New app-based service S3 Cabs have been rolled out in Mumbai and were inaugurated by Shri Sudhakar Deshmukh, Hon. MLA for Nagpur West. The service is an initiative by the Bharat Freight, a logistics company.
S3 service does not have surge pricing or night charges; the cabs are available at a flat rate. Sahayadri Smart Safe Private Limited – the company behind the cab services thought that flat pricing will be a good respite for riders traveling in the peak hours and for regular and corporate travelers. Also, passengers who do not have the application downloaded or without a smartphone, have the option of booking the cab through service representatives designated at different parts of the Mumbai region and also through a phone call. A separate service application has been developed to enable this service. New and innovative ways of deploying SOS service has been planned for the safety of passengers. Not only SOS but the riders will also be able to customize the trip using language options, tourist guide option, etc.
At the time when complaints are rampant from drivers against other dominant players of the cab service industry for various reasons, S3 has already drawn strategies around the pain points. Sohel Kazani, Director, Sahayadri Smart Safe Pvt. Ltd. also said the service gave a higher commission to drivers and took their safety and well-being seriously. “Both the drivers and the riders are offered 24/7 phone support, and that drivers are not allowed to spend more than 10 hours driving for S3, in order to prevent driver fatigue. In-cab entertainment options are also being explored and will be rolled out soon.”
Sudhakar Deshmukh speaking on the development said, “Government was trying to create a similar application and that I am very happy to know Bharat Freight Company has taken a CSR initiative and the state will extend its full support for the same. I am also of that opinion that we should give sufficient training to drivers to enhance the standard of taxis and improve the quality of life of the drivers and their families. The company should explore our skill development program to meet the desired objectives.” Actor, screenwriter, producer and director Akbar Khan were also there for the launch along with corporator Mrs. Harshala More. The idea was the brainchild of Mr. Prafulla Shinde, son of a retired police officer from the Mumbai Police. Prafulla is now a director with Sahayadari Smart Safe Pvt. Ltd.
Prafulla exclaimed, “We are going to charge 3% towards facility charges from drivers on a daily earning of up to ₹1,500 to ₹2,000 and 10% on any amount above it, as opposed to 20-25% charged by others. We have set up a call center. Complaints can be made via mail, WhatsApp, and on the helpline number. Drivers can also be rated,” he said. The app is available on Android and IOS platforms. S3 also developed a service app for restaurants, hotels, bars, etc. who can use it to book cabs for their customers. Shinde said S3 also plans to launch a parcel service in July and they are already in talks with two online shopping companies.
S3 has deployed the most updated technology platform that will greatly reduce the booking v/s delivery turnaround time for customers. It will also minimize the response time for customer calls. The chauffeurs are called, are well-trained in the use of the technology and soft skills. The venture is expected to generate 5,000 direct jobs.