The rickety black-and-yellow taxis and auto rickshaws are long-standing icons of India's chaotic streets – but Neeraj Gupta, managing director of the country's largest radio cab service, Meru Cabs, wants to change that.
Launched in the financial capital of Mumbai in 2007 with just 45 taxis, Meru Cabs has grown exponentially in terms of fleet size and geographical presence, boasting a fleet size of around 7,000 taxis across eight cities today.
And India's taxi king isn't stopping there.
"We now want to expand and have our presence across as many cities as possible in the country. In this financial year, we want to go to another 4-6 cities," Gupta said in an interview with CNBC. "In fact, we have hired a person to evaluate whether we can go into some international markets."
Gupta, a first generation entrepreneur, came up with the idea to run a fleet of modern, air conditioned cabs equipped with GPS – previously a rarity in India – as his earlier venture - a staff transportation business - started to stagnate.
In 2006, the government of Maharashtra invited tenders for 10,000 radio cabs, competing with traditional black-and-yellow taxis in Mumbai.