Ashok Vashist: A Trailblazing Leader Redefining The Indian Urban Transportation Landscape | CEOInsights Vendor
Ashok Vashist: A Trailblazing Leader Redefining The Indian Urban Transportation Landscape

Ashok Vashist: A Trailblazing Leader Redefining The Indian Urban Transportation Landscape

 Ashok Vashist,  Founder & CEO

Ashok Vashist

Founder & CEO

Over the last two decades, the Indian urban transport sector has experienced rapid evolution in terms of technology, market penetration, and growth. Various factors, such as last-mile connectivity, easy access, and affordability, have been helping the sector grow rapidly while helping cab owners and aggregators with a healthy source of revenue. A mobility industry leader with more than two decades of extensive industry experience, Ashok Vashist has been a part of many esteemed mobility firms throughout his career. A driving force behind India’s first radio taxi company, Easycabs, Ashok later started his New Delhi-based leading integrated Travel Solution firm, WTICABS, in 2009. Under his inspiring leadership, the firm has been experiencing tremendous growth over the years while expanding its operations both nationally and internationally.

In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights, Ashok sheds light on his overall professional journey, his leadership approaches, and much more.

Could you walk us through the growth story of your professional journey and what inspired you to establish WTICABS?

After completing my graduation from Mahatma Gandhi University, I worked in various organizations in the mobility domain, such as Transport Corporation of India, Hertz, International Travel House, and Europcar, before launching and building up the portfolio for Easy cabs, the first radio taxi company in India at that time. In 2009, I started WTICABS, then a purely bootstrapped firm, starting its operation in 2010.
In the first year itself, we were able to clock a revenue of around four crores. Since then, by the grace of god, we have been progressing at a CAGR of 30-35 percent. In the first year itself, we got a lot of applause for successfully managing the complete ground transport mobility of the Commonwealth Games, which included a fleet of around 2,200 vehicles with 4,400 drivers.

Let go of your ego when you are in the service industry as the 'I' always has to be small when you are serving your customers

Over the years, we started gradually expanding business across various cities as well as airport terminals in India. While we hit a massive roadblock during the pandemic, we again bounced back in 2022- 23 with an annual revenue of around 250 crore. Even the current financial year has been truly fruitful in terms of annual revenue of over 400 crores. We also did our listing this year, which has earned an amazing response from our investors.

Share with us your academic experience at Mahatma Gandhi University.

I did my B.Com from St. Albert's College, an autonomous college affiliated with Mahatma Gandhi University. We were a gang of around six to eight friends, with whom I have some of the most incredible memories. All of us in our group used to be considered very forward-thinking and were way ahead of our time. One of our major milestones was starting the Commerce Carnival. We started the annual event called Commerce Carnival, where we invited almost 20 colleges in Kerala and carried out a lot of fun activities and competitions.

The whole event became the talk of the town at that time, something that all of us are proud of. Since then, the college has been organizing the Commerce Carnival event every year. Apart from that, we
also started a theatre group called The Little Theatre in 1992, which was the first theatre group at that time to organize a play in Cochin. The play was very successful and even raised a lot of funds from corporations and individuals.

What are the morals you ensure the company follows in its commitment to sustainability and inclusivity?

As far as sustainability is concerned, we have been taking various measures over the years and are in the process of investing in a fleet of EVs and hydrogen vehicles. Last year, we tied up with the Indian Army to plant around 125,000 trees in the desert-prone areas of Aurangabad. Being a global organization, rather than just being a choice, inclusivity, for us, is something that has to be implemented. More than the genders, it's people’s ethnicity and different backgrounds that you need to work on inclusivity. We have also consulted the Government of India to employ specially-abled persons and transgenders as part of our organization.

As the Founder & CEO, what are the factors you take into account when developing effective corporate growth strategies? What is the future destination you look forward to?

There is no single formula for the growth of a firm. The most important factor is never to lose focus on your goal. Your team plays an extremely important role in the overall organizational success. The whole team must be aligned with organi-zational goals and vision. It's your team that can take you where you want to reach. Another factor is to let go of your ego when you are in the service industry. The 'I' always has to be small when you are serving your customers.

Coming to future roadmaps, we aspire to be the first Indian mobility company to go global. We have already started operations in Dubai, with Saudi Arabia next in the pipeline. In the next six months, we also have plans to venture into the Far East as well as a couple of other countries.

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