When Baxi went live in Gurgaon on Dec 1, 2015, it became India’s first motorbike taxi company. Since then, the company has grown to 300+ bikes and completed 75,000 rides. Then came the entry of players like Ola and Uber into about a quarter old motorbike taxi market which further validated the business case for bike taxis in India.
What makes Baxi stand apart from other operators in the market is the fact that this on-demand bike taxi service uses only commercial bikes. The service was flagged off by the DC of Gurgaon along with the RTA Secretary on November 30th, 2015 at the Mini Secretariat. Since their launch, more than 50,000 customers have signed up for the service and the company does close to 3000 trips per day across Gurgaon and Faridabad.
According to Manu Rana, Co-founder and CTO of Baxi Taxi-
“It is very encouraging that Uber followed our operating model when they launched bike taxis in Bangkok. Their pricing model in India is also similar to what we charge. This shows that our team did its homework well. We worked really hard to get the necessary permissions for commercial bikes to operate in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, because we did not want any hiccups after launching the service.”
The company strictly uses only Commercial bikes which not only ensures safety and adherence to regulations but also helps them utilize the fleet more efficiently. The customers do not need to rely on the application to book a trip but can directly approach these yellow number plate bike taxis for their trip.
Explaining this, Manu says-
“Unlike other operators in this sector, we work only with bikes that have yellow number plates, while they still work on a ride share model with private vehicles. Customers cannot hail these private vehicles to take rides, and can only book using the mobile app. In our case, 65% of the trips originate offline, where a customer just walks up to a Baxi stand and gets on to a bike. This helps us utilize the fleet more efficiently.”
The company provides helmets for the pillion rider safety along with hair nets for hygiene. After a trip is over the riders are also provided with face wipes to freshen up. The company takes pride in the fact that their pilots are well trained on hygiene, etiquette, safety and other aspects to make the passenger comfortable during the ride. Each ride is tracked in real time through GPS and their Rapid Action Team is always on the alert. In a sweet gesture on women’s day, the company offer free rides to women passengers and stated that 10% of the rides for the day were women. Baxi also partnered with Nestle and Labstreet to offer goodies for women passengers on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
Next on the startups target is expansion in UP. Manu says-
“We are working with the government of Uttar Pradesh to launch the service across the state, and hope to go live in NOIDA before Holi this year. UP is almost as big as Indonesia, where more than 3 Lakh ojeks (local bike taxis) operate, and we are very bullish about the viability of our service across the state.”
Founded by 1995 batch IIT Delhi alumni, Manu Rana and Ashutosh Johari, Baxi has certainly solved the last mile connectivity issue in Gurgaon and more over the charges are even less that a auto rickshaw would charge you for the same distance. Manu has worked with product startups throughout his career, starting with i2 Technologies and Match.com in the US, before returning to India as VP – Products at Book My Show.com and Chief Product Officer at IgniteWorld (JV of Bharti and Softbank). Ashutosh is a Telecom & IT industry veteran with over a billion dollars of sales experience at companies like Ericsson, Iridium, IBM, Cisco and AT Kearney. In his last role, as CEO of Mara Ison Technologies, he had set up and run profitable operations across 22 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The company had raised a seed funding in November last year, about which we had reported on Knowstartup.com.