Ride-hailing service Snap E, known for its electric vehicle (EV) cabs, has ambitious plans for expansion. By the end of the fiscal year 2024, the company intends to more than double its existing fleet and extend its services to smaller cities.
Mayank Bindal, Managing Director of EC Wheels, the entity operating under the Snap E brand, emphasized the goal of inducting more women drivers into the workforce.
Bindal expressed, “In addition to our growth plans in the greater Kolkata area, our core market, we intend to explore opportunities in smaller cities like Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Varanasi, Raipur, Indore, Bhopal, Jaipur, and Ahmedabad in the coming years due to their untapped market potential.”
Furthermore, Snap E aims to provide environmentally friendly transportation options to tourists, initially targeting circuits like Varanasi-Ayodhya-Chitrakoot and Puri-Bhubaneswar-Konark-Chilika.
The company is gearing up to grow its fleet from the current 400 vehicles to 1,000 by the end of this fiscal year. Bindal expressed a commitment to hiring more women as drivers to enhance passenger comfort, with the goal of eventually having them comprise 30-35% of the workforce.
Presently, Snap E has approximately 10-12 women drivers. In addition to expanding the driver pool, Snap E plans to establish an institution in collaboration with private and government stakeholders to provide driver training, including vehicle servicing and customer interactions. Snap E, which marked its one-year anniversary in August, has achieved an average monthly revenue of around Rs 2.5 crore.
The company envisions a significant fleet expansion over the next five years, with 5,000-7,000 cars nationwide, primarily in Kolkata and smaller cities, aiming for a monthly revenue of Rs 35 crore. One of the major challenges facing the company is creating and maintaining the physical infrastructure needed for charging EVs.
Snap E has established hubs in various parts of Kolkata for vehicle parking, cleaning, and charging. Bindal highlighted the importance of vehicle ownership for accountability, ensuring cleanliness, and managing maintenance efficiently. Despite initially operating Snap E cabs on Uber’s platform for a brief period, Bindal emphasized the strong demand for ride-hailing apps.
He pointed out Snap E’s key strengths, including no surge pricing during peak hours and a focus on maintaining clean vehicles with courteous drivers.
Currently, Snap E receives around 15,000 ride requests daily for its 400 cabs, with Kolkata airport alone contributing 270-300 daily rides, representing a significant portion of the total app-based cab traffic at the airport.