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Rajesh Loomba

Rajesh Loomba, Managing Director, ECO Rent A Car.

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How Corporate Transportation is Booming in India

Corporate employee transportation is complex in terms of operation and requirements.

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Photo Credit : ShutterStock,

The Corporate employee transportation ecosystem is truly booming in India, thanks to the erratic public transportation system, riddled with lack of infrastructure and passenger safety, be it buses, autos, metro or even the cabs controlled by aggregators. As urban cities and towns grow and bustle, long commutes will become more and more commonplace.

Safe transportation for women is a major concern, whether they are travelling within the city, outside or even abroad. Especially working women, leaving late from office at night or out of the airport and railways stations. Newspapers often report women getting sexually assaulted, cat called and robbed while they are travelling in a cab or driving their own vehicle. As per a WHO study, 35% of women globally undergo some form of abuse or physical violence while commuting and these are only cases which are reported.

Autorickshaws and cab drivers, be they regular taxies or App based aggregators, often misbehave with women passengers or abuse them. The absence of safe public transportation facilities and the lack of last mile connectivity in many places are restricting the mobility of women. Women are often asked by friends and family to keep GPS on their phones on while travelling in a cab or auto or click the picture of driver’s ID proof.

Such incidents have also triggered the growth of employee transportation solutions. Not only they are cheap and safe, but are also less polluting as it facilitates transportation of a large number of passengers. The segment comprised of 10% of the entire industry share in 2015 and is growing fast since then. Companies are realizing the fact that employee productivity is directly related to their wellbeing, sense of security and happiness and they are trying their level best to provide better transportation facilities to the employees.

Similarly spot rental services of Car rental companies aimed at mid to top management level users in corporates add a higher value being customized to the corporates needs of reliability , safety and complying with corporate requirements of duty of care. The quality of cars and drivers and Their reliability far surpasses those of the regular taxis or app based taxis, while still being prices competitively.

Corporate employee transportation is complex in terms of operation and requirements. For example a mid-size company will typically have a staff of 2000 to 2500 employees residing across the city and its outskirts. Facility managers need to ensure that all employees are providing pick up and drop as per their time and shift schedule with minimum travel time. Number of vehicles and routing largely depends on shifts in the company. Additionally, the SLA with the Service Provider is paramount as all legal, logistic and statutory related issues must be supervised, addressed and monitored.

Concerns exist around aligning the vehicles as per the shift, keeping a tab on the number of vehicles deployed, bringing down the number of routes by aligning it with the existing routes, employee security, lowering of traveling time, control update in the roster etc.

Technology has also evolved to ease out the concerns mostly associated with corporate employee transportation, such as Auto routing software for routing, showing the shortest possible route, GPS to monitor and control cabs plying on the road, geo-coding of employees in the system based on the employee ID and when the cab reach a particular area - you can know which employee is being picked up or dropped.

There are also complementing technologies such as - when a particular employee boards a cab, they swipe their access card for identification and and whether it’s the assigned shift or cab meant for that particular employee. GPS systems also assist giving visibility to driver behavior vis a vis instances of over speeding, number of times drivers apply breaks etc. Employees are asked to cite and report their issues and concerns on anything related to their daily commute.

These measures and value adds are instrumental in driving the growth of corporate transportation ecosystem in India.

In India, the BPO and KPO companies are the largest users of employee transportation services as the jobs are in shifts and those shifts can be at odd hours too. In these outsourcing industries, the general practice is that women employees are picked after the male employees and dropped first. Also, many companies’ hold workshops to educate women on self-defense tactics such as pepper spray, etc. Many companies deploy in-cab armed security guards if shifts at late night. Drivers are also made aware and trained in terms of behavioral skills, time and stress management etc. Incentivizing them and taking proper care of them also goes a long way in making them loyal and sincere.

Given the issues and limitations existing in the public transportation infrastructure domain, it can safely be said that corporate transportation industry is all set to grow further, given its inherent advantages and promise.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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