Startup Story of ‘Vow Cabs’
One day I had to board a bus from Bangalore to Mangalore, but due to heavy traffic on road I missed it. Since it was a Volvo, I had to bear loses and wait for the next one to arrive (which was after 90mins).Frustrated and tired I just wondered why dint I book a cab at the first place itself. But then cab would have been way too expensive for a lone passenger like me, I thought. Amidst all the stress an idea struck my mind and I decided to start my own venture that would provide one way taxis.
My cab aggregator company would act as a substitute to Volvos but with an advantage that my cabs pick you from your home and drop you to the location you desire. You won’t have to travel to bus stops and you need not worry about fixed bus timings. With just a tap, you will be able book a cab anywhere at your will. Even with last moment changes in your schedule, you will be able to cancel your booking and still get full refund. All these awesome facilities yet will charge you only for one way trip.
And this is how Vow Cabs was born.
Why name it Vow Cabs?
By June, We dint have a name and by that time safety was a major concern in cab aggregator industry. So I thought “If I am able to promise my users their safety and transparency in the billing (the two pillars of any industry) then it would definitely encourage more users to ride with us which in turn would increase our chances of success in the industry”.
Hence the name VOW (to promise) cabs was discovered.
VowCabs is a cab aggregator, and the company itself does not own any cabs. It charges a fixed amount (daily) from its travel agents and allows them to do their own business (but on Vow platform). It also incentivizes them based on their performance. With Ola and Uber becoming a part of the mix, people look for convenience of booking their cabs through an app. While, those companies focus on intra-city travel, VowCabs focuses on intercity – car sharing rides.
What makes it unique?
We charge only for one way trips
Since we are competing directly with bus services, so we charge our customers only for one way trips. This way a user can reach his/her destination at a lower cost, at his/her convenience and with flexible timings.
Our focus is on transparent billing through digital meters
We believe one should pay only for the services he/she has utilized. Why should a user pay extra (for a round trip) if he doesn’t need a round trip!! Hence to bring transparency in the billing, we have installed non tampered digital meters in all our cabs which ensure our users don’t pay extra.
Please note we consider surcharge as a sin and we don’t promote it in our company
We also provide car sharing facility
With our car sharing facility you not only save money but you can make more friends on the go. With car sharing our focus is to reduce pollution and save our vulnerable environment.
We believe, Why use separate vehicles when you can share yours with someone.
We care for our customers and hence we believe in providing them a better customer experience
We ensure to hire chauffeurs who are professional, well behaved and rigorously verified.
Hence we VOW to make our customers ride safe and memorable with us.
Are you active in any of the cities?
Yes, we launched our operations in Managlore, this March. As of now we have 15 fleets on board and we have catered to more than 300 customers. The launch was done on temporary basis, to beta test our application and now we will be expanding it further to Colombo and Bangalore in near future.
How do you plan to expand in Bangalore?
We being a start up can’t afford to spend a huge chunk of money on marketing since we lack funds. We have to manage all our operations with these limited resources and very limited feasible options. With every alternative comes a decision whether it is in accordance with our budget or not. Hence, we have to be very careful while making decisions as if we are walking on a tip of a rope tied above the ground and with one wrong step we will fall down.
With so many cab aggregators already in market, a major challenge for us will be to get customers onboard. “As a startup, you can’t rely solely on online marketing (especially with a startup budget), so we are planning to, visit bus stands and talk to people who will be traveling to close by areas near Bangalore. We realize that initially, things are going to be difficult for us and we will have a very high burn rate (as we will have to pay the cab owners for a round trip), even if cab is going empty one way. And, at this stage, we can’t expect to run all our cabs in full capacity both ways, so this will be a huge challenge,” adds the COO.