The fast growing app-based cab service provider UTOO, with its services in Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bengaluru, is quietly making a difference in the lives of women hailing from underprivileged backgrounds. The taxi-hailing start-up has a significant number of women drivers and plans to train and induct a number of women into its fleet. “Having women as drivers is not just to ensure the safety of women passengers availing UTOO services, but is our policy to empower women who wish to take up driving as a profession”, says Fazil Badrudeen, Brand Head, UTOO Cabs.
Before getting inducted into the UTOO fleet as drivers, women undergo rigorous training in driving, safety measures and customer-facing and serving. The aspiring women drivers are put through 50 hours of driving, communications and soft skills training. They undergo thorough tests and checks before posted into the active fleet, serving the customers. The importance of keeping the vehicle clean, wearing the seat belt is prominently explained to them. UTOO also helps trained women drivers to get the license required to drive a taxi. Regular route training sessions are conducted so as to make them well aware and acquainted with the city and its peripherals.
A typical day at work starts at 10:00 AM in the morning and ends by 8:00 PM. This is in contrast to their male counterparts who work on a 12 hours shift. “Shorter shift timing for our women drivers creates a better and safer work environment. This flexibility helps them succeed and flourish,” Fazil adds. All UTOO cabs come with a panic button, which the women drivers can use to protect their safety in the times of need or any emergency.
Going forward, UTOO plans to expand services to all metropolitan and tier-2 cities in India. The app-based cab booking company aims to become a household name and take on the likes of Uber and Ola.