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Starting a taxi business is a social movement

Starting a taxi business is a social movement

How to make a young, app-based taxi business reach the top and become a market leader in a traditional country? Kaiian, the company from Saudi Arabia, shares expertise.

About the company

The owner of Kaiian company, Bader, has been a taxi-chauffeur for a long time. This is how the idea of a modern platform for ordering a cab came to him.

The Challenge

The initial plan was to hire an outsourcing company to develop an Uber-inspired application. Several months passed, but the outsourcers were still unable to meet Kaiian’s expectations.

In Saudi Arabia, Uber was already on the market, as well as a local taxi company Careem. Kaiian needed to be even more affordable, more reliable, and have more technical features than the competitors. Settling for a white-label app turned out to be the cure.

The apps needed to be fully customized: with the logo, the colors, the branding of Kaiian.

Onde Solution

Bader, the founder of Kaiian, says:

“White-label saved us so much time and energy! We were able to streamline the launch and focus on how we market our taxi company.”

Kaiian started their taxi business from the small towns of Saudi Arabia. The country is pretty conservative, and the word of mouth works perfectly there, so every business is very social by definition.

Starting in a small city

Kaiian launched in the city of Al-Kharj (it still generates the most trips per day) with 18 cars. This helped to get enough turnover to invest in further promotion. Later, Hail and Yanbu were “taken over”. At first, Kaiian had to drop the prices to attract new clients. But very soon the quality of the service became the main appealing factor.

Customer development and social media marketing

Kaiian did not want to rely on the opinion-makers who have followers simply because people feel envy about their lives. After doing the research, company founders figured out who is really trusted on social media, why and by whom.

Snapchat and Instagram became the biggest channels for attracting new passengers. Snapchat was targeted at young people while Instagram — at middle-class folks in their 30s—50s.

Twitter (still functioning as a no-nonsense social network) helped to engage possible investors.

Attracting new drivers

First of all, providing better tariffs than competitors do. If Careem asks drivers to pay 50% of what they gain, Kaiian asks significantly less — and the word of mouth ensures everybody knows that.

Another clever move was giving new drivers a free trial. It brings no income to the company, but it brings clients — and the possibility to analyze which driver plan fits a driver best.

The Onde platform allows playing with the fares to adapt them to the market requirements. One can create, test and adjust driver plans, and choose the most suitable for a certain audience. Kaiian analyzed the current situation on the taxi market of Saudi Arabia and came up with their own unique model of driver plans.

Yet another important thing is maintaining a high level of drivers’ performance: their attitude, outfits, manners. Educating drivers pays back enormously in loyalty: if they love your company, they won’t hesitate to recommend it. Providing drivers with uniforms, motivating the right attitude also makes a taxi company appealing for the customers.

The Results

What is Kaiian planning now? They feel ready to enter Mecca and Riyadh, really big cities.

Bader says: “Taking over a big city with your taxi business is not about money. I believe it’s about making the right social moves. Look at Dubai. The city is multicultural and creative. A monthly social move would work there: 1 crazy thing to advertise per month. Something creative enough to make the company look different from its competitors. With a right social move everything will work. Because the platform is good, and we are so special, no super-huge investments needed here!”

Here’s the list of the good techniques Kaiian used:

  1. Working with a white-label software solution;
  2. Starting from the small cities;
  3. Using word of mouth for initial promotion;
  4. Doing serious customer research;
  5. Motivating drivers;
  6. Working together with a marketing agency.

Some of those will definitely help to grow your taxi business, as well!

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