Almeny Case: women teaching women in Saudi Arabia
It’s not an easy task to invent a new business idea and make it work. Seems like everything has already been created before you. Not a bit of it! You just need to take a good look around.
Kaiian was there at the beginning
Everything started with Kaiian, the first project of Onde client in Saudi Arabia. Kaiian came a long way to become the most successful Uber and Careem competitor in Saudi Arabia. The big advantage Kaiian founder had was knowing the psychology of both drivers and clients. Another important thing which took Kaiian to success was the perfect understanding of the local market. As a result, they became one of the three most popular ride-hailing apps.Quite impressive for a startup!
However, Kaiian CEO, Bader Alarjani, wants to achieve even more! He aims to create another top on-demand service. The main question for management team is how to think up a revolutionary and prosperous business idea. But sometimes the best concepts come from very unexpected places.
New niche for Saudi Arabia on-demand market
Women driving has always been a sensitive topic in Saudi Arabia. Basically, only men were allowed to drive cars. There were a lot of efforts to raise awareness of such gender discrimination. People created various pieces of content, organized public demonstrations to allow women to hit the road. Some of them were really funny though raising an urgent local problem. In 2013, Alaa Wardi published a video “No women, No Drive” which got more than 16 million views on Youtube. It was a vivid proof that punishing women for driving was a real public concern.
You may ask how all this is connected to any of on-demand businesses? Summer 2018, there was a big change in Saudi Arabia – women were allowed to get a driving licence. And Bader, the founder of Kaiian, took the reform as a business opportunity and a high-potential niche.
Almeny: a new step in teaching women
Almeny is a new project created by the Kaiian team. It was released in February 2019, and has already acquired its first clients. The main aim is to teach women driving. As there was a ban for women driving in Saudi Arabia before June 2018, Almeny’s offer is an absolutely brand-new opportunity for women. Women can teach other women to drive cars. It sounds like a miracle for Saudi female population!
“We want to be in the centre of global social change happening in Saudi Arabia. Almeny wants to become a platform contributing a lot in solving the gender discrimination problems. We are eager to help the changes happen faster and more effectively. Our goal is to let all women drive in 3 years”,says Bader Alarjani, Almeny CEO.
Driving teaching service is only the first step in Almeny’s business plan. The idea is to create an app offering teaching services in various domains – from driving to language courses. Today women drivers in Saudi app are carefully selected. They undergo extensive and full training including car maintenance, communication skills, customer and teacher training. The safety of learning drivers is one of the cornerstones for Almeny.
There is no surprise Bader Alarjani starts with a driving sector. He already has experience with ride-hailing app Kaiian. The second, probably more valuable reason, a well-timed legal chance in Saudia Arabia. The change made it possible for women teaching driving app to appear. Now Almeny is the first app-based company offering women driving lessons. It’s an excellent example how changes in society point at the potential business niches.
The challenges for Almeny
But it’s not so easy to be the first and show the way for others. Uber and Airbnb also had its failures and difficult tasks to complete.
One of the tough things Almeny needs to comply with is a lack of legislation. As women driving domain is new, there is no state regulation here. On-demand services don’t have uniform control either. It doesn't mean such services are illegal – it simply means there is no uniform governmental rules. But Almeny is ready to contribute to set a precedent for regulating on-demand businesses.
Another Almeny headache is people don’t completely understand the concept of the driving teaching app. It’s a new opportunity for Saudi women, and it requires time to get adapted to it. One month after release, around 100 people already use the app services.
To increase the number, it’s needed to elaborate a wise and effective marketing strategy. Almeny should explain women that it’s a great opportunity for them, tell success stories of women who have already tried out the service, be humane to get the women loyalty. Women need to get to know – Almeny is here to improve their quality of life and be more active members of the society.
Driving teaching service contributes a lot in the social change. But it still needs to find the optimized solutions for some issues. One of the main challenges how to ensure there is a trainer just next door to the passenger wanting to have a lesson. To ensure there is always a driver upon the request, the team needs to grow faster.
Almeny is a great example of how the social and legal changes can influence the business domain and invent new ideas. The app contributes both to economic empowerment of women meaning changes in the society and on-demand business growth.