Two IIT-Kanpur alumni, Mukesh Jha and Janardan Prasad, founded Autowale.in after facing lots of commuting problems in their city of residence, Pune. Auto Rickshaws have been a topic of discussion and you hardly hear a good word about the situation, it's either bickering for fares or problems with availability. Turning it into an opportunity, Mukesh and Janardan set to work brain storming on how they could use technology, communications, IT systems and services that could bridge the gap between commuters and rickshaw drivers. They decided to use the existing infrastructure and rickshaws already on the roads without adding additional traffic and started solving the problems both parties faced to improve the system.
How it works
A user dials (020) 66-111-111 if in Pune or 8050-66-1111 if in Bangalore. The operator takes in the requirements and then they use location tracking to find an auto-rickshaw within the area and transmits the trip details to the driver. The driver comes on the specified date and time and the fares are charged according to the meter.
Autowale.in is a venture by Ubida Solutions Pvt. Ltd. with offices in Pune and Bangalore. Both Mukesh and Janardan are techies with years of experience. Both graduated from IIT Kanpur in 2002 and parted ways to work in various IT companies only to come back and startup together. Now having the backing of GSF with Rajesh Sawhney having put in money in Autowale, the road forward looks good.
The core of their operations rely on a responsive call centre and that will remain a key to make this work. Pune and Bangalore are arguably the best cities that they've chosen to solve the problem for to begin with. The Indian Cab Rental space has already seen a lot of activity and Autorickshaws seems like a good bet to make. Having said that, organizing the Autos and dealing with the drivers is a huge task that they've taken upon themselves and working it out successfully will be a stamp of excellence on their organization skills.
They have various other services on offer and a mobile friendly version as well which certainly will help. (because mobile is big).
A very good UI resonating with the whole Auto Rickshaw feeling, the users would definitely like to try it out.
Go ahead, Give Autowale a spin.