Amidst competition between the home-grown cab-hailing company, Ola, and San Francisco based company Uber to garner the largest share of the Indian market, a new entity has launched in Mumbai, as per media reports.
S3 Cab, promoted by Mumbai-based veteran logistics player Bharat Freight Group, has already roped in 700 drivers from Ola and Uber prior to its launch this week. The company aims to hire over 4,000 cab drivers over the next two months.
This comes right after Mumbai and Delhi saw large-scale protests by drivers affiliated to Ola and Uber against reduced income incentives. A large number of these drivers had availed of car loans and claimed impending defaults prompted them to surrender their vehicles to banks.
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S3 Cab has the advantage of full support from as many as 10 transports and cab unions in the city.
Innovative features of S3 Cab
- The company’s USP lies in its financial arrangement with drivers.
“Drivers will not be charged for the first Rs 1,800 collection every day and collections above this will be charged only at 10 percent, which is just half of what Uber and Ola charge their drivers,”
Sohel Kazani, director of Sahayadri Smart Safe (S3) Pvt. Ltd. said.
The company won’t take any cut from the drivers till they cross a certain earning threshold: Rs1,500 a day for mini cabs and Rs2,000 for SUVs.
- The startup will not have any surge pricing or pooling facility.
- The startup also plans to launch an app for small delivery trucks as a delivery facility for e-commerce retailers.
- The company also offers many user-friendly features, including the option of selecting your driver who speaks the language you do and are comfortable with. This feature is known as the “Customise Ride” option
- The app offers several features that focus on safety and convenience. It is fitted with an SOS button which when pressed, sends pictures from the user’s phone every five seconds to a control room, along with a 30-second audio recording. Based on the data received, an emergency team will be dispatched to the location immediately.
No comment has been received from Ola or Uber as of now. Last month, Ola announced Mission Electric, a programme to launch 10,000 electric vehicles, most of them three-wheelers, over the next 12 months.
The move came a month after the Bengaluru-based firm roped in Anand Shah, the former executive at German premium carmaker BMW, to head its electric vehicles programme.
Mission Electric stems from India’s first electric-vehicle pilot project in Nagpur launched less than a year ago.
Uber COO, Barney Harford had clarified that Uber is to stay in India and will increase its investments in the country to compete with arch-rival Ola, during his visit to the country in April.
He said the Indian market has such a huge potential that the company won’t settle for minority stakes in deals here.
Harford’s comments come in the wake of talks of a merger of its India unit with homegrown rival Ola.
While the two cab-hailing companies continue to step up the strategies to become number one, we sit back to see how S3 Cab fares in this environment.
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