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.


  1. Break even with regard to Gates India!

    Apart from that they have the usual rentals to pay per day + mamool quota to the police man, if any.

    When can it succeed?

    The auto guy should see a tremendrous increase in volumes which would convince him abt the business viability of plying as per meter.

  2. Actually this will work only if Gates India provides the autos on rent to the drivers. And for every call there should be a booking charge which mostly goes to the driver.

    This the same model in Singapore with taxis. All the taxi companies own the taxis. They rent it out to the drivers for 70S$/day. Any collection above this goes to the driver. Plus for booking a taxi it costs (2.5 - 4)S$, out of which 50 cents is taken by the company and the rest goes to the driver. All running charges are strictly based on meter (this is Singapore).

    The only issue in "arbitraging" this model to India is that autos cost next to nothing unlike cars. So there is no incentive for the driver to rent an auto.

  3. I dont think they have to make 11 trips to break even....
    Because the govt meter rate also entitle them a profit.That infact should be thier profit.
    This charge that is 6 rs.per trip is top up over the real Govt.rate.
    Only thing is that If the auto fellas doesnt get 11 trips from the company a day thier daily remittance to the company should be reduced.
    Theoritically I don't find any reason it should not work.
    Practical difficulty
    1.just 1000 Autos...almost 2 percentage of total autos gurantee for the passengers that he will get an auto
    3.Timing only 7 to 7(12 hours only)

    The concept is is upto the detail guys to work it out i think...

  4. Dear Sir/Madam
    We are happy to inform you that we have started Call Autos Services in chennai which is running successfully for past three months .The salient features of our services are
    No bargaining ,No haggling.
    Our fare is lesser than regular auto.
    We provide auto at the door step.
    We start the meter at customer place only.

    We are planning to launch  a new scheme which is called AUTO SHARING 
    Auto charges will be Rs 6/- only per KM and no additional charges
    A customer will be sharing the auto with 1 or 2 people
    The benefit of this scheme will be the customer need not pay the Call Centre Charge.
    This will be very useful for office goers.

    Our service has brought revolution in autos and also satisfaction among customers as they pay less amount than regular auto.
     Customers feedback says they feel secure traveling in call auto as the auto drivers work under the banner of Gates India.
    Customers have also given their comment stating the behaviour of auto drivers is very decent

    Deepa Pauline. R
    Centre Manager
    Gates India
    4344 4344

    Please visit:

  5. The Concept is good.Only the mind set has to be changed.In Mumbai, Taxi's & Auto's Ply.They also face a similar situation of Price Rise in Petrol etc.,

    At Mumbai, following practice is adopted:-

    a) On the price rise,Auto/ Taxi Owner's Association Members & Govt sit across the table. They arrive at a reasonable Plying Rate.Once this format is agreed, each auto/Taxi drivers are given an updated Card mentioning the following details:-

    a) Effective from ... say in the present case.. say 14th Nov' 2011.

    b) A New Card is issued mentioning date on which above rate comes into force.

    c) In the card , following information is given:-

    a. 1 K.M...... Rs.15/

    b. 1.1. K.M.... Rs.17/

    Above figures are only indicative.Updated figures can be worked out

    Above is idea indicated.If really interested, it is better to Visit Mumbai , meet the Auto/Taxi Driver Association members & a suitable structure applicable to Tamil Nadu can be tried out.