Soumajit and Saswata, IIT Kharagpur graduates started Rowdyauto in June this year when they were threatened by an auto driver (with an iron rod) in a bid to extort money. “Traffic police stood there without taking any action,” says Soumajit. “RowdyAuto.in is going to make Auto Rickshaw travel safer and more reliable across the country. Over the years we have seen a steep decline in customer friendliness and professionalism exhibited by Auto Drivers. We frequently get to hear reports ranging from harassment, over-charging, refusing to travel to certain locations, to rape, assault, extortion. It has become so nasty that people can expect almost every alternate auto drivers to overcharge and misbehave,” adds Saswata.
The portal also allows you to give reviews or flag autowallas as good or bad, people then can search with Auto’s registration/ licence plate number and find reviews and decide if the auto they are going to hire is good to go with or not. People using portals have successfully flagged auto drivers who have misbehaved with them and forcibly overly charged them. Moreover, the portal also allows you to take selfies/photos with good auto drivers who are noble and showed good moral character to their customer.
RoduAuto portal functions in very easy 3 steps –
- Search – Search by License plate number and know about the Auto Driver’s history
- Review – Write a review on your recent Auto Ride (good or bad) and let everyone know.
- Decide – Take an informed decision. Avoid Rowdy drivers.
It has been less than 2 months, and they already have around 1700 Unique Visitors per day with more than 125 reviews. Over time, they intend to have a comprehensive database of almost all auto rickshaws plying in the city. This would include the good ones as well as the bad ones. We will make sure that good ones get lot of benefits and incentives from our portal,” says Saswata. It will include guiding more and more commuters to them, offering them loans with extremely low interest rates etc. So let’s try and spread the word among all drivers.
“The Traffic Police does what it can to fine the bad drivers who have been brought to notice, but even then it doesn’t seem to incite any fear or deterrent the behavior of the drivers,” says Soumajit. This team of 5 based out of Bangalore wants to be available across all major cities in India and will soon be available over web, phone, SMS and Mobile Apps. As a message for future Entrepreneurs, they say, “Follow your heart. There is always something good in store. Be true to your dreams.”