The ever changing dynamics of the Cab service industry

It’s 9 am and I am getting late for a meeting. I need to reach a client’s office in the next one hour. I don’t have the patience or will to try and bargain with an auto rickshaw driver. I take out my mobile and check out a mobile app. It shows me cab availability in my area. After a couple of clicks, there is a cab approaching my house as I start wearing shoes. By the time I climb down the stairs, the driver is already waiting at my gate!

I have been staying in Bangalore for quite some time now. The above routine is almost a weekly affair for me. I have realized that cab service in Bangalore is very dynamic now! Not only Bangalore but almost across every city in India. Ola, Uber & TaxiForSure are leading the pack!

These 3 players have well established brand awareness. Their service can be easily availed by using their efficient mobile apps. But, here, I am not going to rate & review their products. I will talk about the amazing offers & promotions they have been  providing to the customers. Now, this is definitely a strategy to acquire customers. But, it has immensely improved the scenario of affordable cab service in Bangalore. Let’s have a look at their offers and promotions.

As a frequent Uber user, I was elated when their prices/km were slashed to Rs 7, 8 and 13 for UberGO, UberX & Uber Black respectively. Earlier, they used to provide 35% discount on the total fare. In addition, they have an amazing referral offer. If you refer Uber app to a friend, both will get a free ride! I have lost count of the number of Uber free rides availed by me.

Uber surely leads the affordable cab service industry when you also consider quality as a deciding factor.

uber Cabs cab services in Bangalore

The other leading cab services in Bangalore include Ola & Taxi For Sure. Ola has been promoting their Ola wallet in a tremendous fashion. At times, I have received 50% cash-back after using Ola Wallet. In addition, they constantly have promotions going on which can provide you discounts up-to 20%!

Taxi For Sure, on the other end, has been offering city rides at prices like Rs 49 & 99! Taxi for sure also introduced Tata Nano at a rate of Rs 10/KM. At a given time, each of these cab services in Bangalore have been cheaper than an auto for a given route!

In Bangalore, this affordable cab service really helps as the auto rickshaw scenario in Bangalore is growing from bad to worse. However, Ola has the feature of booking an auto through their app. This has really helped the Bangaloreans to deal with the auto rickshaw owners. An extra charge of Rs 10 is levied when you book an auto through Ola. But, a customer considers it better when compared to enduring hard negotiations with the Auto drivers.

Apart from these three cab services in Bangalore, there are many other players offering affordable cab service. Players like Meru, Mega Cabs & Easy Cabs have also made a mark by providing taxi service in bangalore.

As a marketing enthusiast, I also follow their TVC & branding campaigns very closely. Ola Cabs came up with the “Chalo Niklo” campaign which was an immediate hit. In addition, they bought media during a cricket series where “Chalo Niklo” was displayed at fall of each wicket. I, personally, found the positioning very interesting. As “Ola” brand was acquiring the customer’s top recall, Meru introduced their TVC campaign which was also met with a lot of appreciation.

These cab companies have been providing exciting offers & promotions. The reason behind this is the current phase of the cab industry which is “Customer Acquisition”.  In this rat race of competitive prices and cut-throat tactics, the customer is winning right now. But, the companies providing affordable cab services are losing money. The acquisition of TFS by Ola was a great example of how the market had to be consolidated because it did not have the capability to keep all the cab services happy.

Later, these cab services will try to make revenue. The cab services scenario will take an interesting turn and it would be interesting to see a customer’s reaction. I wonder how long would this “lesser than an auto” strategy prevail. But as of now, I am a happy customer! 🙂