Indian startup BluSmart challenges Uber, Ola, entices passengers with electric taxis

Oluwanifemi Ojo
Oluwanifemi Ojo

An Indian ride-hailing startup, BluSmart is challenging dominant players Uber and Ola by offering an all-electric taxi fleet and enticing dissatisfied customers and drivers away from its competitors.

According to Reuters, the Indian government’s push towards clean energy is expected to significantly impact the transport industry, and ride-hailing firms are likely to struggle with driver retention and customer satisfaction issues during the shift to electric vehicles.

BluSmart makes use of the opportunity of its rivals’ struggles on electrification, cleanliness, and reliability through the direct management of its fleet and drivers.

According to Jasmeet Khurana, a mobility decarbonisation initiative leader at the World Economic Forum, “BluSmart has cracked quality of service with clean cars which are on time.”

BluSmart’s investor deck from March revealed that the startup has also taken advantage of Uber’s difficulties in India to attract investor support.

According to the deck, “Uber is losing drivers, riders and market share in India,” and its growth model is “crashing” due to the surging fuel prices.

Uber declined to comment on this story, but its India head Prabhjeet Singh told Reuters in February that the company was working on addressing service concerns while increasing the number of drivers and vehicles each month.

The company entered the Indian market in 2013, offering low fares for riders and high incentives to drivers.

Also, Ola, a competitor, began operations in 2010. Despite their initial success in India, both companies have faced challenges in recent years.

Riders have experienced high cancellation rates, and drivers have grown dissatisfied with reduced financial incentives, leading many to quit.

BluSmart, supported by BP’s venture unit, began its operations in 2020 by providing transportation services for travel to and from airports in Delhi.

It was reported that afterwards, it introduced scheduled bookings and eventually expanded its services to include Bengaluru as well.

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