'Demand & Supply Should Determine Taxi Fares Not The Government' Says ex-Meru Chief

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Declining the government’s idea of regulating the taxi fares Siddhartha Pahwa, exCEO, Meru Cabs strongly advocates that demand and supply should determine the right fares while the industry has moved significantly ahead of regulation. He thinks that the kaali peeli taxis should embrace technology and improve the quality of service instead of lobbying to the government to regulate the prices. Also while talking about the future of surge pricing in India Siddhartha Pahwa spoke to Entrepreneur.com during IIT E-Summit in Mumbai.

Entrepreneur India

What Is Your View On Govt Trying To Regulate The Taxi Fares?

I don’t think that’s a very good idea. I think demand and supply should find what should be the right rates. The minimum and maximum range of fare is absolutely require but saying that this can be the only price and no other price then I think that will not work. I think industry has moved significantly ahead of that.

What Would Be The Move Out Of Kali Peeli Taxis In Maharashtra Lobbying The Government To Fix Certain Threshold On Fare Price?

I don’t think so it will work. I have always been saying that the kaali peeli taxis have to embrace technology more than that and have to look at improving the quality of services and the delivery service  which is there. Going and seeking protection is not going to work. What Meru and radio taxi association has been saying is that there should be parity and a level playing field and that is something that the government should look at. But protectionism to any particular industry will not work anymore.

So How Do You See The Future Of Surge Pricing Ahead?

I think surge pricing in India is not a very good idea. In this industry people are not coming for part time job but for full time job, so in full time job you don’t get more supply by surge pricing.

Surge pricing is also putting the consumer in confusion. If suddenly somebody finds that he has to pay three to four times higher price then he thinks of buying his own car. In long term may be the surge pricing will work but I think initially we all should look at optimizing the price and giving better deal to the consumer.

If you are trying to change the consumer behavior then you don’t want to have a surge pricing but if a consumer behavior is already been established and you want to get more supply may be then it will work.