Nigerian firm launches ride-sharing business, Gabtaxi
Gabtaxi plans to expand to America, Europe and Asia in 2024.
The launch of Gabtaxi (GAB) took place in Abuja on Monday and it is expected to compete against and overtake foreign e-hailing companies that have dominated the Nigerian market.
Gideon Egbuchulam, chairman and CEO of EFGroup, said at a press briefing that the motivation behind the Gabtaxi initiative was the protest he witnessed by Nigerian drivers complaining of poor treatment by foreign e-hailing companies.
He said these drivers decried that foreign hailing companies collected more than the Nigerian drivers, giving them nothing and without even ensuring that the drivers or their cars were safe.
"Most of the drivers are graduates with no other jobs and these foreign taxi companies collect from 25 to 30% commission for each ride," he said.
Egbuchulam also bemoaned the ordeal Nigerian drivers face in the hands of foreign companies, adding, "In various cases, many drivers hardly went home with 30% a day after deductions."
He said as a result of this, they resolved to create value by developing a top-notch product that would reduce Nigerian drivers' losses and compete with any technology anywhere in the world.
Egbuchulam said, "With Gab, drivers will get the same things they were receiving and more, at barely half of the commissions being charged by the competition.
"We have the lowest commission in the industry anywhere in the world, just about 15% on average.
"Not only the reduction in commissions, but we also offer to them many more incentives. In fact, we applaud the Federal Government for granting the e-hailing drivers the union licence so that they can negotiate their future."
The entrepreneur said one of the key selling points of Gabtaxi was affordability as it had developed a business model offering services at a lower cost than some of the more established ride-hailing companies.
He said this would be achieved by reducing overhead costs for the customer and offering a higher percentage split to drivers.
Egbuchulam also harped on safety, assuring that a number of features and policies were implemented to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers.
He revealed that arrangements were in place between Gabtaxi, security agencies and the FRSC to heighten the safety, selection of record of vehicles and customer service hotlines.
Egbuchulam said Gabtaxi had also developed a mobile app with a fluid user interface that provided a seamless user experience and was easy to navigate.
He hinted that an incentive system was available for drivers with higher rankings and that drivers who consistently received high ratings from passengers and provided a high level of service were eligible for bonuses and other rewards.
He also mentioned the proximity alert system, a unique feature of Gabtaxi which would help ensure that the driver picked the correct passenger.
Egbuchulam spoke on other vehicle services such as logistics and delivery which allow users to request a driver to pick up a parcel for them and deliver it to their specified location.
Highlighting more benefits accruing to a Gabtaxi driver, he said drivers would have access to a steady stream of passengers and opportunities to earn money.
"The app only makes available to the drivers' customers in their geographical area to prevent long pick up hours for drivers thereby causing them to lose.
"There is an opportunity for them to be enrolled on our drivers' life insurance policy as well as on our drivers' group temporary and permanent disability," Egbuchulam said.
According to him, Gabtaxi offers Nigerian drivers group life insurance, group temporary disability insurance, group permanent disability insurance as well as car insurance, which foreign hailing companies are not offering.
He disclosed that it took over 30 highly qualified local software engineers, some trained outside Nigeria to develop Gabtaxi.
"If there is one area where Nigerians have left their footprint unchallenged, it is ICT, some of the best FinTech companies in the world today are owned by Nigerians.
"Many Nigerian companies are competing with foreign ones at an unprecedented pace and Nigerians have shown that they are equally as good as Americans or Europeans," Egbuchulam said.
He added that EF Network Ltd, operating since 1995, had been putting different technological products in the market ranging from e-commerce, internet, lost phone locator and car trackers electronics among others.
Egbuchulam said that building a taxi application of world-class standard was not that easy, adding that his app would be entering other countries in subsequent months.
"This would earn the Nigerian government foreign exchange that is now very scarce to get in Nigeria and our agenda for 2024 is to enter America, Europe and Asia.
He said, "So, we are very pleased to introduce this product to the Nigerian market. We are already in the Google Play Store and Apple Store, you can download the app, test it and see how it works."
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