Sometime in August, we reported that popular bike-hailing startup, Gokada, had announced it would temporarily shut down its service in order to revamp its operations. This break was necessitated by increased competition, regulatory hurdles, and other operational issues they were experiencing.
The ride-hailing startup resumed operations last week and it looks like the decision to re-strategise was good in the long run. Meet Gokada 2.0.
The first noticeable change is the new fleet of bikes from a partnership with Chinese Company, TVS. Branded green and black, the new bikes look sophisticated compared to the former ones.
Aside from the aesthetics, the bikes come with a dedicated G-Pilot number. Unlike ride-hailing startups, Uber and Bolt, Gokada bikes can be stopped and booked for a ride. In the past, it was pretty hard to identify riders in cases of complaints. Their safety jackets mostly covered the identification number on their shirts. This also did not really leave room for monitoring which rider (G-Pilot) is for which user.
Now, with the dedicated G-Pilot number boldly printed on the bikes, users can lodge complaints and comments about a pilot to the customer care agents easily. The number is also printed on the helmet of riders and users too.
Gokada 2.0 does not only provide an upgrade for bikes. The riders get an upgrade too. Some of the areas CEO, Fahim Selah, highlighted prior to the break were changes in customer service, hygiene, proper use of the Google Map assisted navigation and safe driving. To this effect, riders now kit up properly and carry body sprays and their documents in a pouch.
Riders also have better helmets. These helmets are said to come with waterproof Bluetooth, support high speed, have wind-noise cancellations and a mic. As we all know, operating a phone while driving is unsafe, hence the new helmets are providing a solution.
This way, riders receive calls on the go, allowing better communication between the riders and the company. It also means they can make use of their GPS without taking their hands off the handlebars.
All these new features are said to have been taught to drivers during the 2-week break. And Gokada users are most delighted about this.
Users who have hailed the startup’s bikes after its relaunch also have nice things to say about the extra courtesy shown by Gokada riders.
While these new improvements will help the brand, it doesn’t get rid of the fierce competition it faces. And with a nascent ride-hailing market, Gokada 2.0 will need to sustain its developments and continue to innovate to convince the market that they are ahead of the curve.
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