May 9, 2007 6:57 PM

V-Link, leading fleet a leading fleet management company, launched Meru, a world-class metered radio taxi service in Mumbai. India Value Fund (IVF), a premier private equity fund with a diverse set of investments of investments in India such as Biocon, Trinethra, and Radio City etc. has recently taken a stake in V-Link and is providing management support besides requisite equity infusion.

IVF has been instrumental in building several valuable businesses in the past.

The company plans to launch 150 taxis and increase to 1,000 by the year end and plans to manage a fleet of at least 10,000 cabs across major metros of the country in the next three to five years. The company plans to first launch its operations in Mumbai and subsequently in Delhi, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Chennai, Banglore and Pune.

V-Link will offer an advance booking system for Meru, which allows a customer to book for a cab on the phone or on Net in advance and get a cab at their appointed location from anywhere within the city of Mumbai. Since this business is vamping up gradually, it is likely that the initial advance booking system will be available only in limited parts of the city, but would quickly be made available across the entire city.

Additionally, customers will also able to hail a Meru cab by the curbside, or hire a Meru cab parked at several pre-designed locations across the city.

V-Link will use technology for ensuring that there is a very responsive "Lost and Found" tracking system in place so that any item left behind inadvertently in the Meru cab can be traced to the vehicle that the reporting customer has used.

The fare structure of the Meru service is in line with the fares prescribed by the Department of Transport, Government of Maharashtra, and is at a premium to the existing fares of the yellow top cabs, in line with the superior service that is being provided by Meru.


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