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‘E-hailing business can be cheaper alternative to vehicle ownership’


Uche Okafor

The Country Manager, Taxify, Uche Okafor, in this interview with BENJAMIN ALADE revealed the need for commuters to explore the e-hailing service, which is
currently gaining ground in cities across the federation. Excerpt:

Convincing people to make the switch from driving their personal cars to a new method of transportation must have been challenging, what is the magic?
What we have found is that all people need is the chance to experience the e-hailing business. Ultimately, they realised on their own that using the service allows them to really enjoy other experiences. Time is a luxury, and in most of our major cities in Nigeria, we spend a great deal of time commuting. Commute time can be so much more productive if we aren’t spending it navigating traffic. 
The value of your time is something that I don’t think most people account for at all when it comes to transportation, people might understand it in the sense that they realise how long it takes them to get to work, but we’re not really internalising what an alternative might be, and whether or not it would save them money. 
Excitingly, everyday, we’re working to make Taxify even more affordable and accessible to Nigerians so that riding Taxify is cheaper than owning a vehicle when you factor in everything from the value of the car to fuel prices and maintenance. The non-intuitive thing about our business model is that the cheaper the service gets, the better the service experience is. Again, time is a luxury and when the price goes down, you have more riders because more riders can afford it. But it also means that more driver-partners come on the platform, and that pick up times get even shorter. 

Taxify is already a huge success in Nigeria, how did you achieve this?
Taxify launched in 2016 at a time when the Nigerian market was desirous for a safe, affordable and reliable way to move. From 2016 till date, we’ve seen remarkable market growth, and more importantly a paradigm shift in the way that people think about transportation. We see that people, particularly young people are prioritising access over ownership, and moving from desiring to purchase vehicles to wanting affordable rides at the tap of a button. This is what Taxify has been about, and will continue to be about delivering best in class ride-hailing services to people across Nigeria. 
From a safety point of view, what assurances do you give riders?
Taxify is dedicated to keeping people safe on the roads. Our technology enables us focus on rider safety before, during and after every trip. Before the trip, our priority is first making sure that you get a safe and reliable ride. This means that every driver goes through an on boarding process before coming on the platform and as such, when you’re paired with a driver, you see their name, licence plate number, photo and rating- so you know who’s picking you up ahead of time. Even after the trip, you’re able to contact your driver if you forget an item in the vehicle. 
During the trip, you can share your estimated time of arrival with your loved ones so they know exactly where you are and when to expect you. After the trip, you can leave a rating to your driver-partner anonymously and provide feedback on your ride experience that we regularly review and use to improve quality. We also have best in class support trained to respond to any questions you have about your trip and help retrieve forgotten items. 

In this article:
TaxifyUche Okafor
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