In conversation with Amit Dhall, Co-Founder, CabBazar.com
Ever since the introduction of Meru Cabs, Ola, Uber and more of such brands in respective local markets, Indians are taking more and more short distance cab trips within the City and outside the City too for reasons of business and leisure.
In such a fiercely competitive market, CabBazar caters to the customer requirements by leading the segment of providing outstation taxi services in India. In this conversation with Amit Dhall, Co-Founder, CabBazar, we try to gain further insights into the business model, the competitive scenario and the key differentiation.
Q. What is your business model?
Amit Dhall: CabBazar’s business model is an aggregator model creating a win-win for travelers, taxi providers and CabBazar itself. Travelers get a one stop place to hire a verified taxi at best price and best quality of Service. Taxi providers get consistent business irrespective of season. CabBazar provides the technology platform and overall support and earns through small commission but high volumes.
Q. In how many cities do you currently operate? What is the size of the fleet that you are currently managing?
Amit Dhall: We have presence in all major cities across India and are very active in Delhi-NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Chandigarh, all major tourist places and business routes of Himachal, Uttrakhand, UP, Haryana, Punjab, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Goa. We are actively expanding our reach to all popular tourist and business routes across India, after which we will target all tier 2 cities.
We are currently managing the fleet of 3500 cars.
Q. How are Cab owners reacting to this? Can you share any success story of any partner Cab Owner in India?
Amit Dhall: Cab owners are pretty happy as they get the business easily through a very simple and easy to use mobile app. Moreover, there is no credit or any significant security deposit required. They get their payments instantly.
The are two type of cab owners associated with us, one type are individual drivers and others are taxi providing agencies. For individual drivers, CabBazar has helped multi fold as they have very limited contacts and almost zero marketing budget to get the business. Taxi providing agencies although do their own marketing as well but very limited, so the major source of business for them too are the online aggregator platforms like CabBazar.
Q. What is the background of the Founders of the CabBazar business?
Amit Dhall: Our cofounding team consists of a perfect mix of technical (Mr. Dinesh Sharma – die hard techie and Mr. DeepanshuRustagi – mobility champ), business & marketing (Mr. Rishabh Gupta – the business mind) and overall execution (Mr. Amit Dhall). Our mentor is highly experienced Agile and Lean coach (Mr. Deepak Sharma).
Q. Can you provide more details on the Outstation Cab hiring business, market in India? How do you see the eco-system evolving?
Amit Dhall: Indian market has fastest growing number of technology & mobility users. As per Ministry of Tourism 2016 statistics, number of foreign tourist arrivals in India is 8.8 million growing annually at 9.7% and number of domestic tourist visits is 1613 million growing annually by 12.7%. (http://tourism.gov.in/sites/default/files/Other/english%20India%20Torurism%20Statics%20020917.pdf). According to this 2018 will have 10.5 million foreign and 2048 million domestic tourists. These are potential travelers from tourism alone. There are equally big number of business and other travelers. So, the market size for outstation taxi business seems quite promising and growing.
Outstation taxi market in India is far bigger than the local taxi market segment and is definitely a big opportunity. There are a number of companies operating in this space to organize the sector but that covers less than 10% of the market and rest is still unorganized. With the market size of over 2 billion travelers and over 2 million taxis (https://www.statista.com/statistics/665327/number-of-registered-taxis-india-by-states/), we see a very good business opportunity through our technology platform to connect them.
Q. What is CabBazar trying to do different in this segment to retain its leadership position?
Amit Dhall: CabBazar’s strength is its highly scalable model having minimal operational cost and a continuously growing Partner base.
The technical platform takes care that human intervention is only required for support in some special cases otherwise system works on its own, reducing the operation cost to a large extent which makes us very scalable.
Our policies for Partners encourage more and more taxi providers to partner with us. This does not mean freebies, we don’t believe freebies but at the same time we do not hold payments of partners for any period reconciliation, which partners find very fare and useful.
With help of our reliable partners, we are able to provide the best service to customers at very affordable prices.
Q. Which are the other markets / growth plan you are currently eyeing at?
Amit Dhall: We are currently focusing on expanding our reach to all T1 / T2 / T3 cities across India. We are also working towards entering in B2B space through corporate contacts for taxi services. Our future growth plans include extending services for our B2C customers to provide hotels as well. We may look for already established partners in that space to grow together.
Q. What has been the funding round(s) till now? And how much funding are you currently planning for?
Amit Dhall: CabBazar has managed to be in positive net profit since last 3 months with more than Rs. 1 Cr. revenue in 3 quarters of current financial year, without taking outside funding. So, the model is proven now. Although it can sail through on its own but that would be at slow pace. To scale up fast and be the most familiar name for outstation taxi all across India, we may raise funding of Rs. 2 Cr.
Q. Tell us more about your and your team’s journey at the India Accelerator over these 6-8 months. How has it been special? What are the learnings you had from Ashish Bhatia, Mona Singh and the other mentors in this duration.
Amit Dhall: We are associated with India Accelerator almost since the inception of CabBazar. It has been a very exciting journey, moving towards the target step by step with 100% focus and team work. We have learnt to plan for the business well in advance from mentors at India Accelerator, considering all aspects starting from the need evaluation, going Lean, target market identification, plan to focus first on early adaptors, branding, understanding what financial numbers indicate, collaborating with team and outside, for e.g. with other startups in India Accelerator. In summary, it was a great guided journey.
Q. How do you think the India Accelerator mentorship program has helped you? What’s your advice to the many StartUps who are looking for mentorship, guidance and industry-connects at this stage of growth.
Amit Dhall: India Accelerator mentorship program has helped us in developing the understanding of how to run the business, what all things we need to take care of which otherwise get easily skipped out of the focus but are mandatory for a business to be successful through the correct data-driven decision making. As I told it helped throughout the journey from need evaluation till marketing and sustaining the business.
My advice to fellow StartUps would be that we generally have a good idea and enthusiasm towards our business but we lack the knowledge of various business aspects which this mentorship can help us with and is very necessary for the success of the business. So, we should take full advantage of it.