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The Return of Sarathi – An Online Taxi Service in Nepal

No, ‘The return of Sarathi’ is not a movie. We are talking about Sarathi, the online cab service. Sarathi began its journey in mid-2016 and gained popularity in the coming months. But, somewhere along the way, their popularity waned and we hadn’t heard from them for some time. We feared the company was dead. But, that was not the case.

It turns out Sarathi had been secretly testing their service inside the valley. They are also working on an app to help the customers use their service. The app is currently in an unreleased state in the Play Store. Previously, Sarathi operated on phone calls and website. To book a cab, you either had to call Sarathi or book it via their website.

I don’t know why they didn’t release an app along with the service itself but at least its better late than never. But no one thought they would be this late to make their app. Just hear what Sarathi’s co-founder Ravi Singhal had to say in January of 2018, “We will be launching the mobile app of Sarathi in the month of March 2018 and will dote to particularly discern your feedbacks and suggestion for the app.”

The unreleased app in the play store can be tried by anyone. So, of course, we tried it out. In my short time with the app, I can say that even in its unreleased state, the UI in the app is fluid and it looks modern and sleek. I didn’t think their dark yellow theme could wow me but I was wrong.

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Also, booking a cab is a piece of cake. You can select your destination and pick up point straight from the home screen and book a cab with a single click. The fare seemed reasonable too. Now, we didn’t go as far to call a cab using Sarathi, so we can’t comment how fast or slow their service is. We might do that once their app is fully released.

Even in 2019, Nepal doesn’t have a proper taxi booking service. We have two great ones in motorbike ride-sharing but none for four wheelers. With Sarathi finally ready with their app, we may see a much-needed improvement on this field. I hope that, after Sarathi launches their app, people won’t have to negotiate with Taxi drivers against their sky high prices every time.

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