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How to run a business like a Share Auto

I was in Chennai some months ago and one of the popular modes of transport there is a share auto– The pioneer of the sharing economy! 🙂

 

While I was riding one, I was trying to get some insights about their operations through my observation and a little conversation with the driver. I tried to connect these insights with some business lessons. Following is my humble effort of finding business lessons in share auto-

FRUGALITY

The driver always looks to get to the reach higher gear as early as possible and avoid shifting gears too much for a greater fuel efficiency. Like the driver, companies should always look to be frugal – one of the core values Amazon is ‘frugality‘ – Door Desks are a symbol of Amazon!

FINDING THE NICHE

Every share auto in Chennai does not give a ride throughout the city- they find a demand and chose a fixed route which they follow every day. ( The auto I got it, took a ride from the Railway station to the nearest Tech Park only)

Like the auto drivers, startups in the early stage should find a niche in the market and focus only on catering to that part of the market- not lose focus by trying to offer ‘everything’ to ‘everyone’.

EFFICIENT ASSET UTILIZATION

The share autos run 2 shifts in a day driven by 2 different drivers – The auto literally never stops! Trying to completely maximize their asset utilization.

SMART MONETIZATION STRATEGIES

This is my favorite!

Some of the share autos place two plastic chairs in the boot of the auto and to increase their seat capacity and which increases their revenue by 25%!

It is very surprising how people like the share autos, paan waalas, and every street vendor gets their business fundamentals right and so much for every one of us to learn.

Hope you had fun reading it!

Looking forward to all your feedback – very new to writing. 🙂

-Vyshak Iyengar

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