Here’s how “The taxi walas” helped us grow

19:16 Houssup com 3 Comments

There is nothing as powerful as a well-placed traditional marketing hack. Indian startup ecosystem meets growth hack.

The thermostat on the rise and the heat wave melting roads, Indian politicians going absolutely bonkers, and Pankaj nihalani’s drug supply running out are but some of the highlights of our great nation India भारत. Amongst these our meager achievement may not stand out but well a word to the wise, that’s how the biggies started.

What are those three magic words every woman loves to hear? “I love you”?
Well, our friends over there at experienceproject.com have generated a colossal list apparently (http://goo.gl/y7a3Uv) but it lacks something says, Sneha Sameera, talented architect (CDO,houssup.com)

You got leads! Yep, those are the three magic words, every up-and-coming startup (We are going to be a interiors giant by the way, just saying) strives to tire of overhearing.



But, presentation is important. The way you sneak in, into your target group’s lives, build a self-perpetuating marketing machine that reaches millions by itself. The primary difference between growth marketing and traditional marketing is that growth marketers do not take the time to strategize a marketing plan. Instead, growth hackers test to find something that works. That is something that brands of all sizes, startup or not, can leverage for success.

The marketing rockstar, “Ryan-growth hacker-holiday” has rightly said, “Instead of a bludgeon brute approach, use a scalpel, targeted to a specific audience.” So we at Houssup.com scurried off to our brainstorming sessions, firm in our resolution to stay on an indifinite fast till we locked down unto a feasible idea!

After 43 coffee refills, 4 fistfights and one appraisal; our star interns Manmohan and Murtuza, came upwith a growth hack that was feasible, user-friendly and it’s implementation being hassle-free.

Operation CabHack was conceptualized and launched within a day itself. The concept for this growth hack was, in cabs nowadays the passenger has minimal interaction with the other passengers if any, along with random glances at a mobile screen being the only pastime. Also, they are susceptible to any reading material left in the cab itself. So, why not have some informative content about houssup.com available to them.

This was suddenly a new avenue of customer acquisition for us, and cost-redundant too!
The moral issue we faced at this point was, this growth hack will serve in a beneficial way for us 
converting every passenger into a potential client, but what are we doing for the drivers? The elusive 

marketer's dilemma disease catching up to our but human conscience. Are we improving their way of life 
through monetary benefits generating a side-income; do we train them in some way that benefits them in customer retention for their cabs. What is our value proposition for them? Our humble offices have borne witness to deep philosophical discussion and too many arguments on this dilemma. We decided on monetary incentives as an initial approach, but we are going through ideas on how to generate value for the cab drivers in the near future. If you have any ideas regarding the same, do share them with us.


What we designed was a booklet, minimalistic in content, yet easily able to convey what we do, and what our value proposition is for the potential customer. Basically, the concept was to stick the booklet on the back of the driver seat headrest so that it will be eye-catchy and easily within the reach of the passenger. Also, on the adjoining seat, these words were printed, “उधर मत देख !”, easily a byplay on human curiosity.


We went to the drivers of cabs (Uber, Ola Cabs, and cabs booked by private companies etc), requested them to let us conduct this experiment as this will also keep the passenger engaged and happy. If asked, we negotiated in return for monetary incentives. We did this at various corporate hotspots in Delhi NCR.

It was decided to keep the programme going on for a month, and the result was too good to be true. We had generated more leads through this growth hack then in last 4 months combined traffic generated by traditional marketing avenues!


This was a great experience for us, the feedbacks of the involved drivers helped a lot too in motivating us. Their feedback was taken thrice; once before implementation to plan the growth-hack accordingly, then 10 days past implementation and at last, after the conclusion of a month. What we learnt was that 9 out of 10 passengers read and even inquired about the booklet to the driver. We are glad that we had tried this method, our interaction with the cab drivers validated our beliefs on the plight of the Indian cab driver. How they have been judged harshly by the elite, mistreated too long; for their heart is nothing short of gold. Their goodness of heart shouldn’t restrict us from keeping their issues in mind. We had to dispense monetary incentives at rare incidences as the drivers were quite happy and not-at- all reluctant to aid us on this venture. They are supporting the Indian startup ecosystem in their own way.

One incident stands out, the location being sikandarpur metro station and we are in talks with a driver, let’s name him Ramadhir Singh. Ramadhir listened patiently to our pitch, that who we are, what we want to do & from him, and how if any lead from him is converted we’ll pay him accordingly. Paan glistening, spectacles cracked facade of Ramesh apparently hid an inquisitive mind, for the next thing he said was, “Funding wunding utha liye h na? Hmaare saab bahut bde investor h”.
Stay tuned in for more growth-hack tales in coming months!
We will make sure to keep on innovating and trying to inform the general populace about us!





3 comments:

  1. Many many congratulations on such a thoughtful endeavour. It is a privilege to bear witness to an essence so strong. Wheels on motions and leads to sky...goodluck team #houssup.

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    1. thanks for your kind and inspiring words :) @akshu !

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