Road routes based on traffic patterns

We are seeing a splurt in the taxi aggregator industry. In Bangalore, there’s Meru Cabs, TaxiForSure, OlaCabs, Uber amongst others. TaxiForSure and the industry leader Uber (it just started its India presence though) are more a technology company than an aggregator company. They rely a lot on their web and mobile app and customer behavior prediction to drive the business.

An important aspect of their business is to assign drivers to bookings. It would be awesome if they can keep the customers informed about where the vehicle currently is.

Assigning drivers to bookings is not a easy task. Given traffic conditions and the driver’s inclination (or not) to go to a particular place, the assignment has to be made. In a city like Bangalore, the demand is far more than the supply. Also, there’s cancellations that need to be handled.

Given these constraints and conditions, I believe there’s a scope to build a solution that leverages the local traffic knowledge and then assign drivers to bookings. The data from drivers need to be mined. There’s tremendous scope for analytics in such a domain.


customer service at hospitals

Customer service at hospitals need to improve a lot more. People pay visit to hospitals to cure their sickness. The environment must brim with energy. Alas ! That’s the last thing one can expect. Most people are grim faced and are seriously running helter-skelter. While the doctors I know are a cheerful lot, the support staff need to up their game. 

Another big issue is that the process is not streamlined in the hospital. I wonder why no innovation is happening in hospital sector to make it more streamlined. There are so many places where an efficient process can be so effective and improve customer service and customer relationship.

Let me quote an example. When you see the doctor, the doctor examines you and prescribes a set of medicines. The next step is to go out to the pharmacy and wait in queue and then buy the medicines. Instead, what if the medicines are already available when you reach the pharmacy? (I am talking about hospitals that have in-house pharmacy that can take advantage of such a setup). 

Unlike shopping malls, just by the virtue of a person staying more time in a hospital does not translate into more revenue. He is there in the hospital precisely because he wants to be there. Hospital is no fun place to be in. No point being there if everything is fine. And so, why not have efficient process to improve turnaround time. That’s bound to improve customer happiness and he’s bound to remember it. 

No hospital I’ve visited follows this practice. Right from the time you enter to the time you exit, there’s huge time wastage and looking at other patients is more depressing than what one might think. 

For regular customers, there could be a prepaid card. Appointments can be adhered to. And importantly, patients can be periodically checked upon using a mobile message to check if their recovery is on track. The moment such a hospital comes up, people are going to flock in (of course, hoping that the medical  facilities and treatments are good). 

Movies !

I live in Bangalore. The local language is Kannada. A majority of the folks out here talk English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. It is an amazing cosmopolitan place. And so, a variety of movies gets released here. But then, there’s also an issue. Most of the money in the box office is made from the “other” languages (not from the local language kannada). And the kannada lobby has ensured a strict limit on the number of screens on which the other language movies can be played. I am not sure if this is still true, but atleast all the big budget and “star” movies gets a lot of shows in its first week.

All sounds good so far. But then, there’s absolutely very less scope for niche movies. A movie with great review, but catering to only a niche audience might be screened for a few shows in the first week of its release. And then off it goes away. The only way to watch the movie again would be by illegally downloading it. Most of the local language movies don’t take the strain to release DVDs on time. And on TV, only the blockbusters are played all the time. (I’ve already professed my issue watching anything on cable TV yesterday; they are just filled with advertisements). 

In US, this problem is solved by Netflix and Amazon, amongst others. Such niche films definitely get into their library and niche filmwatchers, like me, would subscribe to it and watch.

The pirated copy of a newly released Hindi/English/Tamil/Telugu movie is available on the streets a day after its release in Bangalore. Why don’t the film makers understand that, outside its primary market, there is a huge diaspora who wants to watch movies in their local language, but aren’t carried by any of the providers. 

An online platform that can provide on-demand access to local language movies would be a great innovation and might really catch up. I know a lot of my friends in US – who wants to watch Tamil movies (Tamilians obviously !). But where is the official avenue to watch the movies ? The only way would be to illegally download it and watch. Isn’t it high time to develop a platform to have the movies readily available? Atleast outside the primary market to start with? If the movies are available as pirated DVD, making them officially available would make better sense. But why aren’t the producers and distributors thinking about this?