Nirmal Kumar had a harrowing experience with an autowallah during his 2nd yr at IIM-A. He had been overcharged and behaved rudely with, by the autowallah. After a lot of heated discussions, he had to pay the unfair amount charged by that guy. That incidence triggered the concept of G-Auto and inspired him to do something in the auto rickshaw segment to ensure fair fare (transparency) and reliability.
Nirmal Foundation, a public charitable trust based out of Ahmedabad, is organizing auto rickshaw drivers under a social umbrella brand called ‘G-Auto’. G-Auto consists of a group of 10,000 auto rickshaws in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and Rajkot. ‘G-Auto’ concept has revolutionized para-transit system in term of safety & comfort to passengers and income & job satisfaction to ‘G-Pilots’.
Nirmal Kumar is the Founder and Managing Trustee of G-Auto. He is assisted by Nitesh Kumar who’s a Trustee and manages the Operations. A total of 21 people work under the aegis of G-Auto, guided by Nirmal’s vision.
The broad objectives of G-Auto:
1) To ensure safety and transparency in para-transit system
2) To ensure social and financial inclusion of auto drivers
3) To make auto rickshaw a passenger friendly and pleasant transport system
4) To make auto drivers a aware and responsible citizen
The passengers are charged the normal amount it would cost them to travel a particular distance. G-Auto earns by two modes: facility charge on every book and advertisements on G-Auto.
“I can see an enormous opportunity for organized auto rickshaw service in Indian cities. Safety, reliability and punctuality are going to be the biggest differentiators for auto rickshaw service providers. We, being the pioneers in this field will have the first mover advantage. We are looking forward to have our presence in all metropolitan cities of India within next five years. We are trying to provide service to more than 100000 people every day across various cities of India. We want to evolve as one of the most reliable auto rickshaw service provider of India. The project want to focus equally on the social and financial issues of auto rickshaw drivers and their families,” says Nirmal sharing his vision for G-Auto.
The customer base for call an auto service is not growing as it was expected. Sometimes union or auto mafia becomes major stumbling block in implementation of service at places like airport or railway station. The cartel of police and auto mafia is also one of the biggest challenges to work in auto rickshaw segment.
On a positive front, the fleet size is expected to grow to at least 50000 in Gujarat. They have plans to replicate the concept across major cities of India to serve as many as more than 10, 00,000 auto rickshaw drivers by 2020.
They have been getting demand for this service from various states of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore etc. Also, G-Auto project was selected among top 15 projects for international mobility award by University of Michigan and Rockfeller Foundation, USA.
G-Auto is the first project of India to offer metered auto rickshaw at airport under a non-government banner.
Visiting Gujarat anytime soon? Try G-Auto.