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What you see lurking in the horizon is 2017. It is almost here.

But let’s look back at the year gone past, 2016 was a weird year. And when things turn weird, the weird turn pro. Hunter S Thompson said that. And you can’t talk Thomson without talking about excess and when you talk excess, you talk, no not the drink and the food, but the money spent on app-based cabs. A lot of cash was spent in cornering the market and more is going to be burnt in changing customer behaviour. Because let us be honest, most of India trusts public transport more than a cab, which arrives at your doorstep after you a hit a button. But that’s their job.

So, companies have found their own way of finding a way to get customers. The likes of Jugnoo took to autos, Porter found trucks to be their sweetspot. BlaBlaCar copied the European backpacker model and pasted it in India. All of this while the original disrupter-in-chief, Uber, gave up on its Chinese dreams. It sold out to Didi Chuxing. And fixed its eyes on India. And to win the battle, Uber and Ola set up policy bodies to shape government rules in their favour.

For us, tracking the ridesharing/taxi business has been exciting. It is only going to get wild next year, we assure you that. I hope you come along for the ride.

  •  The story on Jugnoo’s stumbles and how it pivoted from one business model to another, all in an effort to find a viable business model. Read it here.
  • Porter on how it found appeal in the unsexy world of goods transport.
  • BlaBlaCar’s European sharing economy dreams.
  • Uber’s loss to Didi Chuxing and redirected focus on India. [Free]
  • The dark-suited faceless people from Uber and Ola trying to mould public policy in their favourite taxis.


Patanjali Pahwa

Patanjali has spent over seven years in journalism. He last worked at Business Standard as Principal Correspondent, where he wrote on startups, e-commerce companies and venture capital. He has worked at an array of institutions, which include Forbes India, Caravan and Outlook Business. He is a Mumbaikar, born and brought up. Patanjali did his BSc in IT from Mumbai University and then got his journalism degree from IIJNM in Bangalore. He is enamoured by Ernest Hemingway and Tom Waits and may try to sneak in references to them in his stories.

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