Indian Drivers Database Incorporation is a social venture, having its portal www.Drivers420.com,is used for the background verification of car, truck, bus drivers and operators of heavy equipment, against any criminal record regarding their work. The portal will allow the transporters, bus operators, radio cab companies, construction companies and individuals, etc. to hire Genuine and Honest drivers or operators. Bal Malkit Singh & Dr. Amarpreet Singh Ghura, Co-Founder, Drivers420 shared their experience with Drivers, views on manpower issues and their expectations from Transport industry
- Team Estrade: Tell us about yourself and journey in transport industry so far?
Bal Malkit Singh –One of the co-founder of Indian Drivers Database Incorporation and a leading and successful transporter since 1974 and has been an active member in various trade unions and other social forums. He is the Former President of All India Motor Transport Congress (2011-14) and Former President of Bombay Goods Transport Association (BGTA) (2008-10) and is now Chairman of Escorts Abolition and Toll Free Maharashtra Coordination Committee (EATFMCC), Comprising 225 Distt & Taluk Level Transport Associations of Maharashtra.
Dr. Amarpreet Singh is the co-founder of the Social Venture called Indian Drivers Database Incorporation (www.drivers420.com). He is a PhD in Management Studies in Automobile Industry and is an Alumni of Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai. He has been an entrepreneur in transport industry from year 2002 to 2006 and at present he is associated as visiting faculty with Management Institutes and is also an active researcher and management consultant.
- Team Estrade: You have just launched drivers420.com tell us how it will help all the stakeholders in transport sector?
BM Singh & Dr. AS Ghura: Today due to acute shortage of drivers, transporters are forced to hire drivers without any verification. This portal will help the industry players by allowing them to upload their bad and fraud experiences with drivers and safeguard others from hiring same driver.
This is India’s first initiative. Co founder Dr Amarpreet Singh had a similar instance in 2006 when one of his drivers had been involved in theft of a 40 ft trailer truck.
- Team Estrade: What’s your strategy to aware the masses of transport industry about drivers420.com?
BM Singh & Dr. AS Ghura: The strategy is simple; we had done the launch of the portal in a grand way. The launch was done on occasion of 60th year celebration of Federation of Bombay Motor Transporter Union on 19th November 2015, in front of over 800 transporters present. Launched by Shri Gautam Chatterjee (IAS) Add Chief Secretory- Transport and Ports.
The other dignitaries present were Shri Satej (Bunty) D Patil, Ex – Minister (Home), Shri Bhim Wadhwa –President – All India Motor Transport Congress, Daljit Singh Bal President of Federation of Bombay Motor Transport Operators, Surjit Singh -Director PMC Bank.
Others present were representatives from Tata Motors, Mahindra, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, HPCL, ITZ Cash, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, Indian Oil Corp who were some of the sponsors of the event
Now we have also created a page on face book which had received over 150 likes in just 10days. We also got press coverage in Times of India on 23rd November 2015 and by Vashi Times, Lokmat, DNA on 30th November 2015.
We also have created a 40 second video, which will be shared vis social medium such as watsapp, to the transporters. This video basically creates awareness about the portal.
“Due to acute shortage of drivers, transporters are forced to hire drivers without any verification”
- Team Estrade: Give us your views on the manpower issues especially with regards to the drivers?
BM Singh & Dr. AS Ghura: Today the industry faces 2 issues related to driver. The 1st issue is acute shortage of availability of skilled and faithful drivers. The other issue is no reference check of drivers. Thus our portal will cater directly to the 2nd issue of reference check and indirectly will succour transport industry recruit safe drivers.
- Team Estrade: It is believed that road transport industry in India is still much unorganised, what measures you think should be taken to call it an organised sector.
BM Singh & Dr. AS Ghura: Since independence transport industry is unorganized. More than 85% of players in transport industry are small players with about only 5 vehicles. Only 5 to 10% of large players have used technology. Our portal www.drivers420.com is one such initiative to make this sector organized. Today we are looking to get the data of fraud drivers from all the unions in India and create a data base for the transporters.
- Team Estrade: Trucking industry is more inclined towards foreign manufacturer like Mercedes, Volvo, Man etc today, where do you see is the gap in terms of delivering world class trucks when compared to Indian Manufacturer?
BM Singh & Dr. AS Ghura: Healthy competition is always welcome in the industry. Earlier there were only 2 players i.e. Tata and Ashok Leyland. With players such as Volvo, Mercedes, Man etc Indian players have been forced to change the way of doing business. Today even the offerings of Indian players such as Tata’s, Mahindra etc have improved. But still there is a long way to go. But today the issue is of after sales service and availability of drivers.
- Team Estrade: Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said his ministry aims to add 2% to country’s (GDP) in two years & create 50 lakh jobs in five years. Do you think there can be more to it, given if the infrastructure improves?
BM Singh & Dr. AS Ghura: Yes, because India today ranks 2nd when it comes to the roads, but it ranks 87th when it comes to the quality of infrastructure. Thus more measures need to be taken to improve the quality of the infrastructure. Moreover seamless movement of vehicle is still a challenge due to toll nakas, octroi nakas etc, which causes hindrance to the smooth functioning of vehicles. For instance 87000 crore is lost due to the wastage of fuel caused due to the traffic jam during the toll collection.
- Team Estrade: Technologically speaking what are the changes you would like to see in transport industry in India?
BM Singh & Dr. AS Ghura: Technology wise changes have already started, for instance today GPS is been installed in trucks, which shows the live real time location of vehicles. Moreover we are in talks to Maharashtra government to allow transporters to pay road tax online, thus eliminating the middle man.
- Team Estrade: How do you foresee the future transport industry in India?
BM Singh & Dr. AS Ghura: India is a developing economy and will be a super power soon. Thus transport industries contribution will be very integral in this journey of India being a super power. Thus transport industry has a bright future.
- Team Estrade: Any word of advice for the new entrepreneur and transport industry?
BM Singh & Dr. AS Ghura: Today competitive advantage is employees, also one must use technology such as GPS, drivers420.com and accept technology as a friend.