TrueInsights: The Changing Face of Cab Hailing in India

Cab rides are routine for some, and luxury for others. For Truecaller, cab rides entail conversations between consumers and the service providers. This gave us the idea to draw insights from the call intent and understand the evolution of cab service.

With a population of 1.25 billion citizens, India offers various modes of public transportation. You cannot miss the legendary black-and-yellow cabs (kaali peeli), and commuters calling out loud to book their cab while ‘on the move’ on road.

Of the 684 million phone users in India, 205 million smartphone users are now changing the way cabs are the booked while ‘on the move’ in India, and we are analyzing that trend to share some exciting TrueInsights on how you call-a-cab in India.

The widely used method of getting a cab on the street, or calling a local cab vendor still accounts for majority of the revenue in the taxi industry (valued at USD 9 billion/INR 59,720 crores). However, booking cabs through cab aggregator service apps are increasingly getting popular in India.

From January 1st to April 17th, Indian smartphone owners using Truecaller made and received 2.49 billion calls to some sort of cab or car service. Here’s how it looked for the cab aggregator service.

When it comes to call traffic for the new wave of ride-sharing, app-based services like Ola Cabs and Uber were the undisputed leaders by numbers of calls.

Ola Cabs made a whopping 42.5 million calls to its users, while 59.5 million calls were made by users – which accounted for 102 million calls between Ola Cabs and its users. Uber users received 13.6 million calls from the company, and called the company 25.4 million times – which totaled 39 million calls.

But as you can see, these new app-based services are still just a drop in the bigger ocean that is the Indian taxi industry. Even if the market keeps growing at anywhere near the pace it currently is, then there is abundant room for more than one service to operate. But we don’t think that’ll stop taxi services from battling it out for market share and the hearts of Indian riders for months and years to come.

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