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“Intercity One Way Cabs for Hire” Business Case HippoCabs – The Transportation Catalyst*

CASE STUDY, ENTREPRENEURSHIP & STARTUPS
ET Cases - FLAME, 10 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Dr. Kavaldeep Dixit, Professor - ISIM Jaipur, Dr. Tanjul Saxena, Associate Professor - IIHMR Jaipur, Dr Bharti Sharma, Associate Professor - ISIM Jaipur

Case Preview

“Intercity One Way Cabs for Hire” Business Case HippoCabs – The Transportation Catalyst

 

“Innovation is taking two things that already exist and putting them together in a new way.”1

Tom Freston2

This statement was held true in case of Sahil Agrawal (Sahil), CEO and Co-founder of HippoCabs, as the genesis of the business idea laid in a simple everyday incident when 21-year-old Sahil on returning from Germany landed at Delhi airport to board a connecting flight to Mumbai to meet his friends but decided to take a deviation and pay his parents a visit in Jaipur instead. Since the next flight to Jaipur was after eight hours he thought of other options. He initially thought of taking a taxi but on checking he found that it was turning out to be expensive as they were charging double fare, including return fare, for the one-way trip. Thinking a Volvo bus would be the best option, Sahil planned his jaunt accordingly. However, after waiting for a total of ninety minutes for the traffic to clear up and the bus to arrive, he got frustrated and contemplated he would had just booked a cab if he was expected to pay only one-way fare. After the entire ordeal of waiting for luxury bus, and then the bouncy ride which took him nearly eight hours to reach his destination, he thought of addressing the problem more closely. After discussing with several commuters, Sahil sensed that his dilemma was a common one, as people were diffident to opt for a cab because of the cost. People were opting for buses, which were affordable, but time-consuming with usually bumpy and monotonous rides and cab rides were ridiculously expensive..................


1 Tom Freston Quotes. (2017). BrainyQuote. Retrieved November 18th 2017, https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/tom_freston_532342
2 Thomas E. Freston (born November 22nd 1945) is an American entertainment industry executive.

 

Teaching Note Preview

“Intercity One Way Cabs for Hire” Business Case HippoCabs – The Transportation Catalyst

 

Synopsis

HippoCabs, an intercity shared cab service that offered convenience, comfort and luxury of a cab at the price of a bus was launched in July 2015 on the Delhi-Jaipur route with pocket-friendly fares starting from INR1,899. Today it boasts of presence in 100 cities and on 650 plus routes covering complete Rajasthan, NCR, Punjab, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and some parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat and UP.

With a quick and smooth signup process, it facilitated smooth ride booking for its customers. It also allowed its customers to reserve each seat separately instead of booking the whole cab. HippoCabs was committed to transforming the lives of those who offered rides and those who needed them. The company followed aggregator model wherein it did not own any cabs, it only paid the driver a fixed amount on per-trip basis and charged customers for their seat.

This teaching note attempts to analyze the business model of HippoCabs and its pro’s and con’s. It also covers the challenges the business faced and the future plans of its founders.

Case Positioning

The rationale for the study involves analyzing challenges and opportunities in entrepreneurship, studying the feasibility of a business idea, assessing customer needs, designing product-service offering and being unique. The case relates to transportation industry and the organization considered is HippoCabs an intercity cab aggregator. The case focuses on the differing innovative strategies adopted by the entrepreneurs to address its strategic growth needs in an intensely competitive marketplace.

Learning Objectives

• To analyze feasibility of business idea as well as challenges and opportunities in entrepreneurship;
• To apply the concept of Services differentiation in real-life business situation;
• To understand Business Model for intercity shared cab service.

Assignment Questions

I. What have been the key reasons for success of HippoCabs?
II. Analyze the business model of HippoCabs.
III....................

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Abstract

This case highlights the Business Model of HippoCabs – an intercity shared cab service that offers convenience, comfort and luxury of a cab at the price of a bus. HippoCabs positioned with the tagline – “Your Travel Mascot”, is a cab aggregator started by three young Jaipur-based like-minded entrepreneurs Sahil Agarwal, Sagar Agarwal and Ashish Kumar. It was launched in July 2015 on the Delhi-Jaipur route with pocket-friendly fares starting from INR1,899.

The company does not own any cabs, it only pays the driver a fixed amount on a per-trip basis and charges customers for their seat. HippoCabs, with its customer-friendly outlook and effective service was assisting drivers earn a consistent livelihood with integrity. Satisfactory Customer experience was their prime concern and keeping it consistent and improving it further was very important for them.



Pedagogical Objectives

  • To analyse the business models for a new vertical in car rental industry
  • To think and propose sustainability and growth strategies for a new startup in given environmental constraint
  • To investigate the pros and cons of business model adopted by the company in case
  • To investigate the scalability of business model of the car rental industry

Case Positioning and Setting

This caselet can be used in the MBA/MDP for analyzing challenges and opportunities in entrepreneurship, studying the feasibility of a business idea, assessing customer needs, designing product-service offering and being unique. The case focuses on the differing innovative strategies adopted by the entrepreneurs to address its strategic growth needs in an intensely competitive marketplace.

* FLAME CASE CONFERENCE 2017

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- Case Study
- Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)
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