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Taxi Aggregators to Form Association Following Uber Case

Taxi aggregators, who are under intense regulatory glare following Uber rape case are planning to form an association to better represent themselves.

Published: 08th February 2015 11:50 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th February 2015 11:50 PM   |  A+A-

Uber-AP

MUMBAI: Taxi aggregators, who are under intense regulatory glare following the alleged rape of an Uber rider in Delhi last December, are planning to form an association to better represent themselves before various governments.

"We are in touch with each other and thinking of forming an association so that there is uniformity in our representations to the governments.

"Following the ban on many taxi aggregators after the Uber incident, we have been in touch informally and nothing has been finalised as yet, though we feel the need for an association of sort," TaxiforSure founder and director Aprameya Radhakrishna told PTI here.

What we are looking for is a unified national body to judge the industry and not the regional RTOs, he added.

Radhakrishna, however, denied allegations that services being offered by companies like his are less safe for a rider.

"In fact, there is a complete mapping of the travel records and the cab and cabie's details with our services. Which cab operator offers such a track of records? So the allegation that we are not safe is not based on facts," Radhakrishna said.

He also claimed that his company is fully compliant with all the regulations required to ply in different states and is also working to improve the consumer safety aspect because we are here for the long run.

He also said the company, having successfully roped in autowallahs and Nano cars in Bangalore recently, is set to do an encore of the same in the megapolis shortly.

"We will soon be aggregating the autowallahs and also the Nanos which are being run as taxis in Mumbai. The decision follows the humungous response we have received in Bangalore with these two modes of transport, primarily due to cheaper riding cost than normal cabs," Radhakrishna said.

The company had introduced Tata Motors' Nano as part of its fleet in Bangalore last December and soon it added autos. As of now, there are 100 Nanos registered but the demand is much higher.

He also denied rumours that TFS is up for sale, saying over the next five months, their services will be available in 100 cities, wherein the focus will be on small towns.

Since the launch in June 2011 in a small Bangalore roof-top bungalow, along with Raghunandan G, who is co-founder and chief executive, TFS today makes 40,000 rides a day across 47-odd cities, Radhakrishna said.

TFS is in talks with private equity firms to raise USD 60-80 million, having already raised USD 30 million last August from Accel Partners and USD 10 million in April.

Apart from Accel, Bessemer Venture Partners and Helion Venture Partners are among its other investors. Like its counterparts, TFS too does not own any cars but has about 22,000 operators, from whom they charge 10 per cent of the fare.

Radhakrishna said the company employees 1,500 people, mostly in the call centre side, but with focus on app-based booking, the number of call centre people will come down.

Already, 75 per cent of the booking is done by apps only, he added.

According to the filings with the RoC, TFS has widened its losses. Serendipity Infolabs, its holding company, reported a loss of Rs 17 crore for FY14 as against a profit of Rs 3 crore in FY13.

Most companies operating in this sector are in the red as the market is still evolving.

As per industry estimates, the taxi service market comprises 6 lakh cabs with annual revenue of about Rs 11,000 crore and is growing at 20 per cent. PTI

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