Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Turning Back the Clock ?

Many years back , King Canute realized that a tide cannot be stopped from coming in

But it seems that some of us still think that it is possible to arrest / reverse the " March of Technology " !

How else can you explain the recent decision of the Road Ministry that Uber / Ola taxies must install taxi-meters currently found in Kali-Pili taxies / Auto Rickshaws ?

Because , after all , a taxi by any other name is still a taxi , and must comply with the provisions of The Motor Vehicle Act ?

What will the North Block / South Block mandarins do when the following happens ?

#   Google / Alibaba ( internet giants ) and Tesla / Mercedes ( car manufacturing giants ) , put on the roads ,
     autonomous ( driverless ) cars which will pick up a passenger from anywhere and take him anywhere else

 #  And summoning this taxi and paying the taxi-fare will be through a mobile app ?

#   When this trend picks up , people will stop buying " personally owned " cars and existing car-manufacturers
     will themselves , morph into " Taxi Manufacturers / Aggregators / Service Providers " , in direct competition
     with today's Uber / Ola ?

Instead of trying to turn back the clock , I hope the powers-that-be , read my following blogs and reconsider their


For Kali-Pili Taxi Owners

Stop depending upon " Sarkar Maa-Baap " ! By harnessing technology , turn the tables on Uber / Ola !

To beat Uber at its own game, pool your fleets all over India and make available a Kali-Pili within 3 minutes anywhere in India , with your own Mobile App , " Kuber " ( Kali-Pili Uber )

If you unite , your " Aggregation " can be 10 times bigger than Uber !

With your clout with the governments ( Central+States ) and with local RTOs , force Uber / Ola , to install in their taxies , Digi-Met tablet meters and Fare-Calc applications for calculating fares ( no surge pricing , since Fare-Calc will be running off the Servers of local RTOs ! )

For the Policy Makers in Road Ministry

    Instead of playing a Regulator ( for over-pricing violations by Uber / Ola ) , become a Facilitator for the App-based Taxi Aggregation Industry

Control surge-pricing by increasing competition ( supply exceeding demand , at all times )

Encourage ( through easy / simple rules ) , 10 more Ubers / Olas to come up in the country in next 3 months !


Monday, 16 May 2016

Tablets in Taxies ?

DNA ( 16 May 2016 ) carries following news-report :

" LMO for apps to replace fare meters "

In this report , Shri Amitabh Gupta , Controller of Legal Metrology Organization ( LMO ) , is quoted as follows :

" There are couple of mobile phone-based applications available on the internet which can calculate the fare based on distance and waiting time.

If genuine applications are verified by the LMO, then any auto rickshaw or taxi driver can download it on their phones and then use them.

Since they would be verified by the LMO, there would no question over the issue of malpractice.

This way, gradually the electric metres would give way to such applications that appears to be useful and are in line with the latest technology "

Congratulations , Shri Gupta , for this initiative  !

This is , indeed , good development and reinforces my following suggestion / blog  : 


Sunday, 14 February 2016

Making Yourself Obsolete ?

As I observed in my earlier blog ( 05 Feb 2016 ), Theodore Levitt wrote in his seminal essay," Marketing Myopia " :

If you don't obsolete yourself , someone else will . So keep asking yourself : What business are we in ?

Levitt gives example of American Railroads , which failed to ask themselves this question and got obsolete by American Car manufacturers and American Airlines . No more people wanted to travel by trains !

Whereas it may take 10/20 years before Car Manufacturers themselves get obsolete ( by manufacturers of Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality / Holographic / Hepatic devices and web-services - making travelling unnecessary ) , according to me , taxi-rickshaw Meter Manufacturers are in the danger of getting obsolete , within the next TWO YEARS  !

Expect some Indian Start-Up to come up with a digital taxi meter ( to be called , DigiMet  ? ), resembling a 8" tablet , with a screen on both the sides , visible to both , the driver and the passenger

DigiMet will be integrated with :

GPS based Google Map

Mobile App ( called , FareCalc ? ) downloaded from the web site of the Authority fixing " Tariff " ( RTO ? )

Passengers will also need to download / install , FareCalc app on their smart phones

As requested by the passenger , taxi driver will enter the destination location , in DigiMet

Immediately , DigiMet will display the following routes to the desired destination :

Shortest route ( distance-wise )

*  Fastest route ( time wise ) , taking into account the traffic conditions on different routes

DigiMet will also display , the amount of " fares " payable for each route ( also displaying tariff : Rs per Km )

Now it is the passenger's turn to select / choose the route that he wants the driver to take

The taxi / rickshaw will start only thereafter !

At the end of the journey , passenger will have the options to pay the fare ,

In cash

By entering his Credit Card details into the DigiMet , or

Through his Mobile Wallet ( using NFC  ? )

The Mobile App will also need to have a provision for any " Waiting Time " charges to be added

When the destination is reached , DigiMet will display :

*  Distance travelled

*  Time taken

*  Waiting Time ( if any )

*  RTO approved tariff ( Rs per Km )

*  Fare amount payable

Any revision in the tariff will get updated automatically in DigiMet as also on the smart phone of passenger

For taxis / rickshaws running on Hybrid fuel ( producing less Co2 ) or Electric Vehicles ( zero emission ) , both , the driver and the passenger will get " Carbon Credits " , which will also get displayed on the DigiMet as also on the FareCalc Mobile App on the smart phone of the passenger ( @ 20 % of the fare payable ? )

These amounts will get transferred to their respective Jan Dhan Bank Accounts ( thru DTB ) , every quarter

I suppose some variation of DigiMet / FareCalc can be introduced in all State Transport buses and intra-city Municipal buses

I hope , the current manufacturers of taxi - rickshaw meters are asking themselves  :

What business are we in ?

01  Aug  2016

www.hemenparekh.in / blogs