To compete with app-based taxi hailing services, Meru Cabs has restructured its service offering and introduced new cab categories that can be booked through its revamped mobile application Meru Cabs. Also Read - Uber cab service resumed in 31 cities in India with new Lockdown 4.0 guidelinesAlso Read - Uber launches 'Uber Connect' package delivery service to rival Dunzo and Swiggy Genie
“We are adding SUVs, sedans and hatchbacks as a separate service through the mobile app. The pricing is also competitive, in line with other services available in the market,” Meru Cabs CEO Nilesh Sangoi told. “Last year, our revenues were to the tune of Rs 500 crore. We have crossed it this fiscal and will be looking to close at even more positive note due to our new initiatives,” he added. Meru has roped in 2,000 drivers and vehicles under these new categories and are beginning services in Mumbai. It will roll out services in other cities after a month, he further said.
The rates have been fixed at Rs 9/km for hatchback, Rs 10/km for sedan and SUV at Rs 15/Km. Meru does not plan to charge travelers’ ‘surge price’. “By revamping our services portfolio, we aim to provide even more affordable travel options for our ever growing customer base,” Sangoi said. Last year Meru has begun a slew of services in order to keep up with the changing scenario of the taxi industry. Back in June, Meru raised USD 25 million (about Rs 165 crore) from Brand Capital, the investment arm of Bennett Coleman and Co (BCCL), which it is deploying to enhance services, increase brand salience and brand awareness with the aim of widening its customer base. ALSO READ: Meru Cabs raises new funding of Rs 150 crores from Brand Capital
It has expanded to 24 additional cities, launched services including Carpool, disability equipped vehicles under Meru Enable, and also integrated its booking system with Facebook’s messenger bot, besides its own mobile application. It has also grown its fleet size to 20,000 vehicles, it said. In related news, the central guidelines for taxi aggregators issued by the government last month proved to be a mixed bag for app-based players such as Uber and Meru. ALSO READ: Meru launches Facebook Messenger bot service, but is it any good?
San Francisco-based Uber welcomed the policy calling it “forward looking” since it has given a green signal to ride sharing and converting private cars into taxis, it raised some concerns over the cap on surge pricing. On the other hand, homegrown Meru raised multiple concerns, saying that turning private cars into commercial vehicles may create a non-level playing field and that the cap on surge pricing is too high and may lead to domination of the industry by a few players. The guidelines cover aspects such as ride sharing, safety, fuel rules and fare calculation. ALSO READ: After Uber and Ola, Meru Cabs launches ride-share service
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