Share This Post


Four lessons on entrepreneurship from a cab driver!

Entrepreneurship is not as shiny and classy as it sounds today. You have to work hard, be lucky and be proactive towards change to have any chance of success. I have met people with ideas; and most believe that they have an excellent idea and they just require funding to start it. Most discussions on startup groups I personally see end up with the big funding questions. It is rare to see serious debates that solve entrepreneurial problems and that end up teaching us something valuable. In such a hyperbole of start-ups, there are many experiences that can teach us a lot. Something of a similar sort happened with me yesterday, so thought of penning it down here.




Yesterday, I used an Uber cab for a journey that was over 40kms. That gave me ample of time to converse and create a human connection with my driver. As I like to talk with them, I always choose to sit in the front seat. We had an interesting start when his wife called him to inform that his brother-in-law is visiting them and that he should come home soon. He responded that he has a long trip to make and would be late. I told him, “Sorry bhaiya, you are getting late because of me” and he politely responded that this is his duty, and it comes first.


Now for me, he is an entrepreneur; he solves our challenges on a daily basis. He is trying to provide best services to his customer at his level. From this conversation, it got clearer that any work, big or small, can be entrepreneurial, you do not need those massive B Plans and you most certainly do not need investors to start your business.


Lesson 1: “Be nice to your customers”


Even though his wife was calling, he preferred to do his duty without an iota of discomfort and made his customer feel good about his services.



As he looked young, I was intrigued to ask about his life – how he got married so early, his age and his work experience, etc. He replied that he is married for the last 8 years and has been working for the last 16 years. He is just 33.


“I was weak at studies so at a very early stage in my life, I started as an electrician for car products like radio (at that time), wiring, GPS, screens, etc. However earlier I was able to do it because it was fun and easy, but now it is difficult due to change in technology.”


Lesson 2: “Be prepared for technological change.”


Technology can destroy your business in no time if you do not adapt. Companies selling film camera became extinct due to introduction digital camera technology. Nokia bowed down in front of Apple and Samsung.



So, I asked him again, “Was it really that difficult? Wouldn’t it have been easier than driving all day and competing in the market?”


He replied that with new kids joining the market, it became tough. His service centre lost clientele as they could not compete with those that were better adapted to new technology and related products.


Lesson 3: “Young minds are full of energy to learn new things, so start early.”


Those new technicians were better than him with new products; it is quite common when we see a son adopting a mobile phone, a father fighting with it and a grandfather who still prefers the landline. When you are young, you have more energy and higher capacity to learn things, so start early.



Finally, I asked him, “How did you choose driving?”


He replied that when he was at the centre, he used to reverse cars sometimes and in that way, he learned how to drive a car. Recently, he decided to quit his job as a car electrician and become a driver as he was skilled at it.


Lesson 4: “Don’t restrict yourself”


You may start your idea with something but with time you need to adapt, evolve and change your idea to keep yourself in the market.Pick something that can be vertically and horizontally integrated to your business. Paytm started out as an online bank and today, it sells products. Flipkart began as the online bookstore and now, it sells everything. They developed their business’s horizontally.



This was one of the best cab experiences I ever had. I don’t have his picture or anything, but would want Uber to thank him for memorable two hours and these valuable lessons.



Chandrabhan Singh


Co-founder of Writopedia Consultants: A writing consultancy


Twitter: Writopedia


Co-founder of Organizes road trips based on creating human connection by sharing experiences.


Twitter: The Big Bang Trip


Share This Post

Lost Password