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Corporate Employee Transportation - Challenges, Opportunities & Risks

IT industry was the first to start large scale transportation for employees from home to office and back. This demand was necessitated on the one hand, by absence of effective public transportation, and on the other by the needs of very stringent standards of delivery built into contracts by the US & European partners who were being provided BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) services. This spawned the “Call Centre” culture, with precision in time of reporting. To meet these twin challenges, BPO companies fell back to outsourcing this need to local transporters.

Corporate transport is, therefore, relatively new and is possibly only as old as India’s open market economy. Last fifteen years or so have witnessed an exponential growth in this privately-operated transportation sector. It remained highly unorganized for first seven – eight years, and perhaps still is in second and third tier metros. The industry saw mushrooming of small fleet operators, growing from a handful of cabs/buses, to large firms. These players grew in their size, trying to match with the industry growth. By any standards it was a huge success story - a sort of win-win situation for the IT sector and the transporters, and gradually attracted more business houses giving it some structure. With growth came hosts of risks and challenges for the organizations providing transport to their employees. Born out of sheer necessity, and fueled by the imperative needs of an ever-expanding IT infrastructure, corporate transport became the backbone of many organizations, over a period of time – an industry of sorts.

This industry could largely be divided into Employee Transportation (providing buses / coaches / cabs to employees for traveling to work place and back home while operating in multiple shifts) and Executive Transportation (Limited to engaging premium / normal car rental services for visiting clients / leaders, business meetings and the like). The scope of this article is limited to the former, being voluminous and a more formidable challenge for organizations, although many issues would be common to both.