Gokada Suspends Operation in Nigeria two years after Establishment
Amidst rising competition in the mobility hailing market in Nigeria, bike–hailing app company, Gokada, has concluded plans to shut down its operations temporarily in Nigeria.
The temporary close of operations, which takes effects from Wednesday, August 14, 2019, was announced by the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Fahim Saleh in a statement he published on a news website on Tuesday.
He said his personal experience while with one of the company’s bikes in Victoria Island, Lagos informed the company’s decision to exit the market immediately.
The CEO said he personally hailed a Gokada bike from Victoria Island to Mainland bridge but along the line had an unpleasant experience as a result of the bike rider’s failure to get to his pickup point within allotted time and his struggle to navigate the road due to a fault developed by Gokada’s app.
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In his explanation, Saleh said, “I opened the Gokada app, requested, got a pilot, and waited patiently for him to arrive. I called to confirm my location which the pilot said he knew. 5 minutes passed by and the pilot had not moved.
“Another 5 minutes passed and the pilot was going in the wrong direction. After 15 minutes and three phone calls, the pilot finally arrived. Upon questioning the pilot, I learned that he didn’t use GPS on his phone because the earplugs he had were broken.”
Saleh added: “It should be pretty obvious how to get to the mainland bridge from VI, so I didn’t concern myself with providing him directions but I knew from Google Maps using the best route, it should only take 10 –15 minutes. After about 15 minutes, we were still on the road.
“I hastily took out my phone and did a quick input of the directions to the bridge and realized we were still 15 minutes away. This pilot had taken a long route to get to the bridge, one that would have been completely avoided had he used the map…
“How could I be the CEO of Gokada, the company that pioneered motorcycle ride-hailing in Nigeria and be saying this? I was disappointed in Gokada but most of all, I was disappointed in myself. I told the pilot to pull over to the side of the road, I would hop over the median and wait for an Uber. This is what it has come to”, he further said.
To Saleh, Gokada has succeeded and failed at the same time but despite being the first bike-hailing app company in Nigeria with deep penetration, the company needs to look deep into its operations.
He said the temporary exit from the market would enable the company to provide new bikes, retrain Gokada riders, provide improved safety measures; and ensure all riders are happy by maintaining their bikes for free, opening a drivers’ club, and expanding our health benefits.
It is on record that the motorbike hailing market is still relatively new but it’s an emerging market that promises so much revenue potential to investors. Its entry barrier is, however, high and costly to operate.