The on-demand economy might just be what finally redeems the auto story
While some taxi-on-demand companies are now moving into the auto-on-demand space, the jury is still out on whether they will have the focus that is required to transform the service and bring it into the red hot sharing economy. Should it be left to entrepreneurs whose single focus is making the auto-on- demand a reality for the aam admi? Or will autos just be one marginal feature of Uber’s and Ola’s on-demand transportation juggernauts.
While Ola took the auto route earlier (with every other hoarding announcing their latest play), it almost seemed like Uber would prefer its four wheel focus. However, the hugely competitive nature of the space and the unbelievable valuations ensured that the Uber app had the auto option pop up soon enough.
It is still a long journey ahead before the “organising the autorickshaws” story can go down in history as a fabulous one to tell. The vast majority of drivers are still unorganised, lacking in technology, and distrustful apart from a natural inclination to give into the jugaad of things.
While the price of smartphones is falling to delightfully low levels, we are a long way from a 100 percent adoption. The next time you tap your app to summon an mGaadi, or Autohona, or Autowale, or Jugnoo, or the many other auto avatars, perhaps you might want to stop for a moment and marvel at how far we’ve come.