In urban cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, etc. we are well aware of the cab and taxi facilities. However, Kashmiris were always oblivious of the fact that there is something known as cab service. It was Novo Cabs that introduced the facility of cabs in the valley.
How The Startup Arose
The Novo Cabs service was started by Abdul Majid Zargar, an engineering graduate, on January 1st, 2021. Novo Cabs is the first such company which has adopted the service of cabs in the Kashmir Valley.
Initially, the founder wanted to begin his service in 2019. But due to the Article 370 issue and internet shutdown, things became difficult for him.
Later the founder brought the Chandigarh startup, Jugnoo, to Kashmir. However, due to certain business incompatibilities, Abdul decided to move away. Finally, they began this year. One of the imperative features of the startup is that they haven’t bought new cars or taxis to run their startup.
Instead, “We have partnered with a number of taxi drivers and owners and added a touch of modern technology to the whole setup. People can book cabs at a short notice through Novo Cabs app,” says Abdul.
How They Are Doing It
Abdul told India Times that the people of Kashmir have suffered a lot in the past years, and through this cab facility, he aims to simplify the lives of his people. They also promise 100% safety for the women using their facility.
They also work on a commission basis. Talking to Rising Kashmir, Abdul said that in case a person owns a car and wishes to work for them, then the company provides the rides to the driver and the driver has to pay a certain amount of commission.
The application they use traces the exact location of the customer and hence, the driver can pick up the customers from their doorsteps. According to Majid, the drivers who work for them do get hold of the application eventually, even if they aren’t tech-savvy.
What They Plan To Achieve
At present, they have more than 100 cars taking people from one place to another. Soon, they will also partner with auto-rickshaws and two-wheeler drivers. They are also planning to make the service a 24/7 facility, where the drivers will be working on shifts.
Also, to provide further safety to the women customers, they will soon introduce a “number masking system”. Abdul stated, “This will not reveal the number of the female customers to the driver and will instead receive a booking notification. This will be done in a week’s time.”
Currently, the startup hasn’t gained any investments. It is all Abdul’s money which he is investing in the startup. Talking about the internet shutdowns, he said, “The situation and things have changed now. But we have kept the backup like an SMS system in case the Internet is snapped. If phones were shut then we are clueless.”
People are grateful for such an initiative in Kashmir since now they don’t have to bargain and service comes right to their doorsteps. Abdul told Rising Kashmir, “At times people get furious in case of a glitch or overcharging. However, we ensure that everything is explained to them properly so that they won’t feel cheated.”
Lastly, he told India Times, “Hope everything goes right.” They still have a long way to go.
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