Bloomberg: Japan’s largest non- banking financial firm has started a taxi service in India in partnership with a local company as rising incomes boost demand for safe, comfortable means of transportation.
Orix Auto Infrastructure Services Ltd., a joint venture with Mumbai-based Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd. introduced its first fleet of 100 air-conditioned radio taxis in the capital, New Delhi, yesterday. The service will also be expanded to major cities, including Mumbai, said Neeraj Kumar, Orix Auto’s CEO.
Construction of roads and rising incomes are enabling more people to use luxury means of transport. In 2005, India had about 50 mn people with annual incomes of between Rs2 to 10 lakhs, according to McKinsey & Co. The number is expected to grow to 583 mn people by 2025.
“We are bringing in different kinds of capital, technology and services in this segment as we want to transform the public car hire system in Delhi,” Kumar said today in a telephone interview. “This is just a modest beginning for us.”
Orix Auto plans to have a fleet of 1,000 cabs within a year, investing as much as Rs500 mn. It will charge Rs15 per km, 50% more than existing taxi operators that use aging, non- air-conditioned vehicles. It will also have credit card machines and global positioning systems to monitor their movements.