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Sivasankaran enters taxi space to take on Uber and Ola

Former Aircel owner C Sivasankaran has taken a plunge into India’s crowded taxi space with the launch of UTOO cabs.

UTOO plans to begin with a fleet of 1000 cars in Chennai and scale it up to 100,000 cars over phases.  Wow!

UTOO has announced a soft launch with 180 cars and the taxi service will initially target six metros, Pune and Jaipur. The users will be able to book rides and create their own route through the UTOO app. It plans to offer personalised shuttle service to office at Rs.4 per km. This should act as a real game-changer and a total spoiler.

The venture is initially backed by funding from his close friends and family, Sivasankaran said at a press conference here. UTOO is expected to make investments of Rs.350 crore to Rs.1200 crore in the region depending upon the needs.  The company claimed that it would run only 2016 model vehicles and will have specific safety and quality standards.  This should act as its unique selling proposition (USP).

It will soon come out with more announcements on its services and will have attractive models to benefit the customers.

“We have studied the taxi hailing business and the competitive landscape over the last year. I am confident that UTOO business model will remain loyal to its objectives,” according to K V P Baskaran, who was the Chief Executive Officer of Aircel.

With the taxi hailing business growing at over 20-25 per cent annually in India, the organised sector accounts for just 4-5 per cent of the industry totalling $800 million, which is expected to grow to $7 billion by 2020.

This will give the competitors a run for the money.  And that is as it should be.

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