Tag Archives: public transport

Automatic competition…

Public transport can be many things. Nuisance, blessing, expensive, economical (yep paradoxes reign supreme). One title that I always failed to allude to public transport is : Business. Yeah, its a money earner for drivers and transport companies all right. But one never really pays attention to acute competition strategies or the operational maneuvers of these businesses….right until an autowallah kicks the crap outta the public ┬ácar-pool cab ! Confused? Read on…

Players in question:

1) Share-auto

For the uninitiated, share autos are the life line of middle class commuters in certain cities wherein people going to the same destination share the cost of the rick. Only, this sharing is controlled by the driver. Perspective commuters are brought in and masterfully adjusted in the auto. (See pic below)

(let us not get into the legality of it all. Auto-wallah is boss!)

2) Illegal car pool

Well this is a master piece. Software companies hire cabs to ply employees from home to work and back. When not on call, the cab drivers earn some extra dough by doubling up as public commuters. Hey! we arent complaining. Its cheap transport in a slightly more comfortable vehicle.

Issue: “Auto-wallahs wont share no dough!”…Its a vampire-werewolf rivalry. I’d reckon auto-wallahs to be vampires. They suck blood better!

Scene of crime: Hyderabad auto stand.

Plot:

The sly Tata Indica cruises a safe 100 meters ahead of the autorickshaws lined up peacefully at the stand. Masquerading as a company-cab waiting for employees, the cab surreptitiously inches towards a group of commuters. “KKaBBANG!”…the sound of shoe against metal soon fills the air. “Balu”, the auto union vigilante is at it again. No fancy pants cab driver is going to shimmy away with the shared-auto revenue.

Now, the news is that “Balu” is not an auto-wallah. He is the administrator specially posted by the auto-wallah union to police the commuter traffic and allow equal share of profit between all auto-wallahs. “Balu” reinstates the first rule of competition …PROTECT YOUR CUSTOMER BASE.

Wow! there’s a whole new managerial lecture abounding in these share-auto stands. Over the next couple of weeks I plan to unravel some hidden tricks employed in this profession.

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