The ‘‘Taxi For Sure: Technological Innovation in the Radio Cab Industry’’ and ‘‘The Radio Cab Industry (August 2014)’’ cases present an example of the services industry arguably experiencing disruption owing to technological innovations. This case is set in the radio cabs industry in a developing nation (India). The case takes the perspective of the management of TaxiForSure, a Bangalore-based startup operating in the radio cab industry in India, whose management team has to chart its growth strategy as well as review the operating model in order to ensure that they maintain a competitive edge.
Introduced in India in 2000, the concept of radio cabs took off only around 2006-2007 when Meru Cabs entered the industry. Since then, the industry has evolved rapidly with several startups entering the market owing to its huge potential for growth. The strategic and operational decisions made by these companies play a major role in deciding their future as they vie for the same set of customers and drivers in somewhat similar cities across India (with some companies planning overseas expansion). There are two key operating models followed by companies in the radio cab industry – the ‘‘owner operator model’’ and the ‘‘aggregator model’’. The cases explore the benefits and consequences of choosing either of the two models as well as trigger a debate on adoption of a “hybrid model”.
The case highlights the importance of operations strategy as a source of competitive advantage, using the context of the Indian radio cab industry, focusing on the operations of TaxiForSure and debating on the various growth options available to it. The case will be useful in introducing the concepts of operations frontier, and organizational architecture (modular and integral), and in understanding the role that operations play in defining the business strategy of an organizations; studying all these concepts in the context of the services industry in general, and the radio cabs industry, in particular.