A visible social media presence, a regular trotter along the Chennai streets and a name unique in his identity as an auto driver with a difference, it does not take much persuading of the heart for Annadurai to be shaping up a legacy unparalleled. The man behind the ‘brand name’ Amazing Auto, Annadurai might be the person behind the wheels of his unique venture but in his magnanimity he is no less a favorite with his many loyal customers who swear by his thoughtfulness when it comes to building the perfect repo.
For the uninitiated, Amazing Auto is indeed an amazement by Annadurai. With neatly stacked rows of some 40 magazines and 10 newspapers, Amazing Auto might already sound way too gracious of its customer presence. But there is more to this one-of-a-kind auto in the country that has already been creating waves globally. A free wi-fi connection accessible on its many gadgets that includes a Samsung Galaxy Notepad, iPad Pro, laptop, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, a swiping machine for customers haggled constantly about the lack of change, even a fridge stocked with refreshing drinks, fruits, chocolates and a snack box, Amazing Auto is a virtual treasure trove for an auto, rather for any vehicle.
It indeed is Annadurai’s eclectic vision as well as his utmost dedication and passion to his profession that has, for almost a decade now, seen him driving his famed auto that translates effectively into the auto interiors. With customer satisfaction as the guiding principle behind his unprecedented move at providing amenities to whosoever boards his auto, Annadurai has not just spanned his own venture. He also is a regular speaker on ‘building customer loyalty’ in corporate circles. In addressing audiences under such big premises as Vodafone, Hyundai, Royal Enfield, Danfoss, Gamesa and some other 60 such giants as well as in being a 6 time TEDX Speaker, this man, now in his mid thirties, has successfully set up a lesson of his own learning. In delivering such amenities that earns him not just the customers but also acclaim and appreciation, Annadurai is in fact quite transcendent in his superior work ethics as well. From offering discounts to his customers on select days to carrying teachers for free in his auto, here is an auto driver significantly different in his dignified approach towards a profession that is essentially humble in stature yet no less remarkable.
Equally admirable is also the thought that spans from Annadurai’s evocative thought trails that drives him into such uncommonness. While indeed his efforts at attracting customers to his auto and retaining them are directed towards their satisfaction, Annadurai perhaps is also more privileged of his own accord in being considerate enough of people not having to while away their precious time. With also a TV set that plays out the important news of the day and a curated playlist that plays out songs in a number of languages so that outstation passengers feel at home, it is Annadurai’s thoughtfulness that makes it matter all the more. There also are a host of customer relationship contests that give away cash prizes to the winners. And all this Annadurai skillfully manages out of his own income which ranges anything from Rs 50000 to a lakh per month thanks to his innovative means and ways of revving up otherwise mundane auto rides.
Born in Peravurani, a small town in Thanjavur district and living in Chennai as a kid, Annadurai has also seen his father earn a livelihood by driving autos. Years later when he embarked on the same route as well by beginning to drive a share auto, Annadurai intended parallely to change also the way autos work. But there’s more to Annadurai than just the identity stemming from his love for his work. Sponsoring also a child already, this man who is almost the epitomiser of humanity aims to sponsor more such children in the future while also aiming to open an old age home. As a place for the lesser privileged elderly, Annadurai hopes to build a home where the elderly can live their lives at their own will, without feeling as if they are a burden. By teaching them simple skills that they can use to earn and spend their own money, Annadurai wants to gift a life of dignity to the old people. While his source of livelihood might not seem as something even sustainable to the huge majority of us in a world continuously hankering after the riches, Annadurai has managed to stay firm in his Samaritan dealings with life itself. With even the app that lets customers book his auto donating one rupee per ride for the welfare of farmers, Annadurai sure is the vision of a India we all aspire for but never have the conviction ourselves to get, set, go in its fulfillment. It is indeed people like Annadurai who emerge to be the drivers of change in the world, irrespective of whether they are yet another driver racing their way through life or that one person living their way along it.