In the West we see the Redbus. But in India, taxi’s have mostly been a local city operation, or in recent times an airport operation in case of Meru and Easy cabs.
Online booking of cabs has also been in vogue for some time, but again at a local level.
But now there is another way, especially for those who are traveling to a different city, or for foreigners coming into the country who need a car for both inter-city and intra-city travel.
Taxiguide.in is a new taxi portal which has recently launched a pan India operation of providing online booking services for Taxis in India. Where it differs is that by tying up with multiple local taxi operators and franchisees across Indian cities, it not only gives the customer a chance to compare rates, get updates on taxi conditions and plan a trip much better, it creates a centralised platform and where there is market freedom for taxi operators to compete with each other for business. It also makes it easier for respective target audiences to search for a better solution in a much more planned and convenient manner.
Currently integrating taxi services across 75 cities in India, Taxiguide.in can make your taxi booking process as similar as you book airlines today from makemytrip or yatra.com.
Log -in, mention your on road itenerary, chose from a set of vendors, compares prices, take your pick, swipe your card and you are all set.
What if now, they integrated some social plug-ins and let people crowdsource their experience or recommend their vendor on the site directly. Sure it opens up the possibility of negative comments, but for a customer who experiences a bad service the honeymoon is already over. But those who have a pleasant experience can bring in truckloads more- thereby sending site traffic into a tizzy.
Also Taxiguide is just aggregating all the service partners in one platform. It does not have a taxi service of its own. So any negativity would not hurt them directly.
What if from a design and marketing perspective, Taxiguide.in met Tripadvisor and amalgamated into a site which was a little bit more social – little bit more web 2.0 in nature ?
What if participating vendors showcased their cars through snappy you-tube videos, making it easier for customers to choose?
What if you could vote or Like your preferred vendor?
Recently the company has launched an app under the Intel AppUp Challenge. What if now they can have dedicated Blackberry, iPhone and Android apps ? It can be a serious helpful app to have on one’s cellphone.
What if you brought the concept of GroupOn in this marketing mix ? ( Mind it I said concept of GroupOn, I did not say create coupons for Taxi Rides)
The opportunities are boundless. Waits to be seen what they actually end up doing.