Chennai

Now, ‘Auto Anna’ to launch app for travellers

The metro’s popular auto driver Anna Durai will be launching a new app this year.

“Customers using this app will be charged as per meter for the ride. You may ask what’s new about this. My model will be different,” says the 32-year-old Anna Durai fondly called ‘Auto Anna’ by commuters who know him well.

“For instance, passengers travelling to railway stations can use the app to order food. We will have the food ready. The passenger can pick it up on the way. There are many other features we are working on. Any auto driver can register and join this network,” he says.

A team of five, including students, is helping the auto driver design the app. Anna Durai has done extensive research on the branding and marketing aspects for the app.

“I’m looking at word-of-mouth and social media marketing,” he says. “The market is huge in Chennai, and not many look at this as a career-option. My aim is to make this a career for many.”

Anna Durai is going around OMR belt talking to auto drivers about the new app.

This auto driver became the talk of OMR-Thiruvanmiyur area for keeping newspapers, magazines and gadgets in his vehicle. Payments post-ride can be made through cash, Paytm or M-Visa. “During demonetisation, 90 per cent of the transactions were digitally made. I had money in my account but not in my wallet,” he recalls.

Free rides for techies

Driving three to four hours, Anna Durai earns ₹2,500 to ₹3,000 per day. He spends ₹12,000 on newspapers every month. Techies commuting in his auto get free rides too. “Employees of TCS get a free ride on their CEO Natarajan Chandrasekaran’s birthday. Cognizant employees get a free ride on their CEO Francisco D'Souza’s birthday.

Similar rides are given for employees of firms including Accenture, Infosys and IBM,” he says.

Anna Durai is also one of the sought-after motivational speakers in the lecture circuit. Till date, he has delivered three TED talks. On an average, he makes 10 speeches a month at colleges, universities, business schools and multinational firms. His latest lecture was on ‘Evolution of Entrepreneurship’ at PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore.

Anna Durai is active on social media. He runs his own website, where he has posted his experiences. His Facebook page has more than 12,000 likes. He is on Instagram and is now learning to use Twitter.


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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 10:05:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/now-auto-anna-to-launch-app-for-travellers/article17600466.ece

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