April 9, 2018
Medianama - 9 April, 2018: Mumbai-based cab service provider Meru Cabs will be focusing more on corporate clients, stepping away from b2c space which is crowded with Ola and Uber race in the country. Confirming the same to MediaNama, founder Neeraj Gupta, said that Meru Cabs has started on this model 18 years ago and that now it plans to use its corporate expertise by providing customised taxi solutions and platform in b2b segment. The development was first reported by The Economic Times.
Gupta further added that Meru plans to grow in the corporate segment and make it the primary business. However, he added, "We will not fully move onto b2b segment and will continue to operate in b2c segment as well." He said that currently b2b accounts for 40-45% of the company's revenues and it was looking to increase that share to 60-65% in couple of years. Gupta told the Economic Times, that the company is looking at a time frame of three years to achieve the shift.
Once a leader in space, Meru came down to single digit market share in app-based cab space ever since Ola and Uber started dominating the market. To win back its position, Meru recently allowed drivers to set dynamic fares to attract more commuters, as it moved towards a marketplace model last month. In its old model, Meru charges riders as per rates regulated by the government, but when in marketplace model, drivers can set the fares.
Legal battle: In October 2017, Meru Cabs had filed complaints against Ola and Uber, alleging that the cab aggregators were misusing their position in the market and prompting anti-competitive practices. Sangoi had told MediaNama that the company has filed four complaints with the Competition Commission of India (CCI), claiming that Uber and Ola are abusing their dominance in four different cities by burning vast sums of investor funds to distort the market. CCI is a regulatory body responsible for enforcing The Competition Act, 2002 and preventing practices that have an adverse effect on competition in India.
In its complaints, Meru Cabs has raised concerns about Japan’s Softbank being a common investor for both Ola and Uber, and that the investor plans to consolidate these two dominant players in the cab aggregator segment in the country. A couple of months after the complaint was filed, Softbank and its co-investors acquired an 18% stake in Uber.
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