Sometimes you need to go through a bad experience to come up with a remedy to fight it. Shenaz Treasuryvala and her sister Tina Treasuryvala turned their “damsels in distress” situation around for the positive.
It was Tina’s idea: they began a chauffeur service called Knight Drivers aimed at PYTs who want to enjoy a night out, be in the comfort of their own car and rely on a police verified chauffeur to make sure they’re not amidst mayhem.
It began about a month ago. Says Shenaz, “We were out at night partying. At night, drivers don’t really like to drive, so our driver didn’t want to come. Tina drives fairly well, so we drove to town and we were coming home at around 1:30 AM and suddenly these two guys came on a bike along with a car full of guys who were drunk and started following us. And this is not the first time this has happened.”
“You don’t always want to depend on someone to drive you home, so we drove. These guys on that night came pretty close to us and we could even have had an accident that way,” explains Tina who also owns a drama academy for kids called Star Kids.
Salvation came in the form of a hotel shelter nearby. They eventually called their father to help them out. “We were thinking of our dad as the ‘knight’ who saved us,” says Tina and that’s where the name came from. The two have always been thinking of starting some kind of business together.
Almost immediately after the incident, Tina and Shenaz went on a hunt looking for the right drivers: “We got their details, got them police verified, saw that they were married and older. They’re told not to look in the rear view mirror, but to open doors for ladies, be really polite, reliable and responsible.
“It’s a professional chauffeur service, and it’s not only available in the night. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s reliable, affordable and professional,” says Tina, who adds that Knight Drivers offers chauffeurs because your own car is your comfort zone and you’re used to it.
A chauffeur from Knight Drivers is priced at Rs 500 for eight hours and Rs 50 for every hour that exceeds that limit. For a night chauffeur, it is best you book two hours before you want to be picked up. For a day chauffeur, a day’s notice is recommended by the sisters. You can also ask for a chauffeur if you need a few chores to be done, or need a driver for a day of shopping. “The chauffeur is available for travel all over Mumbai. Even if you want to go out of town, like Lonavala, we can arrange for that,” says Tina. Knight Drivers currently has 50 (and growing) chauffeurs, with their office in Tardeo.
“We don’t want to depend on a male friend to go out at night,” says Shenaz and Tina agrees, “It’s great for a woman to be independent Ã¢ÂÂ it’s a must. Whether you’re married or engaged, you should be independent,” she says. Both the sisters owe their independent outlooks to life to their upbringing.
Tried and tested
I’ve hired a driver on different occasions. They were punctual and the overall experience was comfortable,” says Faizan who heard about the service through a promotional SMS.
— Faizan Gubitra,
I needed to go for a meeting, so opted for a chauffeur. It’s a safe way to travel at night and day. The driver was prompt and it’s a great service for every single girl.
— Mandeep Patheja,
I’m from Jakarta and my cousins from there had to come to town. We wanted to go shopping, so we asked for a chauffeur from Knight Drivers. He was on time, the price is reasonable and the driver was reliable. It was a very comfortable experience, it didn’t feel like the chauffeur was hired,” says Shanti who heard about the service through other friends.
— Shanti Tolani,