As late as 2006, the point-to-point taxi market in India’s big metropolitan cities was completely unorganized. It was served either by unorganized, inconsistent and somewhat expensive private operators or by state government controlled pre-paid taxis offering a standardized but low quality service. Today, 15,000 plus professionalized air-conditioned cabs are available to customers in 6 big cities in a largely reliable, convenient and affordable manner. These services are fast spreading to other cities and the sector is seeing an active interest from new entrants and financial investors alike. Despite the glitches in the model, the underlying value of this service is undeniable. New models are emerging with innovations on cost and technology in a bid to make these services rapidly accessible to more and more customers.
How has this change come about? What was special about that year 2006 that the market started opening up? Who are the players that identified this opportunity and tapped into it early on? What made them enter this space? What is the role and incentive of key stakeholders in this model – the operators, the customers and, the regulators? What are the challenges this model faces? What are the new opportunities and trends that will shape the trajectory of this space?
We look at these issues and more in the first of its kind case study on the Indian Radio Cab Market.