Name : Amit Grover.
Info.: He is Co-Founder at AHA Taxis, AHA Taxis offers outstation taxi booking for one way fares, return trips and multi-city tours. They are a team of IIT-IIM co-founders with an experience at diverse companies like Myntra, Infosys, Asian Paints, Onida, Mumbai Angels. Amit Grover, earlier ran Nurture Talent Academy for 5 years, now handling marketing and operation at AHA and his partner Vikas Taneja has been a technology innovator for more than 15 years, now heading technology and strategy function at AHA. They used to play cricket together during IIT days, and know each other ever since.
Q1. What you’re currently doing ?
For last few months, we did consumer research, met lots of drivers and travel agents, conceptualized and designed the entire system and hired a team of developers. We have built website, mobile application and back end application for consumers and aggregated taxi drivers to offer best service to customers booking their taxi travel on AHAtaxis.com. We are currently doing sales and marketing to reach out to a vast majority of travelers, and increase awareness of our brand. We are also working with several partners for co-promotions and this will add long term value to the whole ecosystem.
Q2. Tell us about AHA TAXIS.
AHA Taxis was born as an idea few months back, when we realized road travel is nearly 5 times bigger than train travel, still it has issues related to availability, affordability and customer service. If you go to any offline taxi driver, he will charge you double fare even for one way trips, as he has a risk of not getting return customer. We are trying to offer one way fares, which are fair for customers, and increase business for taxi drivers at the same time.
Q3. How you got an idea to start such a cool service?
It was last year that I had booked a train ticket for Delhi-Bhopal-Delhi trip and it was having waitlisted status. Delhi to Bhopal ticket got confirmed at the last moment, while Bhopal to Delhi ticket was cancelled at the last moment. It was a panic moment for me, my wife and 4 year old kid. I searched for options using google and just dial but all drivers asked for double charges. That time the idea of online booking for intercity taxi came to our mind, and as kept going deeper, we found it was a big pain for customers in India and had no parallel anywhere in other countries. So we decided to solve this problem and AHA Taxis was born.
Q4. Why AHA TAXIS is introduced , when we have OLA Cabs , TABCAB , Uber and others in market ?
OLA Cabs does not offer outstation or intercity taxi. Uber does not offer this service across the world, though they recently started a limited period Mumbai Pune service. They are happily engaged in solving the local travel business, which is also a large problem to solve. But there are differences between local and outstation travel, including volume, value, ticket size, duration of travel, passengers per vehicle etc. Hence, it requires a different kind of team, process, software, marketing to solve the intercity travel problem.
Q5. What differs “AHA Taxis” from OLA Cabs , TABCAB , Uber and others ?
AHA Taxis is complimentary to OLA Cabs and other players. A part of our supply base, that is, the drivers and taxis, are common. Same with a part of our customers. However, there are many other differences in our approach to the market and problem we are solving. And we are just starting, so we have to try harder to make a place in customers’ heart.
Q6. I’ve researched and found that you don’t serve in Southern part of our country , why ?
We wanted to first get the process right, before going for expansion to other parts of the country. Currently, we are in middle of fund raising, so once we complete that, we will start with the process of opening up newer routes on our platform.
Q7. I’ve also found that you provide the cheapest travel . How you managed that ?
The biggest determinant of our cost is the taxi drivers attached to our system. We have cultivated our relationships with them on a personal basis, so they trust us and agree to work with us on fair rates. Our other advantage is using online marketing, understanding technology and using our frugal jugaads to keep operations cost low. We have deliberately kept out any frills from the website to improve performance. We want to be like Indigo Airlines, not Kingfisher Airlines.
As we grow, we will expand this network and keep our costs low by using technology and build a strong and satisfied customer base, which will further enable us serve more people at lowest costs. This will definitely be challenging, but we are geared towards this.
Q8. How many awesome people are behind AHA TAXIS ?
We are a team of 7 people, and just hired 10 interns who will be with us during the summer season. As we grow, we will hire more people at all levels.
Q9. How your Service helps Society ?
I think if we are able to give travel choice to customers at half the current costs, it will bring a huge boom in the overall economy. People will save more, which they can then spend on their essentials or as they wish. For example, we just served 2 students who had to travel for their internship out of Delhi to Indian Oil in Panipat, and they were happy with the options we gave them. I am sure they will spend their savings on their studies.
Q10. What is your ultimate Goal ?
Our ultimate goal is to give freedom of choice to customers who wish to travel out of the city for any purpose – be it for business trip, holiday or honeymoon, outing with friends, giving exams, attending a marriage or death ceremony. We do not want them to worry what will be the rates, will the driver be on time, will it be safe and reliable etc. We just want them to forget about any travel hassle. Just leave home and reach your destination, in most affordable and timely manner.
Q11. How much time it took you to reach this level ?
We have taken about 4-5 months to reach to this level, and started getting an order a day. We are growing fast, and planning to add more routes. With increased investor interest in this sector, we are hopeful to attract funds to fuel our growth further.
Q12. What are your further plans , how you gonna expand AHA TAXIS ?
We are planning to expand to more hubs across India, and partner with travel agents, as well as other entities like restaurants, highway dhabas, tourist destinations for co-promotion. India is a large travel market, and one way fare is a big local problem, so we have no plans for foreign countries.