Haven’t all of us dreamt of going to the Northeast for vacations at least once?
Beyond the regular travel routes, those who have already visited, might acknowledge having had a little trouble commuting, since most parts in the region are enveloped by hilly terrains, making it kind of difficult for infrastructural facilities like rail or airways. Well, not without leveling away the huge magnanimous stretch of the hills.
Now, a young entrepreneur from Sikkim has made it really easy to commute around the state and to the other seven sisters with absolute ease and comfort!
Rewaj Chettri, CEO of NE Taxi. Source: Facebook
Rewaj Chettri, all of 23, runs a travel agency based in Gangtok, that provides rental car service, known as NE Taxi, helping people to go anywhere in the whole of the Northeast! With an aspiration to provide the best transportation services in the entire Northeastern region, the agency was established in 2013.
“The idea came to me during my college days in Northeastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology, also known as NERIST, where I was doing my B.Sc. in Forestry. The problem was that there were taxi services in the northeast, but nothing very well organized. I really wanted to start something that does not just provide easy commuting but also in a systematic manner and more important, with rides that could be tracked,” he said.
The best part about the service is that not only do you get a luxurious and comfortable ride throughout your trip; you get the services of a travel guide as well!
Isn’t that something unique!
You might be wondering about safety concerns, but fret not! “Every driver who is currently part of NE Taxi, undergoes various background and drug tests along with an intense defense-driving course. Only after they pass it do they get inducted,” Rewaj clarifies.
NE Taxi has also collaborated with Impulse NGO network, which deals with human trafficking and is based in Meghalaya, as a solid measure towards providing a safe and sound environment for tourists, but more than that, to keep a check on the human trafficking in and around the region. An important aspect of this collaboration is the efficient use of technology where they will be sharing a software that is in sync with the Impulse Case Info Centre (ICIC) and which will be installed with the NE Taxi app that is soon to be launched.
Rewaj explained that under this collaboration, the drivers will be given access to the software wherein an SOS button will be attached. The moment a driver or a passenger suspects any case of trafficking, they can utilise the SOS app that will then report the incident to the nearest police department or authority. “Not all the cases may be subject to human trafficking. For this, the drivers will be duly trained under a special course that will help them identify potential trafficking cases before they report the cases,” he adds.
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Currently, with an operational team of 20, Rewaj has come a long way from the famous young entrepreneur, who had so many ideas in his head that he launched close to 30 startups at one point!
Last year, Rewaj won the prestigious ‘The Entrepreneur 3,’ a business competition at Young Leaders Connect for his business plan of NE Taxi. YLC is a platform that brings together young leaders and achievers from across the northeastern states with the hope of developing greater awareness and understanding of the region, as well as to establish a powerful network of like-minded people.
Back in March, NE Taxi had launched a new venture named NEshare, a shared ride service in the city of Gangtok. “Not only does this benefit the passengers, but the drivers as well. The sharing option will ensure that the drivers have more passengers in a single trip rather than having been blocked by one passenger,” Rewaj said.
Making the service even more convenient, the NE Taxi team plans on expanding to the Android and iOS platforms and will be launching the app that can be used more conveniently by June. “Unlike earlier times where one could not track drivers or be too sure of the service, this app will make the entire process more easy and have a more organized functioning, where everything can be tracked and monitored,” he adds.
Screenshots of soon to be launched app. Source: Facebook
The app will give you the opportunity to curate your own travel package according to the requirement. Compared to the traditional tour packages where you had to take what is offered by a travel company, you get to customise even small details.
Sounds pretty exciting, right?
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The young entrepreneur, inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words, takes pride in being a job creator and not a job seeker, and currently employs more than 500 drivers, opening up better scope for employment opportunities for the youth in Sikkim, a state reportedly harbouring maximum number of unemployed educated youth in India.
For more information on NE Taxi, you can click here.