Source | The Economic Times
Hari Singh used to work for Powerica, a power generation company, until a few months ago. He was part of the team that supplied electric generators during the construction of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai.
One day, his cousin told him about cab aggregators like Ola and Uber, which have become popular in metros and some Tier II and III cities and which promise huge earnings for drivers. He asked Singh to enrol for any one of them and promised to partner him eventually.The cousin wasn’t a long way off the truth. Cabbies were apparently earning as much as Rs 1.5 lakh a month initially.
That explains why, throughout last year, we kept hearing about students driving radio taxis for extra pocket money, and executives quitting their stressful jobs to chauffeur other executives around the city. The service was new, affordable and hassle-free when compared with autorickshaws and regular cab services across metros.
It worked — and despite several PR disasters, still does. But is it still working for thcabbie as much as it does for the riders? Singh had hoped his money wagon will take off once he left his B2B electrician’s job to become a “sophisticated” Olawallah — who accepts rides on the go and gets paid electronically more than half the time. No such thing happened, sadly.
“I was told people were earning close to a lakh when the service had just taken off. Now, with so many online cab services, that scenario has changed completely. And it keeps getting worse.
Until five months ago, earning Rs 3,000 a day was routine. Now I make Rs 2,000 on a good day, and such days are getting rarer. You know, what’s funnier, I have somehow become the entire extended family’s chauffeur, but the only person I haven’t heard from ever since I started driving Ola is my cousin who had offered partnership to run this thing in the first place.”
Singh says he makes Rs 35,000 a month on an average. Of that, Rs 18,000 goes as EMI for the newly bought car, and he spends another Rs 10,000 on fuel and maintenance.