Sunday, April 25, 2010

QUENCH YOUR THIRST IN AUTO

QUENCH YOUR THIRST IN AUTO
Shruthi Balakrishna | TNN


Chilled water bottles to quench thirst in city autorickshaws! Commuters couldn’t have asked for more. With the summer heat driving people crazy, some autos in the city are selling the ‘naturally chilled’ water bottles.
Initiated by Easy Auto, a branded call autorickshaw service, presently has 250 vehicles with it. Of these, 70 provide water bottles to commuters. The advertisement is prominently displayed inside the auto which is hard to miss. Each bottle is priced at Rs 15 inclusive of service charge of Re 1.
“One of the ideas is to enhance the earnings of the auto driver in a small way as ever rupee counts for them,” Padmasree Harish, managing director, Easy Auto, told TOI.
Though the company wanted to introduce providing water bottles from the beginning, they thought it was ideal to do it from March as the summer begins. “This worked as summer is scorching here. Earlier when commuters felt thirsty, they had to find place where they could get water. Now, it’s easier. Moreover, quite a lot of our drivers have given positive feedback while a fewfound it difficult to sell as they are shy. We have no problems with that,” she explained. On an average the drivers sell 5-6 bottles which easily sums up to extra Rs 30.
Easy Auto provides canvas bag to hold six bottles filled with ice cubes. This chillness will last for 6-8 hours. Some of them even keep in the refrigerator which lasts for 4-5 hours. “I don’t have refrigerator at home. When commuters ask me for a chilled water bottle, I cannot provide them. I couldn’t sell more than one or two bottles. Hence I decided to return to the owners. They had no problems with that. However, those with the refrigerator, it’s an advantage,” an auto driver, who did not want to be named, said.
The company is contemplating introducing fresh packed juices along with water for the commuters. What’s more, they are also looking at providing pre-paid mobile recharge cards from the telecom providers so that commuters can take from the drivers.
In addition to this, the company is also planning to have kiosks at malls. To begin with, they will have 25 stationary vehicles at a leading mall so that commuters need not have to wait to get an auto. “Our autos are monitored by the police department. It will be exclusive for the customers for the mall,” Padmasree added.

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