He is affectionately called “Auto Anna” in Chennai. So now, Anna Durai, the auto-rickshaw driver who won the hearts of thousands in the city with his tricked out auto-rickshaw, is now looking at launching a new app-based auto-hailing service. And unsurprisingly he will be bringing his trademark style to all the autos in the service.
Auto Anna is famous in Chennai (not to mention globally, thanks to the internet), for riding an auto-rickshaw that offers its commuters everything from newspapers, magazines, free Wi-FI, mobile charging points, access to television and even a tablet.
But riding the most famous auto in the country wasn’t enough for this entrepreneur from Thanjavur district.
Photo source: Facebook
He is working with a team of five, including students, to develop an all-encompassing app that will bring a slew of autos under its umbrella and offer even better features. For starters, he notes that people can order food while they are hailing an auto. Speaking to The Hindu, he says, “Passengers travelling to railway stations can use the app to order food. We will have the food ready. The passenger can pick it up on the way. There are many other features we are working on. Any auto driver can register and join this network.”
Anna Durai is also looking at creating new career opportunities for rickshaw drivers in the city. He has already been talking to many of them to join in on his project because he believes that there is a lucrative market in Chennai that can be tapped. And while he doesn’t have the kind of budget that big companies do to publicise their services, he is hoping that satisfied customers and word-of-mouth is enough for him to launch his app.
A prolific user of social media platforms, he is hoping that Instagram, Facebook and now, Twitter, gives his business that added push to gain more fans and patrons.
Auto Anna can be contacted here