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Dhruvam Thaker – A Smart Mover – Founder The SMART Taxi

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Dhruvam Thaker of The SMART Taxi. Founder of a Start Up focussed on Corporate Transportation from the famous town ‘Ahmedabad’.

We are delighted to interact with Dhruvam founder of The SMART Taxi. A unique start up offering premium travelling experience across 15 cities in India. They are working smartly to expand to other part of India soon.

A Brief Note on The SMART Taxi and its growth story?

On 5th September 2016, “The SMART Taxi” was founded by Mr. Dhruvam Thaker , with a single vision to offer ultimate cab riding experience to customers. In a single line, The SMART Taxi is a cab, offering hospitality like airways and features like well starred hotel, to achieve the highest customer delight. Mr.Dhruvam quit his job to start “The SMART Taxi”. He started with one cab, which he used to drive himself in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Today, “The SMART Taxi” has more than 350 cabs serving across 15 cities ( Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Indore, Jaipur, Bhopal, Udaipur, Jodhpur , Vadodara & Rajkot) in India.

Mr.Dhruvam decided to start an innovative, state-of the-art,customer centric cab service in India aimed to cater its corporate clients. He was a frequent cab user for corporate purposes.That is when he realised that customers working at different MNCs/corporations needed a cab service which provided a comfortable, hassle-free, on-time pick-up and drop-off services due to commitments to different clients, meetings, etc.

To start with, Mr.Dhruvam did market research in which he drafted a survey questionnaire with 10 questions related to his concept cab and started asking corporate users through random interactions to rate his concept on a scale of 1-5. Within 1 week, he got 163 surveys done and got an average rating of4.6/5 which was a harbinger for his dream venture. Building on this, he analysed his competitors, positioned his brand, decided the operation prices and commenced his venture.

After doing a thorough market survey and research, Mr. Dhruvam knew the area which he wanted to prioritise. He filtered the factors, knew his competitors, and identified the market he wanted to serve. Their key competitors included Avis, Car Club, Carz on Rent, Orix, Formula Group. Compared to them, he has an upper hand in cost, features, innovative ideas and their loyalty program.

Let’s discuss further…

Talk about your journey from a smart kid to a Mechanical engineer and then to a promising business man?

My academics were average and but was not able to clear my 12th science. Out of 10 I was failed in 9 subject. My 10th score was good based on which I decided to enroll for Diploma in Mechanical engineering and Got admission in one of the most reputed college of Gujarat. While studying diploma, I found myself more focused and sincere. Resulted into a securing a silver medal and got a job in MNC via a job placement.

My working tenure was full of learning and in fact the base for me to jump into Startup. Even today I still carry all the learning’s and apply in current business scenarios. Being part of someone’s vision and form a vision for yourself, has a vast difference. In my entire family, no one has ever done any business yet, and when I told my parents and wife that I wanted to do a car rental business , they all were shocked.

No one was ready to believe in the concept and my ability. But I was firm this time. I resigned from my job, without informing to any one at my home. My entire family came to know about this step when there were only 7 days left for my corporate tenure. They all told me to take back the resignation, but I was following my heart this time.

From An employee to an entrepreneur, you observe yourself more responsible and risk taker. That was a tough phase for me , but as drive was from inside this time, this transformation was bit easy for me.

Tell us everything about your company, what does it do? What were the challenges of setting up and scale? How did you overcome them?

Providing The Ultimate cab riding experience to our customer is our core aim. We offer a car rental service ( Popularly known as cab service) to corporate travelers along with features like ( water bottle, snacks, premium biscuits, chocolate , flower bouquet, Wi Fi, Amazon Kindle, Magazine, News paper and many more features , which user can choose and customize as per his/ her need.) We mainly offer 3 types of Service 1. Cab for Employee Transportation 2. Cab for City Roaming 3. Cab for Outstation.

A delightful experience in all the rides , being our core aim , all our processes of selecting the cab , training the drivers , dealing with customers and taking the feedback after ride completion, is designed in a way where we end up only the best to our customers in every mean.

Identifying Partner who could able to deliver consistent quality of service and adopt to change time to time was the first challenge for Us. But Thanks to 6 Step processes laid down for partner selection , which has helped us in filtering out only with The Best cab and The Best drivers.

On another side, finding customer whose primary focus is on service quality in price conscious market like India , was again challenge for us. Here word of mouth has helped us a lot. As customers who rode with us one time, have referred to us within all their inner circles and that’s how we have grown.

Note – The SMART Taxi is not on App yet.

What is the business model of The SMART Taxi and how does it work?

The SMART Taxi is a cab aggregation platform mainly targeting to Corporate Travelers. 87% of our total revenue comes from B2B channel, where in we get associated with corporate companies and provide services to their employees. B2C contributes 13% of our total revenue.

About our presence on ground, we get tieup with Fleet owners & individual cab owners and assign them the duties, which they execute in a way how we have trained them.

We mainly offer 3 types of Service 1. Cab for Employee Transportation 2. Cab for City Roaming 3. Cab for Outstation.

Our Vehicle offerings starts from Sedan ( Dezire , Etios, Xcent, Amaze etc) and MUV ( Innova, Innova Crysta , Ertiga etc) mainly. However against our customer request , we serve them with luxury & premium executive sedans too.

What is the one thing that sets you apart from your competitors and what’s your revenue model?

Generally People do consider as another platform like uber or ola, but we are different in every mean.Our key competitors included Avis, Car Club, Carz on Rent, Orix, Formula Group.

Compared to them, We have competitive prices offered with class leading features inside our cabs, innovative ideas and our loyalty program.

What were the challenges you faced during your journey and how did you overcome them?

Identifying Partner who could able to deliver consistent quality of service and adopt to change time to time was the first challenge for Us. But Thanks to 6 Step processes laid down for partner selection , which has helped us in filtering out only with The Best cab and The Best drivers.

On another side, finding customer whose primary focus is on service quality in price conscious market like India , was again challenge for us. Here word of mouth has helped us a lot. As customers who rode with us one time, have referred to us within all their inner circles and that’s how we have grown.

How are you funded Dhruvam?

No we are bootstrapped Venture, since inception. We run our operations from our revenues.

Who are your target audience / entities?

Any small medium or large scale companies , or Individuals , who believe in availing a qualitative and professional cab services is our key target audience

What is your Future plan? And how do you see your Startup in the coming years?

India’s No 1 Cab company in customer satisfaction by 2025 is our aim. In coming year, we believe in rapid expansion covering all major & tourist hubs in India. As a next phase, we have plan for global expansion too.

What are the special services provided by The SMART Taxi to its customer?

Along with the best maintained cab & cabby ( Driver) , Providing The Ultimate cab riding experience to our customer is our core aim. We offer a car rental service ( Popularly known as cab service) to corporate travelers along with features like ( water bottle, snacks, premium biscuits, chocolate , flower bouquet, Wi Fi, Amazon Kindle, Magazine, News paper and many more features , which user can choose and customize as per his/ her need.)

Things you look in a candidate who aspires to join your company?

Patience , Perseverance and Persistence.

Finally your inputs / suggestions for Budding Entrepreneurs?

Never Stop Trying, even if you fail multiple time. Just believe in your self.

 

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