Indore: Young, educated and financially secure cab drivers

  • Manoj Ahuja, Hindustan Times, Indore
  • Updated: Feb 25, 2016 18:34 IST
Gopal Parmar joined Uber as he did not want to depend on his parents for his monthly expenses. (Shankar Mourya / HT photo)

Energy to burn but no money — the wait between college and employment can be tough. However, some young men in Indore have tied up with cab service providers Uber and Ola to remain financially independent while they wait for other jobs.

Gopal Parmar, 23, is the son of a farmer in his final year of his BSc. Two months ago, he started driving a cab to earn a little extra cash.

“I did not want to depend on my parents for my monthly expenses. First I thought of giving tuitions in an educational institute, but the timings were not flexible. Then someone told me about Uber, and I joined them as a partner,” Gopal told HT.

“What I like about my job is that I can go offline any time I want so that I don’t get any calls from the customer service executive and attend to my studies,” he said. Gopal now aims at owning a fleet of cabs once he graduates.

Gopal got full support from his father Vikram Singh Parmar. “I told my son to do whatever he thinks is right, but also make sure to complete his education,” Parmar told HT.

Ola launched operations in Indore in 2014, while Uber entered a year later. Both firms have more than 500 cabs in the city. Unlike other taxi services, the drivers with Uber and Ola have flexible working hours and can choose to go off-line or take a day off anytime they want.

“In Indore itself we have six such youths who are our driver partners. They can own their car, making a living out of it, and work flexible hours. We are getting inquiries from more youngsters and pretty soon their numbers will rise,” Uber general manager (west) Ipsita Das told HT.

Another youngster, Naveendra Singh, became a ‘driver partner’ three months ago. A science graduate from Devi Ahilya Vishwa Vidhyala (DAVV), he started driving cabs as he did not want to be unemployed. “I did not like the idea of staying unemployed and was sure that I would earn more by driving a cab, as the initial salary for a BSC graduate is very low,” Singh told HT.

Some youngsters have started driving taxis as it pays better. Vinay Bhadoria, who holds a BA degree and a post graduate diploma, has been associated with Ola for one year. He feels that he can earn more while driving a cab than by a regular job.

“I did not want to work for anyone for a paltry salary. I now own two Swift Dzire cars, which have been financed by SBI, and have hired a driver,” he told HT. While he was hesitant to reveal his exact income, Vinay said that he makes `20,000 more than he would have earned in a private sector job.

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