A pattern has been created for any ride hailing company when entering a new market. Take Careem or Uber as an example and you will see that for each City, State or country, they face a ban backed from the government, they have to overcome it in order to survive.
Well, in Turkey the situation was not quite the same. It has started as government ban, but then the government joined the game and announced what is known as iTaksi, a new ride hailing app that helps people in Istanbul -at the trial stage- to book a taxi using an app and pay using modern methods such as Credit cards or Pre-paid cards.
So, the whole image looks as the following: some startups trying to change the market and define trends as well. But rather than going forward they have been faced by a competition from the government which is going to use the traditional Yellow Taxis with an app to transport passengers. Infrastructure wise, there is no way for those startups since they have to provide certain type of small mini vans.
But as an entrepreneur or a project leader you have a problem and a challenge which should be bypassed either by figuring out a certain strategy or by being brave enough and decide to go out from that market.
Define your goals
Though Turkey has the mentality of Startups, but it has a bit of routine and bureaucracy as well, and this makes taking actions a bit slow than other startups.
If Careem’s long term goal is only to have an app which allow users to find a ride and go from place A to place B paying via e-cards, it would be a bit messy since iTaksi came and offers the same functionality with bigger resources. But if it’s long terms is something like offering autonomous cars, the equation will be different.
That is not the only goal that could be defined. Building a platform to take advantage from via Ads or via offering Music streaming after deals with Spotify, or offering Video content using Netflix, is another example.
But the main idea behind those examples is that it couldn’t be done with governmental efforts because of the routine.
A lot of people don’t know that Uber in some cities pay from it’s own money to cover the cost of taking passengers from A to B. we are speaking here about 50% of each ride. That’s because they want to capture more market share.
Careem can go in the same direction, and it’s going that way. Careem offers 50% discount coupon on all rides. Also, using the referral system it pays 40TL from it’s own money to the inviter and the invitee as well.
Yesterday, I had a bad experience using Careem in Turkey, and after reporting it I received an email telling me that I have been credited a certain amount of money valid for 365 days because of my bad experience.
I don’t think any governmental entity could do the same, listening to customers needs and complains and solve it, otherwise we could have seen a lot countries like Denmark or Sweden.
I don’t think there is such a concept in the academic books, but I like to call it that way.
Starbucks concept means taking money from customers even before buying anything from you. But they get a gift in return.
You can buy Starbucks card and load it with money. After using that money to buy 10 or 15 drinks, you will get a free drink. That means that the company gets money up front which resembles some kind of Financial security.
If Careem use the same concept offering free rides to people who preload their accounts and used that money to pay, it would be a good thing and iTaksi could barely go with it.
iTaksi, btw, support paying using Istanbul card which could be loaded from Train and bus stations, but could it offer free riders to people who use it? I don’t think so because of the routine before taking this kind of actions.
All the previous points are personal exercise and aims to hear reader’s opinions as well to learn new techniques and share new ideas. Also, learning from the competition between Careem and iTaksi will be a great experience for all the project leaders.
ملاحظة: هذا المقال متوفّر باللغة العربية عبر الرابط.