Three years ago, Taxify was not known as a ride-hailing company operating in Nigeria. This is 2017, many Nigerians are now getting used to ride-hailing via their mobile apps.
Since then, there has been a renewed competitive fervour in the market. Taxify is the arch-rival to Uber. The company had in less than one year of its operations caused a major upset to gain a sizeable part of the market, particularly in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital where over 70% of economic activities takes place Nigeria.
In this exclusive interview with Uchenna Chukwuebuka Okafor, Operations Manager of Taxify Nigeria, he explained how the company plans to maintain its competitive tempo.
What were your key assumptions and data that backed your foray into Nigeria’s ride-hailing business?
We launched in Lagos because of the massive potential the city holds. With an 18 million man population and over a million rides going down every day. We have come to alter the status quo and offer a viable alternative to Lagosians. Ultimately, we aim to change the way people move within the city, create jobs and transform the transportation ecosystem.
How is your strategy different from your core opponent?
Taxify is an e-hailing App that connects riders to great rides, practically moving people safely and in style. We treat driver -partners better so that they can offer high-quality service to customers.
Our commission is 15% (comparing to competitor’s 20-25%), so basically, driver-partners earn significantly more with us than with other competitors.
In terms of CAPEX, can you give us an idea of what you are looking at committing into the market?
The driver-partners commit their vehicles, We offer the platform that connects them to riders. Also at the same engaging many value-added partnerships that would be beneficial to both riders and driver-partners. For instance is the launch of Taxify Cover.
How long will you remain in Lagos before you enter other markets such as Abuja?
We are constantly on the look-out for viable cities to expand to. Once all pre-set metrics are met, we would move and replicate the Lagos model.
Will you be using Nigeria as a launchpad into West and Francophone African countries?
In line with our vision of the changing the way people move globally, this would be a possibility. A decision on this would be taken by the global team and we stand ready to assist in whatever way we can.
How many years from now will you be looking at reaching profit?
It is a known fact that Taxify is already profitable globally.
Nigeria is known for policy flip-flops, to what extent are you looking at engaging policy makers to ensure you are caught unawares?
Well, we are aware of this but we are fully optimistic that the present government has the best plans for the transportation sector and would be seeking ways to fully incorporate technology in the ecosystem. Ride-hailing remains a chief driver of technology in transportation and embracing this technology would fully transform the sector, create more jobs and revenue for the Govt. Also, we are constantly engaging stakeholders to ensure we play within the rules and encourage local participation.
What is your five-year plan and how big are you looking at growing?
We have our sights on being the best and offering high-quality service to riders. Our long term plan simply is changing the way people move around in Nigeria, creating tons of jobs for unemployed youths and empowering entrepreneurs.We are growing really well and we foresee an even greater growth in the coming months.
Tell us about Taxify Nigeria?
Taxify launched in Lagos, Nigeria a couple of months back. It has been an amazing journey so far, as we came to change the way Lagosians move and empower the driver-partners with more earning potential. We have significantly eaten deep in the market share and we owe this to the love shown to us by Lagosians, the support of the driver-partners, the hard work & the strategy of the local team with 24/7 guidance from the global team. We want to do much more, so please hit us up with feedback and we welcome constructive criticism as well.
What culture are you building and how unique is it to work at Taxify?
We are building a culture of hard work, perseverance and innovation at Taxify Nigeria. It’s a unique environment where creative ideas are born and executors bring those ideas to life. We are 100% committed to the global vision and we believe everything boils down to you getting the Job done. The team is lean, young and extremely energetic. We work hard and at the same play really hard.
Taxify is an Estonian international transportation network company headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia and operating in 18 countries in Europe, Western Asia, Africa and Mexico. The company develops and operates the Taxify mobile application, which allows people request a taxi or private driver from their smartphone. Taxify has a team of over 150 employees and has raised 2€ million of venture capital, is the most effectively operating transportation app in the world.