Emmanuel Udeagha is the CEO Pukena Cars & Drivers – a company that manages cars and drivers on popular cab hailing platforms in Nigeria. Recently, his company had a serious setback in one of their months which almost resulted in the shut-down of the company, in-fact, according to Emmanuel; “I told my hub manager he should have a “crying room” in the co-working space where we use as office, for startup founders like me to just cry when we can’t hold it together anymore.”
But you know what, instead of Emmanuel to throw in the towel so easily, the never relentless Naija spirit got him and here we are with Emmanuel’s experience with the cab hailing business, trust me, you’d love this series – yes, it’s a series on his journey to experiencing, as the CEO, what his drivers have or are experiencing on the road.
This will give you great insight if you intend starting up or investing in the cab hailing business. Or even if you are in the business already, what you should know and how to adjust.
Next ‘voice’ is Emmanuel’s…
I told my team during a Monday morning management meeting that I will be taking a break from management to drive on Uber and Bolt (Taxify) for one month, and they were shocked!
With over 20 cars on our fleet, what would the boss be doing behind the steering as an Uber driver? I could see the worry on their faces. I was soon to calm their nerves with the following explanations:
1. I do this often with other departments. I sometimes join our cleaners on the field. I run errands for clients, I inspect cars myself, etc. I just like having a feel of what my taskers face in their jobs. Also, it keeps my core team on their toes to know that nothing is too big or small to do.
2. I want to have a connection with our target market and get paid for it. You see, the guy seating at the back of my cars are the same people I would love to clean their houses, send a private tutor, post a nanny to, and so on. We are planning a subtle marketing campaign to use our drivers and cars to cross sell, hence I want to test the idea.
3. I want to onboard more mechanics across the major areas in Lagos and get paid doing it. Without deciding to drive on Uber, I would still need to drive round Lagos in the next one month to onboard mechanics on MyMechNG, our latest product on Pukena. Imagine doing that and making money in the process. Its a win win.
4. I want to understand our drivers much better. Sometimes our fights are bothered on money. While some claim they hardly see money hence their defaults, I want to know how true that is by being in their shoes for one month.
So don’t be surprised if my face pop up on your phone when you order an Uber. You are in for a treat!
Starting from Monday, I’m at your service!
Scroll down for Episode 2
NB: So you don’t get to miss out on this journey and interesting episodes, click HERE to subscribe on SME Digest priority list – your info are highly protected with us.