Monthly Archives: March 2014

How to Rate an mGaadi Driver – Chronicle #102

By | Autos | 4 Comments
Pic courtesy

Pic courtesy

Chronicle #101 is rather simple. In fact, let me summarize it real quickly.

  • Driver reaches your pickup location on (or before) time and gives you a missed call.
  • Driver is courteous and polite to a fault.
  • Driver observes all traffic rules.
  • Driver has exact change
  • You give him a perfect 5-star rating!

Chronicle #102 was related to me today by a regular mGaadi commuter and reads like the scorecard of a gymnastics championship judge.

  • Driver doesn’t bother coming to the exact pickup location.. making you walk 100 meters.
    • 1 point reduced.
  • As he passes by LPG filling station, driver suddenly decides he needs to fill up. Then turns around and demands advance payment of Rs. 50.
    • 1 point reduced.
  • Driving as though speed bumps don’t exist or he was driving an SUV.
    • 1 point reduced.
  • After reaching destination, as you rummage through your purse looking for more change (since you already gave him Rs. 50 at the filling station), driver starts lecturing you (with a surly attitude) “if you didn’t have change, you should have told me at the filling station“.  You manage to find exact remaining change of Rs. 77.
    • 1 point reduced.
  • Net rating: 5 – 1 – 1 -1 -1 = 1 star


Anatomy of a driver mixup

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What are the odds of an mGaadi customer mistakenly getting into ‘another’ mGaadi auto?

To answer this question, I must first tell you how customers and drivers are supposed to find each other.

After we successfully assign a driver to a customer’s trip, appropriate SMSs get sent to customers and drivers. The customer SMS includes the name and mobile# of the driver and also the auto’s registration #. Android and Windows Phone customers also get additional details like the picture of the driver (when it’s available), what languages the driver speaks, color of the auto (green or black), etc.

We also have the mGaadi sticker. The sticker has not been distributed to all the enrolled drivers and is also not enforced. So we don’t know what percentage of the 1,100+ auto rickshaws sport the mGaadi sticker.

The answer to my original question is “low”. In fact, in our service’s brief existence a mixup has never happened.

Until yesterday.

Last evening, a customer arrived at the pickup location, saw an auto sporting the mGaadi sticker and promptly clambered in. A st cursory (and careless) examination of the auto display card didn’t ring any alarm belle – the first syllable of the driver’s name matched with the assigned driver’s name so the customer announced the destination and off they merrily went. Meanwhile, they left behind a highly miffed driver who had incurred “dead miles” to reach the pickup location for a trip (of reasonable length) that he was promised 45 min ago. Ouch.

Why is this blog worthy?

Firstly, this is a reminder that we need to do a better job of communicating to customers that they should double, -check the auto registration number and driver’s name before getting in to the auto.

Secondly, it’s heartening that while the 1,100 drivers are but a tiny speck (relative to Bangalore’s overall auto population of 160,000), we still had a mixup between TWO mGaadi autos.


BRING IT ON, Bangalore!

By | Autos | No Comments

Dear mGaadi commuter,

On Oct 1 ’13, when we beta launched our call auto service, we had 300 auto rickshaw drivers. On Dec 12, when we released our Android app, the number had jumped to 500. Two months later (Valentine’s Day to be precise) that number doubled. We are now at 1070. Yes – that is 1,070 auto rickshaw drivers in the mGaadi Bangalore network.

Between Dec and Jan, we kept a low profile on the customer outreach front, largely to manage the trip fulfillment rate. We are now comfortable with the pace of driver enrollments and fulfillment rate is holding at a healthy level.

Has it been a perfect journey so far? Heck no! We’ve had our share of drivers-not-showing-up, customers-cancelling-last-minute, and some rare standoffs too. But the emerging patterns along with the large number of driver ratings are showing us the way forward. 1,070 drivers and thousands of mGaadi trips later, we are now saying to Bangalore auto rickshaw commuters – BRING IT ON!

Bring it on? Yeah – book an mGaadi auto. From ANYWHERE in Bangalore. No second guessing on where the mGaadi autos might be. Just book away. We’ll try our darndest to fulfill your booking. If we are unable to come through, we’ll try even harder to fulfill your next trip.

How to book an mGaadi auto?

  1. mGaadi Android app (Download here)
  2. mGaadi Windows Phone app (send a request for beta access to
  3. From your mobile (or desktop) browser, access
  4. Call (080) 6768 4983

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