customers aren’t cornered to make such choices, a group of software professionals in the city have launched an online cab hailing service company - taSki. “For the past two years, we have been in the process of developing the app,” says Jijo Cherian, CEO of taSki Technologies. The beta launch of the company was held in April 2016.The company targets some niche areas in the city. However, taSki runs between the city limits from Aroor to Angamaly.
Inspired from the famous punchline (‘Poyi taski viliyeda’) from Malayalam film ‘Thenmavin Kombath’, the company focuses on service. “Because the company is service-oriented, we have capitalised the ‘s’ in the name for ‘service’,” says Jijo.
Unlike the other players in the field, taSki has eliminated all sorts of surge pricing. “The customers need not pay an exorbitant amount of money when there is a change in weather or during peak hours,” Jijo says. Also, keeping the drivers’ convenience in mind, the company only charges a 10 per cent commission rate from its drivers. “Other companies take 25 to 30 per cent commission from their drivers. However, in our company, there is big take-home for the drivers. This itself is an incentive to them,” he says.
Before being hired, the drivers have to undergo stringent verifications and orientation programmes. “We have more than 600 drivers,” the CEO says. “Along with customer satisfaction, we also ensure the welfare of our drivers.”
Based in Kochi, taSki has not caught the competition of other online cab hailing services. “We are a small player just reaching out in Kochi,” says Jijo. Once it takes root in the city, the company is planning to spread its wings to other cities in the country as well.