Sunday, April 15, 2007

Call Auto - Will it Work?

Gates India is launching Call Auto service in Chennai from May 16 2007. Sounds like a nice concept, but what's in it for the independent Autos to participate in the program? First, they will have to ply by the meter and on top of it they would have to pay INR 65 per day to Gates India for the calls routed to them.

What would the Auto Drivers get in return? a paltry INR 6 per trip. If I do the math right, Autos under this program (1000 initially) will have to get at least 11 trips and ply them by meter to just break even.

This looks like a non starter to me. Chennai Autos are used to their arrogant ways and their first instinct is to rob their poor patrons. Why on the earth would they change? Unless, of course City has the guts to crack the whip, which is very unlikely.