One girl hired a cab, and the cabbie (a habitual rapist with 7 women complaining against him in the past) rapes her. This is at worst a law and order problem or correctly a social problem. Yes, it should not have happened. Could an app sitting in your phone be blamed for it?

My answer is no. Whoever caused it, it was not Uber. Not Ola.

Technology has helped us in many ways – one of the best helps has been to cut the number of channels.

A taxi has to be painted black and yellow, take a state government license (Rs. 1.5Lakhs), has to fix a meter,  driver has to have a proper license….etc.

In comes an app which says ‘If you can transfer a person, for a fee, please register with us’ – i see no reason why a private car cannot do that. I am sure some private car could also be doing this.

What the whole thing does is it dramatically reduces costs.

Cut to another scenario.

You have equity shares which you can buy / sell at the stock exchange.

Suppose I create an app where people can come and buy  / sell shares. One person wants to buy Asian Paints and you want to sell the same. So you take money from that person and give him off market delivery.

No broker. No stock exchange. No adviser.  Things go on fine.

You think it can go on forever? no.

The first enemy will be the broker community. Then the stock exchanges. Then the Regulator (the 3 feed off each other).

Similarly if I can create a Vegetable app…and get vendors to quote prices and clients to buy..and we deliver through a courier on a Pay on Delivery basis. Will it work? Hmmm…the persons objecting will be?

People with shops, APMC, government,…..etc.

Let us say you generate power using solar equipment in your house. You have some surplus…you think you can cut out the electricity company? NO.

Do you think a hospital / geriatric care center can take deposits from its inmates> God you must be jokin!! So the senior citizen keeps a deposit in Axis bank at 8% p.a. and the BANK lends to the institution at 15%. Very fair, I guess – for Axis bank.

Whenever anybody comes out with a product that is here to empower you, rest assured that the vested interest, the governing bodies, the trade associations,  and the State will OBJECT. Tooth and nail.

Just grin and bear it. You have no choice, or do you?

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  1. Just a note, the electricity example you gave, this is possible in Hyderabad. If you have extra electricity, you can put it back on grid and the bill reduces by that much.

  2. The reaction to the crime to ban Uber was just a hyper reaction to the situation. But, coming to Uber’s business model, all they do is bring customer to the driver and take a 20% cut on the bill with zero liability. Radio cabs/ other taxi services have to pay huge amounts of licensing and regulation fees. So, there’s no level playing field. Either those regulation fees shouldn’t be there for radio taxis, etc or they should collect them from Uber, Ola, etc.

  3. If that is what Uber claims, that is fine. But what uber, ola claim is safety. Reliable drivers with no history. If they say they are just market place to get drivers and commuters together, that is fine and useful too but the commuters will not take undue risk. But what these services claim is safety and thats where the issue lies. Even now they talk about safety when in reality they are just a market place on web where the drivers and commuters meet.
    For e.g. if a company like Amul sells bad milk and says it is the issue between customer and milk vendor how would you feel?

  4. Driver prior joining the Uber had produced PCC which seem turned out to be fake. We are seeing so many rail accidents, should we ban train services?. Few decades back, railways minister used to take responsibility and resign. You can’t even expect that these days. Our military earlier also accused of some similar charges in J&K and other Naxal areas and govt did not put ban on our military.

    One chief engineer was caught with nearly 1000 crores and I would be happy to see govt banning R&B, DDA and host of departments as these are not served any purpose to the public except looting money.

    The govt reaction to the Uber incident shows extreme red tape. Punishing one FDI company promptly shows the true colors of our buerocracy. We know Delhi is the rape capital but can’t imagine why Hyd banned it. No one punished during Nirbhaya case when whole of the Delhi was in tension. To acquise customers, Uber and Ola are highly subsidizing the taxi travel often paying from its pocket as like e-commerce.

    Modi govt charm is waning out. Our winter parliament session was so disappointing. It is just a stroke of luck that the crude price softening helped the new govt. But the realities on the ground, slow growth, worst IIP data, hyper inflation, high interest charges, retro tax, black money issues remained same.

  5. I don’t think it was a wrong move to ban Uber. If you take the case of Meru, for example, they do background check of drivers before putting a label as Meru Cab. Uber did not have any such checks. I am not saying it will not happen with a Meru Cab (God forbid) but there has to be an effort towards safety of the passengers. In my opinion, if the laws are not stringent, crimes are bound to happen. The pain of that can only be explained by the victims. Everyone should take responsibility.

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