This constant problem faced by travellers, both on business and luxury, triggered the genesis of taxiGUIDE.in, an online car rental booking service across 75 cities in India. Addressing almost all customer pain points, taxiGUIDE.in has made it easy for travellers to book car-rental services across multiple cities in India with a four hour lead time. The success tasted so far has been due to the hard work of the founding fathers, a team of first-generation entrepreneurs:
• Ashok Ananthakrishnan: BE (Mech), PGDBA (Finance and IT) and CFA with over 11 years experience in Management Consulting and Corporate Banking.
• Subash Bidare: PGDBA from IFCAI with over 12 years’ experience in Management Consulting.
• Shashibushan Venkatasubbaiah: BE (Instrumentation) and MS (Info Sciences) with over 14 years of experience at big tech companies. Avid trekkers and keen travellers themselves, with their car rental aggregator, they have enabled hassle-free booking and short notice service for a customer. Let’s learn more about this venture by talking to them.
What was the motive behind starting your business?
The motive was to solve a nagging pain point and instead of complaining about it day in and day out, do something creative and eke out a solution.
What has been the key to your business’s success?
It was solving the customer pain point. Car rental services have been the last unsolved piece in the travel segment. There are online travel agencies who brought the convenience of booking airline and hotels online. Through IRCTC and redbus.in, customers have been able to book train and bus tickets online. However, the last mile connectivity has been a major challenge and taxiGUIDE addresses this.
What have been your major challenges? For all entrepreneurs, the challenges are in proving that their concept works and is a profitable one to pursue. • There are challenges in convincing the immediate family of the viability of quitting a high-paying job to take up the onus of building something from scratch. • Building a brand with very little marketing spends is also another major challenge. • Raising capital for growth is the next challenge since we do not have a vibrant VC market.
Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for regular operations in your business venture?
We plan to use phone-based tracking systems and also traditional GPS systems for our vehicles which will enable real time tracking, bill generation etc.
What has been your strategy for customer satisfaction? Reliability and total customer satisfaction has been our focus from day one. In case of a no-show, we refund customers. In case a customer has missed a flight etc on our account, we pay for their air fares. We have focused on being extremely fair and transparent with our customers. We do not make commitments that we cannot keep.
What are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
It requires: • Empathy – to be able to identify pain points of customers, • Determination and risk taking abilities, and finally • Ability to sell – to be able to convince customers that your offering is better than what is available in the market. • Apart from this a lot of perseverance and an iron will to succeed. Look up at www.taxiguide.in for all your car rental needs.