Mahindra-backed Meru Cabs to focus on B2B segment, will not get into B2C war
Mahindra Group-backed ride hailing services provider Meru Cabs will focus on B2B (business-to-business) segment, leveraging its mobility platform,and not getting into the "B2C war," a top company official said.
A market leader in B2C (business-to-customer), B2B and B2C2B (business-to-consumer-to-business) segments, Meru, with a wide fleet of vehicles ranging from hatchbacks, economy and luxury sedans to premium SUVs and buses, including electric vehicles (EVs), caters to both intra- and inter-city travel, besides airport and car rental services.
"We are not really wanting to get into the B2C segment war. We want to focus on offering cab services wherever we are present and not beyond. We would be focusing on B2B through the mobility platform that we have created," Meru Mobility Tech Ltd founding and Managing Director Neeraj Gupta told PTI.
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The company has already committed an investment of USD 10 million in technology and EVs in 2020 to create business mobility platform 'SWITCH' and create infrastructure for operating a fleet of over 300 EVs in India.
As part of its business mobility platform, Meru offers a standardised product under the brand 'SWITCH' to its corporate customers, while it offers end-to-end technology and fleet solutions services under the brand 'ENGAGE' for companies requiring 24x7 employee transportation services.
"We have invested in technology and also in good leadership team members, which we were lacking, so that we can get out and get more contracts and good partnerships with the company," Gupta said.
Meru will also invest to create infra for EVs and expand its footprint further in the green transporting solution, he said.
Meru operates the second largest fleet of EVs in the country with over 350 electric vehicles operational across Mumbai and Delhi.
GLYD, a premium ride-sharing EV program initiated by Mahindra, is now a part of Meru's expansion plan. The regular category of EVs are operated under the brand 'EVGO'.
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Meru plans to expand its fleet and deploy 10,000 EVs as part of it.
Last September, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) had announced shareholder agreement for subscribing up to 55 per cent of equity share capital of Meru Travel for ₹201.50 crore in tranches.
Of this, M&M completed the acquisition of 36.63 per cent stake last December in the first tranche for ₹44.71 crore.
Stating that the COVID-19 induced lockdown impacted all segments of cab travel initially, Gupta said, "We are seeing standardised growth (across segments) from August onwards."
He said revenue dropped by 5-7 per cent during July and August, but there has been an uptick in sales in September.
"(In) August we were doing close to 50,000 bookings per month, now this time (September) we will be clocking 65,000-70,000 bookings per month, a growth of 15-20 per cent, with growth in intra-city rides," he added.
However, the ticket size has gone down a bit as the number of outstation bookings have declined as people who were stranded have moved back to their places during July and August, he said.
Meru also tied-up with major e-commerce companies and made over 2,00,000 deliveries through its cabs during the pandemic, according to the company.