Meru targets Rs 850 cr revenue in 2016-17

Working on a model to “make every city profitable”, taxi services provider Meru is targeting a revenue of Rs 850 crore in 2016-17 on the back of new services and deeper penetration into existing markets.The company, which returned to profits in December quarter of the previous fiscal after a gap of almost 1.5 years, clocked a revenue of about Rs 600 crore in 2015-16.

“We are growing steadily by 35 per cent every year, and are targeting a revenue of Rs 850 crore by the end of the current fiscal on the back of our new channels, deeper penetration into existing markets and expansion. We are working on a model to make every city profitable,” Meru Group CEO Siddhartha Pahwa told PTI.

Presently, Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Kolkata have become entirely profitable, he pointed out.

The company has set a target to grow its revenues by 10 times in the next six years to become a USD 1 billion company and is ploughing back profits to strengthen its operations, he added.Consequently, Meru launched several new initiatives, including a ride-sharing option and carpooling service last year.

Most recently, the company launched Meru Enable, a wheel-chair accessible taxi service in Mumbai.It has also tied up with Facebook Messenger to tap into its 100 million plus customers in the country and enable them to book cabs via the social networking site.

Meru, which operates taxi services in 23 cities, is planning to expand its network to 45 cities by adding more tier-II cities which have good potential by the end of 2017, he said.The firm has a fleet of 20,000 cars, of which about 6,000 are owned by Meru and the rest are on aggregator business model.

The company’s aggregator model is growing at over 20-30 per cent every year, while it plans to continue to add about 2,000 vehicles every year to its own business, some of which would be replacement of old vehicles, Pahwa said.