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An Auto driver in Gurgaon: A man who exemplifies grass root entrepreneurship in the Millennium City
Real life story of an auto driver in Gurgaon who carries an auto stamp as his visiting card to garner a loyal base of customers.

In Gurgaon, travelers have to deal with a poor transportation system, over-crowded metros and unsafe private vehicles. But none of these come even close to the menace of the ever-present Autowallahs in the city. Commuters have to give in to the whims of the drivers of this precious and precarious mode of transport, who can charge you anywhere between Rs.50 to Rs.100 for a short distance, one could possibly jog to. While the Government has come in with a slew of changes and ‘rules’, especially for the safety of women; these Auto drivers are still an everyday hazard to an everyday commuter.

That is why one particular person stands out in this crowd of these everyday mercenaries, who still gives us a ray of hope. Meet Rajesh. 

Demographic data to drive loyalty

Not just the clerical part, Rajesh has displayed entrepreneurial instincts by using the data he has, to set up a loyal and regular base of customers that refer to his service. His use and knowledge of demographics of his customer base is unique and that’s what sets him apart from the crowd. On asking, one could know that till date 2,647 people have used his services. His ability to group this further into unique and repeated customers is something that stands out even more. Rajesh has 648 ‘repeat’ customers or people who have used his services more than once. 

Quality comes at a Fee

What does Rajesh offer that other Auto drivers don’t ? Well, to start with, he offers ‘Quality’. He offers a no-nonsense agreed upon fee structure. People may be aware that Auto drivers have a habit of increasing fare if they feel the destination is even slightly ahead than decided upon. Rajesh has distributed his number to a host of people who use his services on a regular basis. 

On a notice of 2 hrs, Rajesh’s services can be booked and he can be relied upon to drop you anywhere in Gurgaon anytime of the day. Yes, that’s correct; Rajesh can guarantee you a ride 24*7. He charges extra between 11 PM to 6 AM, but people don’t mind when they have a reliable source to get them across the city on a call. He ensures ‘Safety’ of his customers, especially women, which is evident from the fact that out of his 648 repeat customers, 89 are women. Rajesh has grown his ‘services’ by setting up a network of 23 other trusted Auto drivers who help him with providing services to places that he can’t reach on time or he’s carrying other fares. This is the entrepreneurial spirit that Rajesh displays, but astoundingly he doesn’t charge his colleagues for sending business their way.

Few months ago, one of his customers struck a conversation with him and shared his story on one of the esteemed entrepreneurial platforms, TheRodinhoods. The story was read and appreciated by many while some of the members decided to add a star to his services. To let other people know about him and avail his services which could be a boon to many office goers, ‘a thinking hub’ based out of New Delhi, decided to create a stamp which would carry his contact details along with highlights of his services. 

Shaped interestingly as an auto, one could simply apply the stamp to a piece of paper, or at the back of an existing visiting card. The idea, Rajesh credits, to a Delhi based agency called Nailbites.  Rajesh claims that this lets him distribute his number with a one-time-cost, rather than a recurring (and expensive) investment in business cards. It helps his services reach people without affecting his financial outgo too much. 

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