Local Drivers in Kerala Unite Against Uber/Ola; Launch Their Own App With Support from Communist Party


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The best part about a free market like India is that, disruption isn’t a hereditary right of any organization or person; anyone with a firm determination and a vision can take on any established player in any niche, and cause some disruption which can shake the market.

We witnessed the same when 35,000+ kaali-peeli taxis in Mumbai decided to challenge Uber/Ola apps and launched their own application to break Uber/Ola’s monopoly over app based taxi bookings.

And now, Community Party of India (CPI) has decided to take matters head-on and challenge Uber/Ola in their own game. Ernakulam Car Drivers Welfare Society, a local body of taxi operators in Kerala has launched their own app to book taxis. CPI(M) Ernakulam district committee secretary P Rajeev launched this app yesterday.

Although CPI is not directly involved in this project, but P Rajeev has contributed to the creation and launch of this app, which will benefit local taxi operators, and help them to stand the on-slaught of billion dollar startups in this niche.

Interestingly, Rajeev has ensured that all local drivers are involved in this project, as irrespective of their political/trade union inclinations, every driver can join this campaign and offer their services while taking advantages of the community. A dedicated website has also been launched, wherein customers can directly book taxis.

Besides encouraging local drivers to get under the umbrella of this community powered taxi booking platform, Rajeev is also explaining them the business logic and modus-operandi of the Uber and Ola.

He said, “They (Uber/Ola) are also running at a loss, with companies pumping in money until they have cornered the market. Then they will not be so cheap anymore. The taxi unions are propagating this information. At the same time they are also providing a responsible alternative through their own app,”

It would be interesting to observe how this niche, small but dedicated community of local taxi drivers will take on companies like Uber, who have declared a massive investment of Rs 6400 crore to capture Indian market; or offering incentives of 2BHK flats to drivers.

It is indeed heartening to see that at a time when automation is threatening to disrupt entire IT industry as job cuts and reduced hiring is breaking the backbone of traditional employees; local (micro)entrepreneurs are getting together, forming a community and using technology to challenge VC funded startups who are known to be market dominators.

And, the involvement of Community Party in this new form of disruption is also pretty interesting to watch. Can we witness more involvement of political outfits and ideologies in enabling local entrepreneurs to learn technology and adapt themselves?

Or Community Party has a hidden agenda in supporting local businessmen?

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