Little Cab’s Kamal Budhabhatti. Kamal Budhabhatti remembers his chat with late Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore when he dropped by the giant East Africa telco offices along Waiyaki Way in Nairobi.
He had just developed the Little Cab app and wanted advice and partnerships with like-minded technology companies to penetrate the market.
At the time he was getting into the industry, established brands such as Uber and Bolt were already in the business with a huge customer base. READ MORE
“I kept telling Bob Collymore that the only way I could make an impact in the industry is through the price war strategy, which would mean offering lower prices to riders using the Little Cab app, because how else was I going to be in business after coming late in the industry?” recalls Kamal.
“After listening to my concerns and fears, Bob would tell me that I should never get into a business by compromising on the price to get ahead of the competition,” he says.
Kamal, the founder and CEO of Craft Silicon and Little Cab says he never looked back and the price war has never been part of his strategy in a business empire that comprises ride-hailing and software development for financial institutions and utility firms.
Currently, Little Cabs controls market share in corporate clients and ranks third behind Uber and Bolt in the retail segment of Kenya’s app taxi business.
His taxi business is expanding into the Ethiopian market early next month in a Sh107 million strategy.
On what has triggered the geo-expansion, Kamal says the Ethiopian market is promising.
“It has a huge population that is slowly but steadily warming up to new ways of doing things through technology.”
He says the recent entry of Safaricom into the Ethiopian market has made the situation much better.In May this year, Ethiopia’s telecommunications regulator awarded an operating license to a consortium led by Safaricom and Japan’s Sumitomo.The license fee from the consortium was Sh91 billion. Ethiopia is hoping that the opening of the telecoms markets will create millions of online job opportunities.“We are looking at better internet services and improved expertise in technology with the entry of Safaricom into the Ethiopian market, this will help us in pushing our internet-based services in this market,” he says.“Our strategy into this new territory is through a partnership with local companies in tours and travel. They will be running the show as we […]