Vet appointments, trips to the groomers, play dates and visits to other cities. Pets need to be ferried to and from various places, and it’s a full-time job with very few takers. Pet Cab, a year-and-a-half old service in Bengaluru, offers to do the deed for you.
“People are so busy these days, they don’t have time to take their pet where it wants to go. There are people who don’t drive too. Regular cab drivers are not very comfortable having pets in their vehicles,” says Santosh Shekhar, the founder.
On what inspired him to go for a start up for pets, Shekhar says, “My cousin owns a kennel near Manyata Tech Park that I’ve often visited. Over time, the two of us began to notice that owners would bring their pets in expensive cars, sometimes a BMW, and the upholstery would get ruined. Some owners would get angry and even hit their dogs.” This is when he realised there was a need for this kind of a service.
A few days of research to find other companies that provide the same services showed none. Then Shekhar was ready to launch his new venture on January 2014. Today, Pet Cab has four cabs that cater to every corner of the city. He also owns two other companies that train and counsel students and corporate employees.
Pet Cab’s offers to pick, drop and even ferry pets to other cities, to new owners or kennels regardless of whether the owner can accompany them. “Our furthest out of town drop has been to Delhi,” says
Shekhar, who has partnered with another cab service for drops to other cities, which provides MUVs for these trips.
The firm’s four cabs have a partition between the front seats and the rest of the car. All the upholstery at the back has been removed, there’s a carrier to cater to smaller pets and a space for the owner if they wish to accompany their pets, while the rest of the rear part of the vehicles are for bigger pets.
So far, their clientele consists mostly of dogs. “We’ve had cats and parrots too. Once we ferried a calf,” says Shekhar.
The taxi service has introduced cashless transfers through pre-paid cards that pet owners can recharge and use. “The cards are based on NFC (near field communication) technology. People can top up the card with Rs 5,000 and they can avail services for up to Rs 6,000 with that first recharge,” he says. Available 24/7, Pet Cab services can also be booked on their website www.petcab.in.
Pet Cab also attends to pet emergencies and is considering launching pet ambulances. “An ambulance requires a siren, and setting one up requires the permission of local regulatory bodies. We’re also in talks with hospitals to set up exclusive partnerships for the service,” says Shekhar. The adoption wing of CUPA sends a lot of animals out for adoption through Pet Cabs, he adds.
Catering to Canines
Pet Cab has launched a second venture called K9food. “We deliver home-cooked food made by two people who have been specially trained. We coordinate with vets to customise it for pets whenever possible,” Shekhar says. “Not all pets can get used to the same food that we eat, which can cause digestion and not give them the right nutrition. A lot of people don’t have the time to cook for their pets every day.”
Their menu stocks vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, and is designed for dogs primarily.They cater to 15-20 clients every day. “The chicken rice dish is the most popular one on the menu right now,” he says. They cater to places in North Bangalore like RT Nagar, Malleshwaram and Ulsoor. “We have a few clients in Koramangala as well,” Shekhar says.
To order pet food, visit: www.petmasterchef.com