Q. How did the idea of “Sarathi Cab” originated and what is the purpose behind launching it?
The main reason behind originating Sarathi is the bitter experience that we had with the taxi drivers refusing to provide fair service without free of bargaining and hassles. Which make us think about what initiatives has been taken to solve this issue by others. There have been more than 10 companies who have started but failed trying to come up with a taxi service that makes public transportation in Kathmandu convenient and cheap. These taxi services have been inspired by Uber, Ola and other international companies that have gone on to be massively successful. In Nepal, however, people came up with services that did not resonate with the local market. So; we decided to come up with Sarathi that provided a solution for a persistent but overlooked problem here in Kathmandu.
Q. Who are the potential customers of Sarathi cab and what is your targeted area in the market?
In general, people who are in Kathmandu and need a taxi ride are our customers. But when we start classifying as per need, our potential customers are - Party Animals who enjoy drinking and late-night parties, they can fully depend on Sarathi that will ensure to reach home safely either they are girls or boys.
Regular office riders need the consistent ride with in time. Sarathi helps them to reach office on time and help them to back to home after office hours.
Travelers who are coming Kathmandu to visit are taken care by Sarathi.
People who are in hospitals or need to go hospital, they are taken care by Sarathi.
Currently, we are available inside the ring road and have focused on starting from inside, but will certainly extend the service area after we reach to certain number and make our service strong.
Q. What kind of services has been offered by your company till date?
We have been basically providing 2 types of services till date:
i) Sarathi Cab:
Sarathi Cab is the government licensed cabs, currently available inside the ring road that is provided instantly when the customer books the cab via call.
ii) Sarathi Plus:
This service is for the ride of long hours (minimum 4 hrs) in capital itself or to other cities. Under this service we provide vehicles as per the need of our customer and the place they are going.
Q. Is this app sustainable in the long run, have you conducted the market research and checked feasibility before launching “Sarathi CAB”?
Yes about the app and its preference in the market we have invested a huge time for research and survey about going online. However, we realized that a lot of people still prefer the traditional way of booking everything—via the telephone. People will take time to fully trust the online method of booking. For instance, if a person has booked a cab online, they’ll still call the company for confirmation. Another reason is that because some of our frequent customers are middle-aged or even the elderly, most of them would take time to understand and use the app, regardless of how simple the methods are. There is no doubt that we will launch an app but that will take time, we are still new to the market. To get in to the app culture, we must have a strong demand chain, otherwise, if we cannot cater to the customers’ needs, it will be a failure from our side to evolve as a successful organization. Hence, we want to take it a step at a time. There is no point in doing everything at once and risking the goodwill we have earned.
Q. What are some other products and services you will be offering in the near future?
We have not decided about it yet. Right now, we want to make the existing service more effective and expand the service area sooner. But there are possibility of incorporating logistic service, finance service, entertainment service etc.
Q. How important is innovation for your Company?
Innovation is core enabler of our business. Technology plays the important innovation role for us. All cab has technology, all drivers are techno friendly, and all customers can easily use the technology. The growth we are approaching is technology driven.