BANGALORE: Bharathi Veerath is Google-funded luxury cab service Uber's first woman driver.Veerath took Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw for a spin in her brand new Ford Fiesta and received a pat for her driving skills. "Great to see Uber getting women drivers on board -- just met Bharathi, a very confident n safe driver. All the best!" Shaw tweeted after the joyride in the Biocon campus.
An elated Bharathi said, "Madam (Shaw) suggested I wear a pink T-shirt. She complimented me on my driving," said Bharathi, who was togged out in a white tee and black trousers.
Bharathi took the wheel after she quit her tailoring job and joined Sangama, an NGO working for sexual minorities. She had a stint as driver for an all-women cab service, Angel City Cabs. She dreamed of owning a car ever since she started driving.
Today, she owns the Ford Fiesta that's attached to Uber's fleet of luxury cars. "Bharathi has been an Uber partner for five months now. She works flexible hours, earns enough money to pay off her car loan, in addition to taking some home to support her family," said Bhavik Rathod, GM of Uber Bangalore.
San Francisco-based Uber checked into Bangalore last year, offering on-demand, point-to-point luxury rides at rates that are just about 30% more than for regular cabs.
Women drivers are rare, but they're beginning to make their presence felt. Last year, a group of Bangalore-based entrepreneurs launched Angel City Cabs, the city's first cab service for women, where the cab drivers are all women. "Despite security features like GPS, women feel unsafe while commuting in cabs chauffeured by men. So we started this service," Surya Mukund Raj, 25, a lawyer and a founder of Angel City Cabs, told TOI in an earlier interview.