African Start-Up follows entrepreneurs in various countries across the continent to see how they are working to make their dreams become reality.
It explores how they generate their ideas, formulate their business plans, raise capital and distribute their products.
25-year old Bankole Cardoso is the Managing Director of Easy Taxi Nigeria and is featured in this week’s CNN Africa Start-Up.
Cardoso was born and raised in Lagos before attending Boston College where he studied Business Management, majoring in accounting. He started my career at Price WaterhouseCoopers in New York City where he became certified and then moved on to the Carlyle Group in New York. After studying and working abroad for 12 years, he had a burning desire to move back home permanently to pursue an entrepreneurial endeavour where he could also make an impact in Nigeria.
His inspiration for Easy Taxi Nigeria came from living in New York City where a similar concept operated. Despite the fact that there were numerous cabs available in New York this service still made life easier and more convenient. It’s no different from Lagos. Despite the availability of a decent number of taxis, it is difficult to hail taxis at your convenience and when you do there is the safety concern. Cardoso felt that Easy Taxi could bring a solution to this inherent need and create a more efficient method of hailing a taxi.
The way Easy Taxi works in Nigeria is through using a Smartphone application that connects drivers and passengers in a smooth, easy and safe way. The value proposition is straight-forward: Simply download the Easy taxi app on Google Play Store or the App store. Open the Easy Taxi app, which is available for iOS, Android and the new BlackBerry devices. Confirm your pickup point and then order your cab at the click of a button. In seconds you’ll receive confirmation of the name, photo, phone number and car model/license plate number of your driver, and you will be able to follow the vehicle’s location in real-time as it approaches you.
With the Easy Taxi app, you can save favourite addresses, check your ride history and use many more features, which are constantly being added as the app is upgraded. All Easy Taxi drivers are checked for compliance before joining the network, so passengers are ensured of their safety whenever they use our services.
The challenges of operating Easy Taxicomes with unique challenges- Internet connectivity is always a concern. Easy Taxi relies on the Internet to locate our customers and our drivers so we are heavily dependent on strong Internet connections provided by the telecoms networks. However we have been able to manage the situation by creating support systems with the help of a committed and dedicated team.
In the long run Cardoso sees Easy Taxi changing the standard of taxi services in Lagos. It is a new, innovative and exciting way to hail a taxi and I am confident that as long as we stick to our principles of providing FAST, EASY and SAFE rides, “we can deliver the best transportation service and become the leading taxi requesting service in Nigeria.”
He says, “the most important elements for starting and running an innovative venture are; understand your business, be adaptable and hire cooperative, enthusiastic and committed staff. I had certain ideas when starting Easy Taxi but quickly realized that nobody knows the business better than the drivers themselves. You must be prepared to listen and adapt your ideas quickly and make sure that you have a very good team available to implement any changes. Once you have these three elements in place I think you can run a very efficient and smooth operation.
Credits: 234finance.com | Twitter: @VladDuthiersCNN | Edition.cnn.com
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