Interview of Adam Ghaznavi, Country Head of Easy Taxi Pakistan
Tell us about your professional background?
After my Graduation from LUMS in 2007, I joined NIB bank as a management trainee. After training I was placed as a credit analyst in the commercial banking division. In the next two years, I was promoted Credit lead and then established the planning division for the commercial banking division.
In 2010, I received the Fulbright scholarship to go for my MBA at Babson College. After returning to Pakistan, I have been working for Rocket Internet in multiple capacities. First as Product head for Kaymu.pk and then as Product, Marketing and Content manager for the same venture. Since July 2013, I have been involved with establishing and growing Easy Taxi Pakistan.
What makes you think of creating an app for taxi booking?
The idea existed before and was running in Brazil & other Latin American countries. I was tasked with assessing the market and running the venture. The idea is that the more growth I show in the Pakistani market the more funding I will get. The only credit that I can take is to believe that the model could and should work in Pakistan.
Please share some details of how this app works?
It’s actually quite simple. You open the App and it detects your location. After that you press request taxi. If you don’t already have an account with us you will be asked to register. The drivers nearby will get a ping and one of them will accept the ride. Once that happens you will see the driver details and driver will see yours. After this the driver will come pick you up.
After your journey , you pay the driver. We are currently working on paying with credit card through the app. The app requires data coverage. This is still not readily available to everyone, its expensive and well behind the world standards for speed. This makes it much harder for the app to function correctly.
Why do you think it will be successful in Pakistan?
The taxi culture has seen a decline due to many factors. Rise of the leasing model, rickshaws and cheaper motorcycles. I believe that despite this people will always need to get from point A to point B. If we can offer competitive rates ,I think getting people to switch in the long run is doable.
The reason is that this model takes out a lot of hassle (Maintenance costs, capital costs of buying a car, efficiency, comfort) So next time someone is thinking to go from their job for lunch but does not want to spend an hour parking all they need to do is tap a few times on their smartphones and voila a nice clean car at the door.
What is your target audience? Can you share any estimated numbers of passengers which you think will be users of this app?
Our target audience is a city dweller between the ages of 18 to 40. We expect the users to be around 500,000 divided between Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad in the next couple of years. Ride request should be around 3 times a month so it’s a volume business.
Is this app available in countries similar to Pakistan like India or Bangladesh? If yes, what is the success rate?
This app is available in India and is doing quite well there although they have just started. We are present in Vietnam and Myanmar which are similar economies if you consider disposable income. The app is doing great things there as well.