Find out what happened at the inaugural India International Bus & Car Travel Show and learn about international best practice for bus operators. By Ashwani Handoo
Prawaas 2017: Event Recap
I attended the first ever Prawaas 2017 – India International Bus & Car Travel Show in Maharashtra from July 28 – 30. This event was themed Towards Safe, Smart and Sustainable Transport and was organised by the Bus Operators Confederation of India (BOCI) in conjunction with Mumbai Bus Malak Sanghatana (MBMS) and Federation of Tourists Taxi Operators (FOTTO). Here follows a summary of the conference:
A national first
This 3-day event attracted the who’s who of the bus and car industry from the public and private sector for the first time ever. The inaugural Prawaas 2017 brought together all public transport stakeholders to deliberate on India’s vision for the industry and the role of road transport in achieving this.
The Conference was addressed by over 110 national and international experts addressing diverse topics. Prawaas 2017 proved to be a thought-leadership forum as well as the most rewarding B2B platform for all stakeholders. It inspired and encouraged us all to develop a unified vision that would deliver a safe, smart and sustainable integrated public transport network to the citizens of India.
Over 15 Lakh buses operate today on Indian roads and this figure is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. It is clear to us that BOCI, as the national representative of bus and car operators involved in intercity bus, intra-city bus, school bus, employee transport, tourist transport and maxi cabs, has an important role in determining how we will continue delivering and improving reliable, smart transport solutions for the public.
Bringing best practice into your bus company
I had the opportunity to present during the International Best Practices in Operations, Maintenance & Management session on 29 July. Drawing on the international experience of Trapeze Group, I provided some insights into how some of our clients overseas such as Transport for London, Mountain Metropolitan Transit (USA) and Ventura Bus Lines (Australia) have streamlined operations, improved performance and – most importantly – become even more profitable.
I highlighted the importance and need for:
- Adopting the right approach to maintenance: reactive maintenance is not advisable
- Capturing right data at the right time to help management in decision-making
- An integrated, centralised solution instead of multiple siloed systems or manual processes which lack transparency
Systems = better information = better deals = reduced cost
However, I would still also advise that any deployment of new technology be performed in a phased manner instead of all at once. A phased implementation reduces risk and gives your employees more time to adjust and accept the new way of doing things.
Ideally, you would start using technology solutions for your maintenance, inventory and procurement departments. You would then introduce new software to your operations department. Finally, with all of your data being digitised and collected in a consistent manner, you would implement a data analytics solution in order to glean business intelligence from the data and get all the facts at your fingertips for decision-making.
A summary of all presentations in the International Best Practices session is available from UITP India.
I look forward to the second edition of Prawaas, which will be held in Mumbai. The inaugural event gave us a great opportunity to present to an important audience and the chance to catch up with clients such as Mr Prasanna Patwardhan (pictured, centre), President of BOCI and Chairman & Managing Director of Prasanna Purple Mobility Solutions.
I am sure the next conference will once again be a fantastic opportunity to discover the perspectives of other public transport players and think about how we can improve the service we provide to the public now and in the future. Thank you to BOCI for a well-managed and productive event!
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