If you are planning a trip around cities, and don’t know where to look for a trust worthy cab service, try Ezytaxi.com. No, they do not have their own fleet of cabs but they certainly have the pool of information, and the right guidance that will help you to choose the right service that suits your need.
The website launched by Amit Srivastava, an MBA from Symbiosis (SIBM) and expert in managing multimillion USD businesses for 4 years before starting his own venture, says the concept of Ezytaxi came from his own personal experience. “I love travelling by road from one city to other. While I was living out of India for 5 yrs, on all my India trips I was hiring taxis from Delhi to Agra, Delhi To Haridwar, Mumbai to Goa, Bangalore to Tirupati, Hyderabad to Sri Salem, Delhi to Leh etc. As opposed to Intra-city services (Merucabs & Easycabs), Inter-city Taxi booking was a very cumbersome process, websites were almost never updated, and more often than not you had to call 3 numbers before you spoke to the right person. Different websites had different rates/km and kms/ day. Comparing to two operators was very difficult,” he adds.
Even after going through all the negotiation, and cracking the best price he was never really sure, what he was getting into and what were the hidden costs. He even had hygienically bad experiences where the cabs supplied were either old or dirty.
One day he heard his friends’ brother negotiating an Innova trip around the city at 9Rs/Km, when he realized that he had been fooled all these days being charged a humongous extra. This is the point that left him thinking where the large margin between customers & operators going was, and what he could do to change the scenario. He realised that the small taxi guys had no direct way to reach customers. That’s where the seed of Ezytaxi came from. Once the potential of Ezytaxi was established he did an on-field survey in cities of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Mumbai & Pune, and spoke to a lot of taxi operators. Amit even spent 2 days in the parking area of the Taj Mahal to find out, how taxis were booked, booking multiple taxis, multiple times on multiple routes to understand typical customer experiences.
And in his entire struggle to get the website right he was helped and supported by his old time friend Bipasha Bhattacharya, a Masters from Lady Sriram College. She is part time into the venture and manages communication within and outside the organisation, at the same time training the drivers on behaviour, etiquettes’ and other important factors that provide good customer service. Apart from the founders, the team also comprises of local experts who have been part of the Taxi trade for more than 10 years.
What started as an idea in the last quarter of 2009-2010, came into existence in May last year and has seen two version changes since then. Initially launched as an information providing and comparison website Ezytaxi now has a dozen or so small car operators who now drive exclusively for them.
Let’s take a look at how the website works and issues it tries to address. According to Ezytaxi, a customer makes an average of 6-7 phone calls and visits to 5-6 websites to decide and book a taxi, which is tedious and time consuming. Also a risk is always involved. You do not know what you are getting into and you are in no position to initiate an argument with the operator when your bags are packed and clock is running.
So Ezytaxi aims to standardize the offering across multiple operators, making it comparable, and allowing customer to book taxi, based on past rating and prices offered by the operator. It works like this – Go to the website, choose your too-fro destination, date of travel and type of car you want. Then choose whether you want to book a round trip or a one-way journey and click submit. Once done, the website will show searched results for you wherein you can compare different offers from taxi services and select an offer that matches your needs. Then click the booking link to precede your booking. Thereafter enter your credentials and booking details (pickup address, drop address, mobile number etc) and pay a booking advance that secures your booking. That’s it! Your cab is booked and you will get a call from the operator in an hours’ time confirming your booking. And in case your route option is not listed you can go and request a quote. Simple isn’t it?
How Ezytaxi works?
Ezytaxi is doing well and getting approximately 180 – 200 visits a day now, generating 25-40 leads per day. And conversion rates are about 10 per cent to 35 per cent per day. The going is tough but it is getting better by the day.
Here is a QnA with Amit Srivastava:
Q – Amit how do you choose taxi operators or list them. How do you rate their credibility?
A – Well, we follow stringent procedures and select only those operators who have a history of good work behind them.
We first select the route we want to operate on. After selecting the route we research the operators on that route and select top 3 based on feedback through trade(mostly through referral speaking to taxi driver). Then we approach the operators – understand the fleet size, age of fleet (we avoid more than 3 year old taxis), utilisation, and explain the Ezytaxi concept to them. The operators who agree to work with us are given 5 leads to service, and a feedback is taken from the customers. Once approved the operator is given a mechanism to communicate with us to upload their offers and whenever a booking is made through the offers uploaded it goes to that specific operator and they need to service them.
Q – On what factors do you compare different taxi services?
A – For our customers on our website we compare services on the parameters of
- Car Brand
- Car Age (make year)
- Operator rating
- Image of car (coming soon)
A. These services are offered by taxi companies who want to go online, where they sell services of their own cabs – more like website for a company. We exclusively focus on inter-city services, no airport drops, no marriage rentals and no local visits. We work with multiple operators and are Pan-India player allowing comparison and choice to customers. From our experience we know that looking at the sites you mentioned, customer will visit 5 more sites, before he even picks up the phone and calls them
Q – Which cities are you servicing as of now? What are the future plans?
A. We are currently serving taxis mostly in Northern India including cities of Delhi-NCR, Jaipur, Ajmer, Mussorie, Haridwar etc. Apart from these we are in Mumbai and Chennai too! We will be in Goa, Bangalore and Pune within a fortnight. Our future plans include presence on all inter-city routes (more than 200kms) where more than 100 taxis are booked per day.
Q – How do you plan to expand the website? What features do you plan to introduce?
A. We believe that the Ezytaxi as a product needs to stabilise in the current form. It should become the first port call for anyone looking at inter-city taxi in India. While there is a lot of scope to add features in the current version of Ezytaxi, we would like talk about them, when we launch them. However, to give you a glimpse we will be launching local travel and shared taxi services soon.
Q – What are your revenue models?
A. We have multiple revenue streams which include booking fee from taxi operators on every booking, In-taxi branding & promotions, and tie –up with highway retailers and tourist town shops.
Well, then sit back, book and take a trip with Ezytaxi and let us know your experience.
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