Mudassir Sheikha and Magnus Olsson
App-controlled car booking to launch in Riyadh
Riyadh, December 11, 2013
Careem, an online chauffeur-driven car service, is set to launch its app-controlled private car booking service in Riyadh after several months of piloting the service in the city.
The service which has been launched recently in the UAE and Qatar, allows people to book a car as and when they need one either for ‘Now’ or for some scheduled time in the future. With the use of Careem technology, a car is matched to the client request and the client gets a guarantee that their car will be dispatched and that it arrive on time.
Careem is backed by solid finance from major institutions including STC Ventures, the investment arm of Saudi Telecom and its founders both have established careers as management consultants specializing in the field of technology.
Co-founder and managing director of Careem, Mudassir Sheikha said: “Our service was borne out of a need that both Magnus and I felt, to enhance the private transportation options for residents and tourists in the Middle East and take away the daily frustrations of getting around the cities for business and for leisure.”
From the customer perspective, end benefits of Careem include the promise that they will be safe; they will never be relied on for directions and that they can relax in the knowledge that their drivers arrive on time, every time.
These promises can all be delivered on thanks to the in-car GPS system that connects the driver to the operations centre as well as the 24 hour call centre that can turn to if they need assistance. Drivers are regularly screened and advised on safe driving and customer service standards.
Adding to the safety promise, the app feature also allows customers to track the location of their car in real-time. This is particularly beneficial for people not wishing to stand on the street in the extreme heat waiting for a car to arrive; and also for husbands who want to be sure that their wives and children are safe and to know where they are once they are in the car and en-route to their destination.
Magnus Olsson, co-founder and responsible for the operational and technological side of the business, highlighted the safety customer service aspects of the business.
“Detail and safety are very important to us. Our drivers are trained by Careem to be courteous, to drive safely and to practice good personal hygiene- all making for a more pleasant ride for the customer,” he said.
“Our customer service goes above and beyond. If we are more than five minutes late to pick a customer up for an airport drop-off, then we do not charge,” said Olsson.
Careem aims to take the hassle out of getting around and to add to the safety, comfort and control aspects around private ground transportation, he added.
Sheikha said that the key differentiating feature of the Careem model versus competition is the marrying of the human element through their 24-hour-a-day call and operations centre, together with proprietary smart technology and a GPS facility.
“We are an affordable mass luxury product that makes life more comfortable and takes away some of the daily frustrations and hassles of urban life and the customers are continually confirming that this is what they are looking for,” said Sheikha.
“In the first 18 months of operation, we have gone from one market to now four and our customer usage volumes are growing on average 30-40 per cent every month.” – TradeArabia News Service