KUALA LUMPUR: Easy Taxi, the global taxi booking mobile application company, which has given a fresh twist to the convenience of call taxi service, is determined to improve the public image of taxi drivers.
Easy Taxi managing director Chan Heng Joon said call taxi service does not have to be synonymous with dirty, old, smelly and rudeness but it can on the contrary, be new, clean and odourless vehicles accompanied with a courteous driver at the wheel.
"Taxi drivers, particularly the younger crop can also lead the way in showing how their incomes can be supplemented in this age of smartphones and customer dissatisfaction can be nipped in the bud," said Chan in an interview recently.
The company, which launched its service in July, has chosen Malaysia as its flagship market in the region and the firm is more than just the free mobile application that allows customers to call a taxi with a single tap on the smartphone.
Its taxi tracker, as the name suggests tracks the taxis and the company obtains feedback from the customers after the first few rides from the customers on the driver and the service provided.
"None of the other call taxi service providers are as proactive as Easy Taxi which is a global brand in solving issues. One may say that it is easy to develop an application but it is not easy to develop the culture and right talent to go with it," said Chan.
The Brazilian-based taxi application, which is backed by Germany's Rocket Internet, gained popularity in South America and has grown big globally with new markets in Africa and Middle East and other emerging Asian markets in the east.
The company has spent RM400,000 to date in developing its staff and for its marketing programmes in Malaysia.
The service of taxi drivers has also been improved and "certified safe" using the talents of former taxi drivers.
The first three months have been promising for Easy Taxi as customer satisfaction has enabled its market share to grow in tandem with the business which has been "doubling and tripling" on a month-on-month basis.
In the case of Kuala Lumpur, most of the requests for Easy Taxi come from the Golden Triangle area in the city although the number of requests to the various housing and industrial estates is also steadily rising.
The new start-up aims to generate 500,000 rides via the application in its first year of operations which is easily doable.
Its revenue would be generated from taxi drivers who would pay a flat rate of RM1 for each ride completed.
More than 30,000 applications have been downloaded in Malaysia for Easy Taxi, which is also present in more than 30 cities in 11 countries.
While there is a proliferation of convenience stores in Malaysia, the scenario is not the same in the startups of taxi service providers.
In the region, Thailand and the Philippines are at the forefront of the Easy Taxi service and Rocket Internet is considering to enter Vietnam, Taiwan and Myanmar.