I started off as a fan of Meru cabs – largely using it for airport trips initially. In fact at one point Meru became an addiction especially in Delhi and Bengaluru. In other cities Meru became very useful especially because I had no clue about distances and the geography. Then Meru started looking more and more like the kali-peeli. Yes the vehicles were in good shape, but the driver was not really ‘premium’. Then the airport dadagiri of the kali-peeli ensured that accessing Meru was not just difficult, it was getting impossible.
In Bengaluru for Rs. 360 fare I was also asked to pay Rs. 50 for calling the cab instead of doing an online booking.
So I did the smartest thing that an Indian does. Got a regular taxi guy in Delhi and Deepam in Bengaluru.
Level playing field? not sure. All taxi drivers thought 680 = 700. It did not matter which taxi service you were using….so the word ‘premium’ had become somewhat of a joke. I also remember a time when their call center would take a long time to come online…
Having said all this, I think Meru is a good, professionally well run taxi service in Mumbai. If somebody wants to compete with them, great they should be more than welcome. However, it is really difficult for a professional to fight well, er, these days they are all called politicians, right?
Why am I supporting Meru if I am not a Meru fan? Simply because all the money that I have made in my life is because of the markets. Free markets and capitalism can survive only in a democracy. Face it wealth creation for the common man has happened only and only in a real free society. I should be able to do whatever business, and if there is a competitor, I will compete. However I cannot fight a hooligan. I just cannot. And as Ayn Rand says, money is a coward. If it feels threatened it will run away. So money will run away from Meru, from Mumbai and from India. If you do not want all this to happen, YOU need to stand up. Standing up is very very important. We all need to.
I had a friend who was in a particular business (no names of friend, business of location). His competitor had zero raw material cost – it was stolen from a factory which belonged to the, well er, obviously public sector.
My advice: just sell your factory and go 🙂
So read on…
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