Marketing head-turned-cabbie awes customer, gets lucky

Marketing head-turned-cabbie awes customer, gets lucky

Gautam Madahavan with driver Krishnan Nair.

A chatty driver seldom makes for a great ride. But Gautam Madhavan will vouch otherwise.

The CEO of Mad Influence, a startup, had something unique and motivating in store for him when he hailed a cab to the Bengaluru airport recently.

Krishnan Nair didn’t sound like the regular cabbie. He soon struck up a conversation with his customer and began asking questions on startups and marketing strategies, which surprised Madhavan. Upon enquiry, Madahavan learnt that Nair was a former senior marketing head who lost his job.

The 52-year-old had knocked at many doors but was rejected by most of the companies as he was old and overqualified. Finally, Nair became a cab driver as he always knew he was good behind the wheel.

Moved by his story, Madhavan posted on Facebook: “This man is smarter than any average start-up guy. Please don’t hire on the basis of age but hire on the basis of skill.” He shared Nair’s contact number as well. The post resulted in some interview calls to Nair, who is waiting for the suitable one.

Nair, who worked with a corporate firm previously, had to leave the job as the company went bankrupt and did not pay him for more than nine months. Later, some firms rejected him as he was “too old”.

“Even startups were not ready to hire me as they couldn’t offer a pay on a par with my previous salary,” Nair said. He was even advised by a human resource manager not to compromise with anything less than what he deserved.

Finally, Nair decided that he doesn’t need anybody’s sympathy to survive, but instead turn his own boss. “I tried to start a business after I lost the job three years ago, but that did not work out due to various reasons. I had to take care of my family, but I needed money for that. Then, I decided to make use of my car which I had bought a year ago. First I thought of renting it out to Uber or Ola drivers. Since I am good at driving and had nothing else to do, I myself turned the driver. Now, I work with Uber,” said Nair.

Nair isn’t earning as much as his previous job. But he is happy that he is able to support his family.

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