On Statehood Day, when Jharkhand ponders its hits and misses these past 18 years, here’s a young face of its enterprising spirit that does the state proud.
The capital’s Bariatu resident Akshay Malpani, 23, who launched Ecogadi, an e-rickshaw on-call service for his city on October 2 this year with 23 e-rickshaws, said on Statehood Day Thursday that business was good.
The Bariatu youth, who has his office on the fourth floor of Panchwati Plaza at Kutchery, said a lot of people were calling up his three phone numbers, 9117575789, 9117575595 and 7352155399 to book e-rickshaws.
“So far, we received 2,023 calls for Ecogadi bookings. That’s good for a new venture. And yes, customers are happy,” he smiled.
The young entrepreneur, who has ambitious plans for this service, said booking numbers would spurt when his e-rickshaw app got ready.
“Twice I attempted to introduce the service but did not find the app user-friendly. Now I asked software engineers to try again. I expect the app to be introduced within the coming 30 days,” he said.
Malpani said his e-rickshaws were fitted with GPS and cameras for the ease and security of passengers, including women.
“We charge between Rs 80 and Rs 200 to drop passengers to their destinations anywhere under Ranchi Municipal area, which covers Ranchi airport, railway station, ITI bus stand, Birsa Bus stand and others,” said Malpani. “It’s a helpful service for people who need conveyance for places where auto-rickshaws or city bus service aren’t available.”
Agreed passenger Renu Pandey, a working woman who has used Malpani’s e-rickshaw on-call. Pandey, who works in the office of State Human Rights Commissioner, said she found the Ecogadi e-rickshaw service very convenient. “You do not have to face crowds or harassment while negotiating fares. Everything is done in a transparent manner. Just call up the e-rickshaw and go to the destination of your choice,” she said. Her only quibble? “The service is a little expensive. I have to pay Rs 90 to reach Harmu from Ratu Road.
It’s a 3km ride only. But that’s the price for comfort and safety,”
Siddhartha Kumar, a resident of Vasundhara Garden at Harihar Singh Road in Bariatu, said he also used Ecogadi. “I work in Kanke and I find the service pretty good. It’s dependable,” he said.
For now, Malpani is waiting for a permit from Ranchi Municipal Corporation while he is operating the service on the civic body’s verbal assurance. Asked, RMC city manager Sandeep Kumar said they had received application for permit. “The entrepreneur will soon get the permit after he submits the character certificates of his drivers, cleared from thana,”
Malpani admitted this was an issue because many drivers who show an interest in driving e-rickshaws lacked basics such as driving licences and Aadhaar cards. “But we are sorting out this issue,” he said.