How can we tap into the B2C market
with our B2B strengths?

In 2021, the founder of one of the country’s leading employee transport companies realized that the B2B business
could be the base for a strong B2C offering.
But his team had only worked in corporate transport space, and were unsure about how to approach the B2C space.
They needed help for New Product Introduction.

The context

The year 2020 was brutal for all firms that worked with corporate offices.
It was no better for them.

The company’s core business was employee transportation. Many of India’s leading companies deployed their cabs to facilitate employee pick-ups and drops across most of the major IT hubs. They had built a strong foundation of reliability over the years.
But now, things look different.

The economy was slowly opening up. But employees were used to work-from-home. Most companies were planning to ask employees to come into the office only once or twice a week.
This could upset their core business and potential growth.

Post the pandemic, employers were expected to offer employees more flexibility to choose when they wanted to work from office. This would drastically affect the employee transport business.

As employees were to return to office on these modified terms, the founder wondered how might they offer B2C services to them directly based on the strong B2B business the firm had built.


A strong dedicated team who could drive
business with the right direction

Company strengths

Employee transport is an operations heavy business. Any cab being late leads to complaints, and may have affect other scheduled pick-ups and drops. Employees do not want to earlier than required or take circuitous routes to pick up others in the cab. At the same time, traffic in major Indian cities meant that it was difficult to schedule cabs on time.

Through years of operations, the team had built routing algorithms, processes and human expertise that helped them navigate the chaos.

Target market

The B2C people movement through cars is largely of two types:

Uber and Ola are major players in the immediate commute industry, which can be quite complex. The origin and destination of the traveler are not predetermined. Therefore, the system must ensure that there are enough taxis in the area to pick up the traveler promptly. Calculating the correct surge price is also essential, taking into account congestion, to ensure that both the driver and the traveler are satisfied with the pricing.


The planned travel space, while smaller, skirted a lot of these issues.


The concept of planned commute involves working backwards from the desired arrival time to determine the departure time. This method of travel planning allows for easier availability of taxis, congestion prediction, and the potential for carpooling. By planning ahead, travelers could ensure a smoother journey to their destination.


The company wanted to play in the planned commute space. The existing market largely revolved around travel to the airport.

The company predicted that with firms offering flexible office hours, employees would be more likely to plan their trips to the office in advance. This would result in a significant expansion of the planned commute market.

Needs assessment

Using the Salient Product Strategy playbook, we quickly analyzed the proposed business. A few points that emerged were:

We now knew what needed to be fixed for the product launch. The team had the budgets in place, and were well-intentioned, so we began the journey by setting a target launch date and working backwards.


Launch A New Brand & Product

Discovery phase

Since we were looking at the B2C market, we started off with customer research using the Salient Qualitative Research Guide with employees.

Employees were well aware of traffic hotspots. If these were near home, they were keen on walking over to the cab to save time.

Key insight

Delays in morning commutes could be explained to managers when they were in an office cab, but if they took personal cabs, they felt they were liable to answer for being late.

If transport managers were to recommend a cab service to employees, they were keen on viewing real-time safety insights.

These set of interviews with different stakeholders gave us insights to plan requirements and for the app.

Product design phase

The existing app had a functional design, but it wasn’t suitable for B2C business.

We began the process by listing out key customer asks and constraints from the business side. We prioritized these based on the Salient Prioritization framework to identify high-impact ones for the first release.

We also sketched out asks from transport managers for the service

Based on these and business constraints, we took a few decisions on the product experience.

  • Lock the booking window 4 hours before evening return travel to allow for planning
  • Lock the morning booking window the previous night at 8pm. This would allow users to plan in advance, but also allow the operations team enough time to schedule cabs.

Customer journey mapping

As the next step, we worked on a revised customer journey mapping. Due to confidentiality reasons, I will not be sharing the revised journey. A couple of sketches are shared below as reference.

Initial sketch for the revised customer journey

Initial sketch for parts of the experience

As the next step, we worked on a revised customer journey mapping. Due to confidentiality reasons, I will not be sharing the revised journey. A couple of sketches are shared below as reference.

Learning launch - initial GTM

As part of the GTM process, we worked on various elements while the app was being developed:

Value proposition

The product was designed for employees who would come to office only a few days a week. After a bit of brainstorming, we hit upon the Value proposition.

Core Value Proposition: Commute that suits your hybrid workstyle.

The core proposition was that the service was affordable, predictable and guaranteed.

Payments & pricing

After some initial discussions about using wallets, we decided to go with standard billing engines. This would let us focus on the core value for the launch and add this as an option later.We also baked in support for coupons, offers with expiry dates with an option to offer referral options in future releases.We decided to go for a slab based pricing depending on distance traveled to office. By having slabs for distances, we could offer discounts to those traveling from further away and also plan routes better.

We also decided to ask for payments for rides in advance. In case commuters cancelled their bookings after the cab was allocated, there would be no refunds. We did allow them to call the call center and ask for a refund as an exception.

Note: The exact details are not shared for confidentiality reasons

Onboarding process & trial of the product

We picked a few business parks in Bangalore for the product pilot.

Teams manned the stalls for a week, and it was also a great medium to get feedback on the service. The feedback on the app’s features was positive, though we realized we needed to work on the operations to deliver the promise.

Key insight:

While the service was planned around longer commutes to work, employees staying within a 2km radius of office found it difficult to find transport. They preferred if we had a specific option for them.

This led to the company exploring the use of electric autos for short-distance commutes.


The process helped us get a lot of the assumptions validated. The product was launched in 2021 and is used by thousands of employees today.


Through the process, the company’s team also built their processes on handling B2C products which aligned with their core strengths.