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Man behind the wheel

Frederica Elbourne
Saturday, February 23, 2013

AFTER 10 years of working for a taxi company, Vikash Rameshwar made the bold and brave move to start his own business.

"I was a taxi base controller," he told Motoring this week.

Now the proud owner of two taxis, Mr Rameshwar isn't resting on his laurels.

"I have to pay my bills, do the shopping, go to the movies once a week, and have entertainment in my life. You need colours in the rainbow, otherwise you're just black and white, head and shoulders only. That's why I have to drive too.

"Even though I own the business, I have to work for me," he said.

He owns and operates Skippers Taxis at the lower end of Wailoku in Tamavua, an initiation that began three years ago.

Business is flowing, he said.

"Peak or no peak, business is good because of the way I provide services to customers. What we can say is business has declined because of low income earners."

In line with one of the 10 rules of self-confidence, Mr Rameshwar believes that once you find something you like to do, do it well, then do it over and over.

"When you enjoy doing something, you will want to keep at it and make money out of it," he explained.

While Mr Rameshwar drives one of his two taxis, a female driver drives the other. His background is deeply rooted in the transport industry.

In his opinion, if taxi drivers work within the ambit of their taxi base, there won't be complaints about business being "slack".

"Only those drivers that are not operating from their base, those driving empty cabs through the city streets looking for business—they are the frustrated ones, because they are not working within the confines of their base.

"Spending 20 to 40 minutes cruising the busy city streets in search of customers, not only adds to traffic congestion, it's also a waste of time, energy and fuel," he pointed out.

He favours the practice of waiting at the taxi base for customers to call because in the end it amounts to the same thing, if not something better.

"Some drivers roam for 40 minutes and still don't make money," he added.

Income for taxi drivers is not consistent until or unless you have a solid client base.

"You can be rich today, earn average tomorrow, richer the next day, but you can't say the taxi business isn't earning money because if that was the case, all taxis would be parked.

"Things like being neatly dressed, behaviour to customers while they're in the taxi, keeping the inside of the taxi tidy, attitude while driving on the road, road courtesy—all these things add up to make you a good driver," Mr Rameshwar said.





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