Market share fight among cab companies gets even hotter


(Posted 25th August 2016)

Having a partner like Safaricom, Kenya’s leading mobile communications and mobile money company, clearly has its benefits as competitors like UBER and others are presently finding out at their expense.
Little Cabs has widened their scope by giving clients without smart phones, and there are still plenty out there in Kenya and elsewhere, the option to speed dial for a cab by simply keying in *826# to order for their ride.
Notably will passengers also get an airtime bonus from Safaricom for their first and fifth ride of up to 500 Kenya Shillings.
This initiative massively expands the appeal of Little Cabs beyond the smart phone market and estimates are that the company will rake in extra passengers by deep double digit margins while their rivals are limited to those not just owning smart phones but also know how to operate them, i.e. being savvy enough to download the various apps needed to be able to hail cabs from other providers like UBER.
Said one pundit on condition of anonymity: ‘When UBER let the genie out of the bottle they opened the door for others too and are now probably faced with the stiffest competition in any of their African markets. Safaricom smelled an opportunity, took it and with its infrastructure and the number of subscribers they have the muscle to capture market share from their rivals. The airtime gimmick also works because 500 bob is money few will let pass‘.
For this correspondent though are hotel limos still the non plus ultra, from pick up at the airport to trips across the city to being returned to the airport, all provided by a trusted supplier, i.e the chosen hotel without having to divulge personal details on Apps to be able to subscribe to the UBER’s of this world. And should it be necessary is a quick *826# an easy solution to get from point A to point B by using a Safaricom number, again without having to provide personal details before activating an App.