Across India, millions of people face the challenges of overpopulation, high unemployment rates and poverty. Today, thanks to new technologies and innovative business models, these challenges are becoming exciting opportunities.
DriveU, a Christian Super impact investment (through Unitus Seed Fund), is an Indian business creating new opportunities for many people. DriveU employs over 1,100 private drivers to service the growing demands of Indian car owners looking for affordable, reliable, on-demand private drivers.
Launched in July 2015, the Bengaluru-based business targets Indian vehicle owners, who are largely ignored in the rapidly expanding share economy, offering a technology-driven private driver service accessible via a simple smartphone App.
The DriveU Difference
India is the fifth largest passenger-car market in the world. While competitors focus on driver-owner car ride services, DriveU targets customers who own their own car, but want to hire an on-demand private driver.
Today, in India, there are over 25 million private cars and this number is expected to double by 2023. In Bengaluru alone, there are over 15 million private cars and at least 30 per cent of car owners are seeking reliable private drivers.
With the booming urban population and worsening infrastructure capabilities (current average car speed is 9 km/hr), driver service for privately owned vehicles is becoming a necessity for urban workers. This is a large, unaddressed market, which DriveU, India’s first and fastest growing on-demand driver service is tapping in to.
Within just two years of launching, DriveU has served 30,000+ people, with 150,000+ safe drives in 6 cities; Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai & Pune. Most customers are retained as repeat customers.
DriveU has been growing at 20 per cent month-on-month and plan to expand services to 10 cities by end of 2017. From humble beginnings of 34 drivers in July 2015, DriveU is now planning to increase its driver network to 10,000.
Providing Decent Work and Sustainable Economic Growth
DriveU’s business model aligns with U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all. This makes the business not only a profitable investment, but one that improves the livelihoods of its employees.
Once verified and approved as DriveU employees, all drivers have access to health insurance and their earnings are paid bi-weekly.
Mohammed, a Bengaluru-based driver, had previously worked with multiple local cab aggregators, which deducted as much as 40 per cent of his earnings. A lack of fixed working hours also led to erratic income.
H says, “At DriveU, the first few duties are assigned the previous night and the subsequent ones take less than half hour once the previous ride is over. We have uniforms, are well-trained and have a manual that helps us understand how to deal with customers in different situations.”
Impact investment into “labour as a service” models transitions Indian workers from chaotic, disorganized sectors to more formal employment, increasing financial and other benefits to low-income workers.
DriveU helps drivers become micro-entrepreneurs and increases their income significantly; up to 50-100% or higher in some cases. In addition to higher incomes, driver aggregation platforms such as DriveU have the potential to improve quality of life through training in etiquette, hygiene, service quality and more.
Drive U is just one of the many Christian Super Impact Investments that are changing the world!