Meet Cabto, the tech-based corporate mobility solution that makes your office travel hassle-free and convenient!

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Every day millions of people travel from nooks and corners of the city to work. Some change trains, take the bus, travel in their own vehicles, take the metro, etc. While there are a lot of options to choose from, traveling at given reported times to the office is a difficult job. And although cabs are a convenient option, they are sometimes not on time, cancel at the last moment, or incorporate too many problems that are not in our control.

It is true that necessity is the mother of innovation, and that’s what Mr. Syed Hidayath came up with when he identified this huge gap in the cab market. The Founder of Cabto, a company that launched around the peak of COVID-19 also helped a lot of patients travel to hospitals and make necessary arrangements for them. Here’s what the founder shared with Team Sociobits about Cabto:

Team Sociobits: Could you tell me the founding story of Cabto and what it is?

Mr. Syed Hidayath: We started off the company with an earlier version but our primary launch happened in May 2021. We came up with an in-house tech solution for corporate mobility and also served COVID patients in the second wave.

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In our early days, we started Cabto with the aim of building a price comparison app because a lot of cab companies or apps existed but there was no app that would show the traveler the nearest and the least expensive option. After a while, there was consolidation in the cab industry. So, after applying this concept, we started understanding the cab technology industry and we got an edge and built the domain expertise. Hence, we identified that there is a huge market or you can say a huge problem that can be solved, specifically in corporate transportation.

We started Cabto with the aim of building a price comparison app because a lot of cab companies or apps existed but there was no app that would show the traveler the nearest and the least expensive option.

Most corporate transportation solutions have a very specific design and the vehicle is obligated to report on time, even with other solutions, office-going people had to face numerous issues. This motivated us to come up with a complete tech-based solution.

With our cab technology, we ensure that if you have booked a cab for 10 am, the vehicle will report at 10 am or even before that. Our drivers don’t cancel and we work with a lot of operators in the backend so we are basically building a cab ecosystem be addressing the problem of cab shortage.

Even the most well-known corporates work with local operators for travel solutions, and they still communicate through mail or via a call to request a cab. But we have a complete tech-based solution for all corporates where the booking, tracking, and everything until the payment is taken care of. Corporates can do all these activities through our solution and even if we are unable to arrange a cab, we internally work with other operators in our cab ecosystem called VEHO. This enables us to empower the entire cab industry.

Team Sociobits: When did you launch the company? And how did you help patients during the pandemic?

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Founder: I am really proud to say that although we launched during a crucial time, that is around May 2021, our solution could help a lot of people in need. During the second wave, when ambulances were taking few hours to reach emergencies as they didn’t have any technology, and patients were giving up on their lives because of numerous reasons like unavailability of ambulances, and cab services disallowing or unwilling to take patients to go to the hospital, we were the only cab company in India who helped people using our in-house tech-based solution and we served 2000+ patients mostly emergencies & took them to hospitals in real quick time. Our Cabs reached emergencies in just 5-8 mins time while Ambulances weren’t coming even after hours.

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At this time, we brought tremendous efficiency to the system while charging a nominal amount. When ambulances were charging Rs. 20,000-30,000, we were not running after profitability and we built a self-sustainable business. We could come up with a solution that was convenient for people and also enough for us to sustain our business and although we didn’t make a lot of money, we got a lot of recognition. We got covered by a lot of news publication sites, including the Times of India.

Team Sociobits: How did you come up with the realization that you can help people with your solution?

Founder: During the peak of COVID-19, I used to help people arrange oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, or other requirements during the lockdown. I got around three hundred calls every day. I was already actively helping people and one day I received a call for help from a close friend of mine. I could notice that she really needed help. She explained to me that her parents were COVID-positive and her father’s oxygen level was decreasing. She also pointed out that she arranged hospital beds for them in a hospital in Bangalore. She immediately needed someone to transfer her parents to the hospital as she was not residing with them. This is when I realized that we already have cabs, and the call motivated me to do something about it.

We used to get around 900 calls every day. COVID-19 was certainly a challenging time but we are extremely satisfied that we could contribute to society and the community.

So, in a matter of a few minutes, we equipped the driver with the necessary precautionary wearables, we partitioned the car, and during the ride to the hospital, we also set up portable oxygen cans. We coordinated efficiently so there is no delay in getting the patient to the hospital.

This experience made me realize how big the problem is and how necessary it was to act fast and help people get to the hospital in no time. The existing infrastructure was not at all efficient and until the ambulance reaches the patient, there have been cases of death. So, we accelerated our technology platform to match this requirement, and in a couple of days, we launched an application-based system. Our solution became viral and our call volume surpassed the call volume that government agencies used to receive.

We used to get around 900 calls every day. COVID-19 was certainly a challenging time but we are extremely satisfied that we could contribute to society and the community. I was also nominated for the Namma Bengaluru Award for Social Work in the individual category. I was the only tech entrepreneur who was nominated in this category and I was also shortlisted among the finalists. When things got better, we moved on with our original Cabto.

Team Sociobits: So when you first rolled out Cabto in Bangalore? What was the response that you got from corporates?

Founder: It was so magical that they couldn’t believe our solution was so efficient and that we could provide a vehicle on time, every time. The time efficiency that we provide is one of the major reasons that set us apart from others. The driver won’t call and ask you where the location is, he won’t cancel the booking, and all-in-all the quality of services is on a different level. This is completely automated, you don’t need to put in any manual effort.

Another challenge that the market faces is that the local operators who work with the corporates, charge office-to-office and they don’t charge point-to-point. But with our 1200 in-house vehicles, we can bill them the actual point-to-point amount. This way, operational costs, as well as cab costs, are reduced.

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We have around 130 corporate accounts in a matter of a few months, and after the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we got more corporate accounts. We are also growing at a breathtaking speed.

Team Sociobits: Could you also point out any challenges that you faced during your journey?

Founder: We faced a lot of challenges. Initially, we faced a lot of challenges and also made a lot of mistakes. Building the technology was a big challenge. Finding the right partner was also tough but I am happy that I found my partner, Mr. Sasank Loka and since he has joined the team, his contribution helped us overcome some challenges too.

Since we are involved with corporates, we have good revenues moving but a challenge for us is to manage liquidity. We are on the verge of raising funds but the credit periods in corporates are something we are trying to address.

I used to call myself the Customer Care Executive Officer and not the Chief Executive Officer. On another note, I would really like to urge people in the corporate world to also explore the world of entrepreneurship because even if you fail, you learn a lot.

Team Sociobits: How has your journey been with Cabto?

Founder: It was definitely a rollercoaster ride! Being the only founder, I literally had to do everything. I used to call myself the Customer Care Executive Officer and not the Chief Executive Officer. On another note, I would really like to urge people in the corporate world to also explore the world of entrepreneurship because even if you fail, you learn a lot. And it’s a different experience because you do what you love and when you do that, you don’t need a vacation.

Team Sociobits: What are some of the goals that you have set to be achieved in a couple of years?

Founder: As of now, we are present in Bangalore but we are looking to expand to tier 1 cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, etc. We are expecting to expand in Chennai and Hyderabad in the span of a couple of months, and to other tier-1 cities in around six months. We have also built our own APS for which we are working with many corporates and other platforms with a huge customer base.

Right now we are providing, on-demand corporate requirements that include airport transfers, rentals, and two-way and one-way intercity rides. Now, we are also adding employee transportation too as a service because this is a huge and also a highly-unorganized market! This is a huge opportunity for a tech-based cab provider and we are already on our way, to begin providing employee transportation services.

With the aim to revolutionize the cab industry, Cabto is also looking to provide a cost-effective solution for corporates as well as customers which is safe for our environment.

We are also looking to add a subscription-based service at a nominal amount for office-to-home commutes, and vice versa. This will eliminate the headache of daily travel for more than 100 million people in India. With this, in the span of the next two years, we are aiming to become a 100% electric cab service provider. This helps us solve three problems; Improving the livelihood of drivers, because if we take care of them and keep them happy, they will take care of us too. Providing cost-effective transportation to corporates and customers is another priority, also providing an environment-friendly solution by eliminating the carbon emission coming from commercial engine vehicles is what we are looking to offer.

With the aim to revolutionize the cab industry, Cabto is also looking to provide a cost-effective solution for corporates as well as customers which is safe for our environment.

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