Ranchi is coming of age.
Though it took a long time for Jharkhand’s capital to graduate from pushcarts to city buses, with the intermediaries being rickshaws and auto-rickshaws, the time of cab service has come comparatively faster.
Instead of waiting long hours for the hide-and-seek city bus or haggling with a rickshaw-puller, you can now call a taxi to your doorstep, courtesy Kesu Kabs and Clear Car. The two private operators — the former from Ranchi and the latter from Mumbai — have decided to put the city in the same transport league as metros.
Kunal Shah, the ambitious proprietor of Kesu Kabs, said the idea of running such a service struck him when he saw people getting dropped by rickety, smoke-belching three-wheelers in front of elite shopping malls.
“I also heard people complaining that Ranchi would never come of age as far as its public transport system was concerned. In fact, my own friends so far avoided Ranchi as a holiday destination because of its unreliable means of communication. I decided to make a modest contribution to improve the image of the city and launched my cab service,” the 33-year-old entrepreneur said.
Shah claimed business was great.
“I started operations in October 2012 and, currently, run 10 cabs across the city. The service is hourly. I have over 500 clients. While a greater percentage of people are senior citizens who prefer our cabs over keeping a driver at home, the second list of clientele includes women who do not know to drive,” he added.
Incidentally, Kesu Kabs received good publicity because of the recently concluded Hockey India League. Enthusiasts of the game, which is in resurgence mode, opted for the service so that they could beat snarls and reach the astroturf stadium in Morabadi on time for the matches and celebrity gigs.
Lucas Gaikwad of Clear Car said his company was earlier into rental services. “Our clients in Mumbai demanded the cab in Ranchi. We started offering hourly services for them here. Clients of Clear Car are mostly from the metros who visit Ranchi for business. They do not like to travel in autos and rickshaws. Hiring a car always means either for a day, (8am to 8pm) or more. Cars on rent are never available for four hours. We fill in the gap.”
Gaikwad said his company offered a range of wheels — from hatchbacks and sedans to MUVs and SUVs — depending on what the client chooses. He, however, regretted that Clear Car was yet to become popular among local residents.