Angry and hurt by the foreign cab hailing company, Uber, and India’s counterpart, Ola, Bengaluru driver unions decided to launch their own app to take on these giants. With no incentives and lack of accidental insurance, these drivers went on a 12-day strike in Karnataka.
Now, a new player is going to enter the Karnataka market to take on Ola and Uber, called HDK cabs. Created by these same driver unions that had protested for driver’s rights, the service will solve all the problems being faced by the existing driver partners.
Interestingly, the origin of the name comes from the former Karnataka chief minister and JD(S) politician, H.D. Kumaraswamy’s initials. He has planned to infuse Rs. 50 crore in the next two years, and says that the company will be run by drivers itself.
“The companies and the government have failed the drivers. In the interest of the drivers, I have decided to extend all cooperation to introduce a new app-based platform by Ugadi which will be run by the drivers themselves,” H.D. Kumaraswamy said last week.
This kind of entry is similar to that of Jugnoo’s in Gurugram, to take advantage of the situation. The cabs will not be as cheap as Uber or Ola but will provide the bare minimum at slightly higher price, making sure that the drivers are also compensated well.
“Both Ola and Uber cheat people in the name of surge pricing and other hidden charges. Although we have not fixed the fare yet, there is a plan to charge either Rs 10 or Rs 12 per km for mini cabs, and Rs 12-14 for prime cabs,” said Tanveer Pasha, who led the cab drivers’ protests in Karnataka.
Kumaraswamy has also said that almost 35,000 drivers have signed up for this service, which has not been verified yet and might decrease in case something goes wrong. However, given that most drivers have loans on their head, it’ll be difficult to attract them right now.
Can a new company compete with Ola and Uber?
Let’s be honest, Ola and Uber have been in this business for over 4 years now, and even though they have seen rough patches all the way long, they have the most experience dealing in the cab-hailing business.
As much as driver unions want to launch their own app, they don’t know about how problems can be solved. However, if they plan everything well right now, they will be able to handle any restrictions later on. A huge push for them is a backing from a political leader, which means there shouldn’t be unseen obstacles in their way.
Ola and Uber should not be worried because even though they have stopped offering incentives, they have so much volume that it is difficult to compete equally. HDK might make a small dent in the business, but overall the two giants should continue to improve their own business."HDK Cab Aggregator App to Launch in Karnataka Following Ola/Uber Driver Resentment!",