In the past year, Careem, followed by Uber were inaugurated in Pakistan. From the rumors of their advent to their actual establishment, there have been multiple views regarding their success and failure. While some people thought they would be a huge success, majority thought otherwise. The reasons being, innumerable taxis and rickshaws which are already present. Not to forget, the difference in fares of a taxi/rickshaw and a Prius.
Uber is a San Francisco based American online transportation company. Starting from San Francisco, this multinational company managed to expand its network in 70 countries with in a short span of 7 years.
Careem is more or less the same as Uber. The only difference is Careem’s Headquarters being located at Dubai and the fact that Careem started is venture in 2012, three years after Uber.
Surprise! Surprise! Both Careem and Uber have become the first choice of people who travel locally specially women. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that both these mobile app-based car services owe a major part of their success to women and of course smartphones.
Both Careem and Uber have already started providing their services in Pakistan and people are already finding it difficult to book rides. This does ring a bell and raises questions about the mismanagement on their part but also signifies how rapidly their network is expanding.
The success of Uber and Careem not only marks a new beginning for urban transport system but also seems like a promising revolution in the job sector, ensuring and improving the livelihood of many.
According to sources, Careem has announced a series C investment with the Abraaj Group worth 60 million US Dollars. This is indeed a major investment after Al-Tayyar and will be used to improve the marketing and expansion strategies and car service itself.
Although, Careem has been stigmatized a couple of times by bringing up some harassment cases to the surface but Maryam Suhail, an Islamabad resident seem to suggest otherwise.
‘Recently, I hired a car via Careem and I was amazed by the efficient service, something you rarely experience in Pakistan. Considering the car, conduct of the driver and the reasonable prices, I would definitely use their service again.’
Keeping in mind the controversies Careem had to face, Uber played it safe and introduced a screening process a driver has to undergo in order to register with Uber.
They also require a police verification certificate, important documents and a social character certificate for the registration, just to ensure the safety and security of their valued customers. Their efforts do not go un-noticed. Celebrities in Karachi seem to be a big fan of Uber.
Here is what Mahira Khan had to say,
‘I have been using this taxi service around the world, and I can’t believe that it’s in my city now. Safe, affordable, reliable, and easy to use I say this from first-hand experience. Uber is uber-cool!’
The great success of multinational transport services have paved way for other multinational companies to invest in Pakistan. Bosch, a technology and services supplier company has recently set up their offices at Lahore.
There is no doubt in the fact that Pakistan is the 6th populous country and can contribute immensely in the economic activity in the country.
Careem and Uber have already put in their fair share in improving the economic activity by generating jobs. If this sort of productive activity continues and multinational companies keep on investing, then sky is only the limit for Pakistan.
About the Contributor:
Nauman is a writer, entrepreneur and seasoned technology consultant.He has served in international firms including IBM and Etisalat and has dealt with various business verticals.He loves to read, swim and travel.