Barely two weeks after the founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of GoKada, Fahim Saleh announced that the company would be shutting down operation temporarily – a move that cast doubt on the company’s longevity, the company has returned after remodelling the operation standard which competitors have failed to upgrade.
Gokada literally drafted the standard that competitors are operating with despite being the second bike-hailing company in Nigeria. In order to advance beyond the reach of its rivals and maintain its leadership position in the market, the company had to carry out a relaunch so as to expose bike-hailers to new international standard from helmet to seamless GPS navigation.
These factors were some of the reasons Saleh suspended Gokada operations on August 14, 2019. Fahim Saleh had complained that customers were not getting value for their money after he hailed a GPilot (Gokada rider) and wasn’t impressed with the service he experienced. He promised Gokada would be back on August 26, 2019, and the company is back despite market uncertainty.
He announced the shutdown in a post and promised better Bluetooth-enabled helmet and overhauling of Gokada bikes. According to the company, the new helmet is certified by the United States Department of Transportation and the previous bikes have been overhauled and replaced with bikes directly from Indian motorbike maker, TVS.
Why this matters: Though the use of motorbikes is a convenient way to travel in a traffic-prone area like Lagos, it is not immune to accidents. Therefore, it is very crucial to use a helmet because it guides the head against knocks or heavy fall. It safeguards the head in case of an accident.
Also, the helmet enables drivers to communicate and make use of their GDP hands-free. The use of phone while driving is unsafe, and the Gokada helmet eliminates that risk by allowing its riders to have seamless navigation experience without lifting its hands from the steering.
The two weeks break enabled the company to train its GPilots on how to use the new fleet and Bluetooth-enabled helmets.
Speaking on the return of Gokada, Saleh said, “Gokada has always prided itself on setting the standard in the market for safety and service. Helmets, DOT certified helmets, extensive training – these are all reasons safety on our bikes have been so consistent and how we were able to convince so many to give new age bike taxi a shot.
“As we scale, what we have now would be the template for what all our future pilots will follow. We took the risk to pause for a moment and improve on that template in order to provide our customers with exceptional service at scale.”
Meanwhile, Gokada’s Co-CEO, Ayodeji Adewunmi said the suspension of business enabled the company to revamp and offer Nigerians an unmatched service.
“Gokada 2.0 is all about our unflinching commitment to our customers. We believe that it is better to suspend our operations for two weeks so we can retool and revamp for unmatched service delivery and exceptional experience with the Gokada brand for a long time to come.
“It will be an incredible time to use the Gokada services as we journey to transform transportation in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. As part of this relaunch, we have also made several upgrades to the management team, and I am truly excited about Gokada 2.0.”