Taxi, Technology & Outsourcing

Taxi, Technology & Outsourcing

By Ejaz Shah  —  25th November 2020

Reminiscing about the old taxi offices

“One second King, Sierra pick up from 254 VPR let me know the destination, King head towards CT”

I remember sitting in the taxi booking office, yellow walls and a cloud of cigarette smoke hovering above the desk, phone receiver resting on the shoulder as the main dispatcher spoke to the drivers on the old two-way radio system. Two operators were busy on the phones scribbling the jobs down on a sheet of paper, all 3 of them had a cigarette in their mouth and they were all stressed. I didn’t understand what the dispatcher meant when he spoke to the drivers in short code but he was managing a fleet of over 50 cars and I marvelled at how even though they were all stressed out, they still managed to have a laugh.

King and Sierra were both drivers and Sierra was told to head to 254 Victoria Park Road to pick up and King being directed toward the Clock Tower, I know all the shortcodes now but back then, putting in an 8/10-hour shift was like hard labour, you were mentally and physically drained.

Years later,  I found myself working as a taxi driver and studying in Stafford.  It was the best job you could do while studying as you could pick the hours you did working for the largest company there. Here the driver code names were changed into numbers to make it easier and I remember this one time a driver came through on the radio..

Driver: “Car 84 hat in bush”

Dispatcher: Car 84 come again

Driver: “Car 84 hat in bush”

Dispatcher: Car 84 I don’t understand

Driver: “Car 84, Hat in bush, head in hat”

I nearly choked on my tea as the office burst into roars of laughter

Dispatcher: “Car 84 are you ok bud”

Driver; “Car 84 on my way back to the office need a break, I am ok”

Dispatcher; “Roger bud”

Now a driver had been assaulted but the way he reported it back had us all in tears. Car 84 could look after himself but if you picture the incident, he had to drag himself back to the car and report it, there was no mobile phones back then.

Taxi and Technology

This has all changed now, you might find the odd small company still using the old two-way radio system but nearly everyone has moved to computerised dispatching systems. The taxi industry has come a long way from where it used to be and there was a massive surge of drivers joining the trade once outsourcing became the new way of business for many leading industries who chose to move their business overseas. Back then you would struggle to find a company with over 500 cars, which is now the norm, the standard as you will find a lot of small companies are now merged into one large company.

Back around 1995 I was introduced to a family friend Ali, a computer geek, who would go around taxi offices and sell them an Excel spreadsheet that he had made. The idea was to get rid of all the paperwork and make sure everything was categorically organised and while he was rejected by quite a few companies, he did manage to sell quite a few too.

This wasn’t an original idea of Ali’s, he had seen a proper dispatch system doing it’s rounds and had mimicked it, not as advanced as the proper dispatch system but the concept was the same and you had to marvel at Ali’s hustle.

That then was the tip of the iceberg, for the taxi companies that refused Ali back then are now using a dispatch system.

Bookings are now taken on a computer, stored on a computer, dispatched to the driver via the computer to the driver’s mobile and the driver’s job history is stored on the computer. This automation of the taxi booking office allows taxi companies to now take more bookings whereas, in the past, they would refuse them when the sheet was full.

I would be lying if I said the assaults on taxi drivers had now calmed down with the introduction of technology – it hasn’t, however, offices are now able to track the location of their drivers and all drivers have an emergency button on the screen, once pressed it alerts the office and every single driver on shift so help does get their quicker than it used to!

Life for the back office has become a lot easier with an easily accessible record of all the jobs done. Accounts at the end of the month or even week are a lot easier to arrange, whereas before you would have to go through the whole paperwork just to find who did what job on a certain day.

Taxi, Technology and Outsourcing

Even though taxi and technology have been working hand in hand since the 90’s, outsourcing did not come into the picture until after 2010. Allthough outsourcing has been in the market since around the 80’s the taxi trade was very late to jump onto the bandwagon.

Even while I type this blog there are quite a few taxi companies that still treat outsourcing as an alien concept and something they refuse to indulge in, it reminds me of the times I would go around with Ali trying to sell his Excel Spreadsheet to various offices.

Similar to how technology helped the taxi industry move onto the next stage of transportation, outsourcing is also just that, a helping hand.

Majority of the large taxi firms are outsourcing either just the overflow of calls or having outsourced staff handling every aspect of the booking. It is not only more convenient for taxi companies to outsource, it is also a big money saver. If you have recently seen a local taxi company rapidly growing and advertising heavily, chances are they are outsourcing!

All three do work hand in hand though, without the combination of taxi and technology, outsourcing would not be possible, because of technology it is now possible to have a remote worker on the other side of the world answering calls and booking in jobs as well as dispatching!!!

So, what can be outsourced?

Putting it simply, every repetitive task can be outsourced, below I will list a few for a basic taxi office;

  • Operator/Dispatcher
    • From answering the call and taking a simple booking to recovering a job, modifying it and re-dispatching it back to the same driver.
    • Taking account bookings
  • Online bookings
    • Bookings from your website to bookings done on social media
  • Customer Service
    • Customer complaints through emails
    • Customer complaints through social media channels
    • Customer complaints over the phone
  • Bookkeeping
    • Driver accounts including driver base rents and refunds, vehicle MOT’s and driver licensing
    • Weekly staff wages
    • Promotions, advertising and software fee’s
    • Account job’s

By outsourcing the above listed jobs, a taxi company could save around 70% on wages, this money can then be put back into and invested in the company and its future growth.

Me and New Era OS

Having gone through manual taxi dispatching to computerised dispatching systems with call centre experience from the UK not to mention first-hand taxi driving experience I created New Era OS to help taxi companies grow to their full potential and reach heights which they once thought impossible. At New Era OS we can easily handle all the above tasks in a professional manner that the customer would never guess they were speaking to someone some 4000 miles away.

If you have had a bad experience with an oversea call centre or outsourcing is something you have never tried before, get in touch today and take advantage of the no setup fee with your first agent. We are so confident in what we do we do not ask for anything upfront, you really do not have anything to lose!! 

New Era ~ A New Approach

New Era

A New Approach

By Ejaz Shah  —   7th October 2020

For those of you that have read my previous blogs, I hope the one thing that you have picked up on, is my passion about my job. I am not simply passionate about making money or having my own business – I would be lying if I said these factors didn’t play a part, of course they do, however, I am passionate about everything to do with my job.

I write this blog knowing that some points might seem controversial, this is not my intention. It is important for me to be clear and open with everyone and that is exactly what I want to do here. I want to share with you my vision and the outlook for my business. The points I make here are purely based on my experiences and I am fully aware there are limitations to this, therefore these are not generalisations I make but purely statements on what I have experienced and what I hope to achieve in the future. 

The dream from day one was to start a business that was different to others. Different specifically in it’s approach.

Now see I have many years experience in this field, right from front end to back end duties. I have worked alongside many different characters from many different walks of life and from each and everyone I have taken something. Collectively these learnings are what I have implemented in my business.

When I first entered this industry in Pakistan it was a huge shock to my system and unfortunately not in a good way. I had been fortunate to have worked in businesses in the UK where I really relished going into work and giving my all, as did all those around me. I specifically recall fond memories from my time at a national company call centre in the UK, where majority of the staff had been employed for five plus years, they loved their jobs and were so dedicated to what they did. I know it sounds cheesy, but the company really had a family feel to it. Everyone was keen to play their part in the success of the business and were rewarded – rightly so – for their efforts.

New Era moto

My introduction to call centre life in Pakistan was somewhat different. Therefore, when the opportunity came, I knew I had the experience, the knowledge and the desire, to make a change, to build a business with a ‘feel good’ factor to it, similar to what I had experienced back in the UK. I envisioned a place where I could offer employees a place where they were valued, a place where they were appreciated and the opportunity to grow. At the same time, I wanted to be absolutely dedicated to my clients, working with them, for them and for their customers. That very idea is where the moto of New Era came about. New Era OS, working with you, for you, for your customer!

So how have I gone about this and what does New Era have to offer:


There is no single person that makes New Era. It is a collective effort by every single member of staff, irrelevant of your title or your salary and this includes me. I alone cannot make New Era a success, the success of New Era is in the hands of the entire team.

I recall one thing that I couldn’t get my head around when I first came to be working in Pakistan was how staff were treated depending on their ‘level’. Simply put if you were not one of the big bosses, the senior employees, the one with flashy job titles, you were not treated with respect. I fundamentally disagree with this notion.

I remember pulling in the cleaning team one day into my office and telling them that they were employees of this organisation, the same as everyone else and they had a designated – important – job role, no one had the ‘right’ to give them extra duties apart from their line manager. When I say the right I mean they were being used to run personal errands, heat food for staff ‘higher up’, wash their lunch dishes, they were treated as personal ‘butlers’, though the term butler comes with more respect then was ever bestowed upon them. Heartbreakingly, these individuals did not feel they could say no, so they did everything that was required of them by the business, doing their own jobs as well as running around doing personal chores for those that viewed themselves as more ‘important’.

This quite frankly ‘toxic’ mind frame filtered down the business and employee chain, with each member of staff looking down on those they considered to be more inferior to them. Now let me be clear, this wasn’t everyone, there were those that played no part in this. But this mentality was never challenged, it was deemed okay, I learnt this first-hand myself, as my intervention with the cleaning team did not go down well with the management team, apparently this is the way things are done here.

Well no, not in New Era. Right from the offset the approach we take is to ensure satisfaction and satisfaction goes hand in hand with success.

At New Era a waiting list is used to select candidates for interviews based on their capabilities. This is a new era of call centre work, so once part of the New Era family, employees have the chance to grow and advance in their career and be rewarded along the way. We got rid of the hourly pay that is common here in call centres and put our staff on fixed wages with paid holidays. Overtime is paid as overtime and wages are in the bank by the end of the month. We want our staff to want to come into work and feel valued. We know how important these benefits and bonuses are to our staff.


A thing I noticed very early on here in Pakistan was that the owners of a lot of the call centres here are overseas citizens with a business in the west and the setup here in Pakistan to purely support their venture in the west. This divided interest, or in some cases, lack of interest to the business in Pakistan, is reflected in the way businesses are ran.

With New Era there is no divided or lack of attention. I am 100% dedicated to New Era, my time is completely dedicated to our clients without having to worry about my own business in the UK.

Again, with clients too, we use a waiting list, and to those currently on the waiting list,we ask for patience. We are perfectionists, we have a strict policy of only taking on a new client on either a Monday or a Tuesday at the latest, for our onboarding department needs a week to collate all the requirements from the new client and relay the information to our training department. The training package for the operator is then tailored around these requirements, ensuring the operator and New Era as a whole, are delivering everything that the client requires of them. Each client has a dedicated member of staff to address any issues or queries and we only move onto onboarding the next client, once both the current client and the New Era team are completely satisfied that the onboarding process has been a success. We are our biggest critics. We believe everything should be done precisely from inception and then this very perfection should be maintained throughout. This is our only project, New Era. We are not side-tracked by any other investments; our focus is to build this into a brand that can be trusted by clients worldwide and give security to our work force. I know there are many of you out there that share my vision, I have had the privilege of meeting many of you in person. Let’s work together to build the infrastructure that provides equal and fair opportunities to all and enables the many to reap the success of their dedication and hard work. Once again, please comment below and share your thoughts and stories and pop over to our main page to learn more about New Era