Srinivasa Rao has been working in the car rental industry in India for over 18 years and holds the rather unique distinction of spending his entire career in one domain. Having worked with major car rental companies like Europcar and Hertz, Rao knows the innards of this industry. Looking at the space in India, Srinivasa knew that there are a few players already in the cab aggregation space but the market opportunity is huge and thus was born Cabs24x7. Joining hands with him in this endeavor is Prakash PN, another pro in the space with two decades of experience in the cab rental sector.
Cabs24x7.com is an online market place to search and book car rental requirements across various cities in India. Having launched on November 29, Cabs24x7 has presence in 16 cities already and plans to roll out operations in other cities soon. “There are other people trying to aggregate car rental operators but I believe that the space is big enough to handle about 10 aggregators. From my perspective, it is very important to have a wide presence across the nation and build a brand,” says Rao. TaxiGuide is a strong competitor with presence in 75 cities already.
Cabs24x7 has offices in Bangalore and Mumbai and had initially started out with corporate services in August. “While a huge upfront capital is required to service corporates, aggregation is not capital intensive. And having been in the industry for long, it hasn’t been a problem to get operators in board,” informs Rao. Cabs24x7 intends to stay in both the spaces but the core focus will be on aggregation. “We started out with 6 cities and quickly ramped up to 16 cities. Our focus would be on penetrating the tier 2 and 3 cities that haven’t been exposed to such services till now,” says Rao.
Cabs24x7 provides offerings like hire for local usage, airport transfer and outstation travel. They have 2 operators atleast in city who work with them and this number can be ramped up looking at the demand that is generated. “We plan to be present in 30 cities by March 2013,” says Rao. Completely bootstrapped till now, Rao and his team of 7 would be looking for investment once they get the model firmly in place. “Having surveyed the space for about 5 months now and getting a good sense of what needs to be done, we’d be marketing aggressively now,” says Rao about the road ahead.
Website: Cabs 24x7