NEW DELHI: the oldest in India car rental company — Karachi Taxi Company (KTC), founded in 1943 — is Expanding its wings abroad and will be present in Dubai inside a room and then in Saudi Arabia until September this year. A fleet strong of over 2,000 KTC is also looking at raising Rs 100 crore in the next fiscal year, either through an IPO or a private placement to fund the first phase of its global expansionits MD Gurudev Ahluwalia told TOI.
“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is among our clients. In 2020 and 2021, two IPLs and a cricket world cup were held in the UAE. At that time, we arranged vehicles for BCCI through local suppliers and realized the huge potential that exists for us in the UAE. There are many Indian companies, hotels (including four Taj and one Oberoi) and businesses there. In the next 2-3 months, we will start rental services in Dubai under our brand,” said Ahluwalia, whose grandfather Desraj Singh founded KTC and was known as Mr DLZ in government circles. While DLY was the registration number of black and yellow taxis in Delhi until the beginning of this millennium, luxury rental cars had the DLZ license plate here.
With Saudi Arabia eager to open up as a destination and seeing India as a huge potential source market for non-religious tourists, KTC has big plans to enter the country. In fact, Saudi Arabia is gaining strength among Indian companies. Taj has two properties under development in Macca and Diriyah.
“In the first half of next year we will be present in Saudi Arabia. Expansion abroad will require an investment of around $5 million in Dubai and Saudi Arabia,” said Ahluwalia, who rented around 30 luxury vans from Nepal to meet the requirements of the G20 summit held in Delhi last September.
Business is booming for companies like KTC as the car rental market undergoes a sea change post-Covid. “Before 2020, the share of large companies in this sector was 30-40%. Smaller players belonging to the unorganized sector, with 15 to 20 cars, had the majority of the business. Post-Covid, we have seen consolidation and now 5 to 7 large companies own the majority of this business,” he says.
Ahluwalia recalls how her company provided cars for then US President Dwight D Eisenhower's visit to Delhi in December 1959. In December 2018, she arranged 1,000 luxury vehicles for the wedding of a prominent industrialist's daughter in Udaipur . And during the G20, he said KTC met more than 60% of the requirements of over 1,000 vehicles seen during the G20 in Delhi.