The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has affected most of the businesses across India and the entire world. With the urgent need for social distancing, commuters started opting for private transport and as a result of this, a significant drop in ride-hailing services was witnessed. However, the situation is gradually improving and most of the companies are now seeing a recovery in their businesses. As a lot of commuters have started opting for bike taxi services, we recently had an insightful interaction with Aravind Sanka, Co-Founder, Rapido in order to understand the changing trends. Aravind tells us how the business got affected during the Covid-19 pandemic, the recovery, future plans and a lot more.
What is the growth of two-wheeler shared mobility / Bike Taxi and expectations?
The two-wheeler shared mobility market is doing well. The pandemic became an opportunity in adversity for us. We resumed bike taxi operations post the lockdown and have so far seen 60% of business recovered. We expect the demand to go back to 100% pre-COVID levels by April 2021.
What has been the growth of Rapido’s new business models – Rapido Auto, Rapido Local, Rapido Store and aim for 2021?
We have expanded our footprint from the initial launch cities to offer the services in other cities for example Rapido Auto has been recently expanded to additional 11 cities. We plan to expand the auto services to 50 cities in India by the end of FY 2021 and onboard more than half a million in the next six months. We aim to expand Rapido Local and Rapido Store in close to 100 cities where Rapido is present, by end of FY 2021.
What are Rapido’s plans for 2021?
We have been growing at more than 15% month-on-month from the last 3 years and 3X to 4X year-on-year in the last few years. So, growth will always be a major thing we will be focusing on. With the rapid urbanization and smart status of cities, Bike Taxi is the future of intracity transport with its strong last-mile connectivity proposition.
While we continue to drive our leadership position in the Bike Taxi ecosystem across cities, we are using technology to propel newer models that will help serve end-users as well as businesses in the post COVID world.
What are the post-covid-19 expectations for Rapido and bike taxis?
We expect the adoption of bike taxi traveling to increase in the Tier II and III cities, as a solution to the unavailability of shared autos or last-mile connectivity gaps and among blue-collar workers traveling daily to work. We also feel people using bike taxis for short hauls, work, ordering groceries, etc. will continue to drive the demand for our service. Customers are aware that bike taxi is a more open and personalized way for intracity travel, as opposed to other crowded alternate ways like cabs, buses, autos, and trains. The customer has the advantage of less exposure to any infection due to his/her limited interaction with the captain and fewer touchpoints.
What are Rapido’s expansion plans?
Our strongest markets include Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Chennai, Patna, etc. We are looking to expand our footprint further in the next upcoming months.
What is Rapido’s current presence – geographic and number of captains?
We are India’s first and the largest bike taxi player present in close to 100 cities serving over 10 million customers with 15 lakh+ registered Captains.
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