Cell units and purposes are reworking the automotive trade, and Pakistan is regularly turning into part of that revolution now with extra than simply ride-hailing companies.
Pakistan’s first automobile rental app was launched final month in Islamabad. The app takes each mundane element out of the automobile rental course of – the paperwork, the lengthy wait, the shortage of transparency – however provides flexibility, comfort and worth (full with your individual chauffeur). That is the sweetness behind Roamer, Pakistan’s first-ever automobile rental app.
Roamer is the brainchild of Ali Moeen Malik. Having gained in depth expertise and training in software program improvement in the US, Ali launched his firm with the objective of delivering a completely new resolution to handle Pakistan’s transportation wants.
ProPakistani bought an opportunity to sit down down with him and discuss how his know-how to flag rides is completely different from choices already obtainable out there.
What precisely is Roamer and what’s your imaginative and prescient for the corporate?
Roamer is an app that permits customers in Pakistan to lease chauffeur-driven automobiles from a group of native homeowners for a interval of 1 hour to at least one month. We offer a totally seamless and clear reserving course of and an unprecedented quantity of flexibility for individuals who want a automobile for a brief period of time – whether or not it’s a few hours to run errands or a number of days to exit of city.
Our motto is ‘Personal the journey, not the automobile’ and I believe that completely sums up the unprecedented flexibility that we’re providing. What we are attempting to realize with the corporate is to create a extra optimum resolution to folks’s wants than the outdated rental automobile trade and even the rigid level A to level B journey hailing companies.
I believe that’s an extremely empowering and related device in a rustic the place lower than 2% of the inhabitants can afford to personal a automobile, and as such there’s a enormous alternative to create one thing of worth.
How did you first have the concept for this enterprise?
As is the case with many startups, the concept first got here from my very own private expertise as a shopper.
I used to journey throughout Pakistan regularly for work, and located that there weren’t any good transportation choices obtainable to me after I was in a metropolis for a number of hours or a number of days. Renting a automobile was troublesome and rigid, and even the journey hailing apps solely supplied level A to B companies – which wasn’t what I wanted in any respect.
So I began researching the market and was principally blown away by the potential. I additionally discovered that the mannequin we’re creating exists in different international locations right now and has been tremendously profitable in working alongside the journey hailing trade.
What impressed you to enter this phase regardless of the existence of journey hailing apps?
Really, I might say that I used to be impressed to enter the phase exactly due to the existence of present journey hailing apps. You see, there’s a hole between the automobile rental trade and journey hailing trade and it’s inside that hole that there’s a dire want for transportation right now.
On the one hand, you’ll be able to lease a automobile from a standard rental automobile firm and take it wherever you need, usually for a day or extra. Or alternatively you’ll be able to e book a journey on an app to get from level A to B. However there isn’t any actual technology-enabled resolution for individuals who want the limitless and unrestricted use of a automobile for a restricted time period.
So it’s partially about digitizing the archaic automobile rental trade, and partially about introducing better flexibility and comfort to the journey hailing trade.
However what would stop Uber or Careem from merely replicating your providing and competing?
We count on them to, and that may truly be an important validation for our mannequin. However we’re massively centered on customer support and making a dependable and likeable product.
Our hope is that if we do our jobs nicely sufficient, we are going to create sufficient model loyalty amongst customers – and if we try this, there’ll at all times be house for us to function and develop. This can be a enormous market, so it’s undoubtedly not the case that there’s room for just one participant.
How do you’re feeling Roamer differentiates itself from its competitors?
Once more, firstly by offering a extra handy and versatile resolution than something obtainable out there right now, after which secondly by continuously striving to supply top-notch buyer expertise.
The place does Roamer at the moment function?
We’re at the moment dwell in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, which suggests you could be picked up from any location throughout the twin cities after which take your automobile wherever you want.
Do you propose to broaden and finally provide automobiles with out chauffeurs? Somethin just like the Zip automobile format?
Completely, that’s undoubtedly a part of the plan. However we’re utterly centered in the intervening time on constructing our core product nicely as a result of there’s a enormous quantity of alternative within the chauffeur-driven house. As soon as we now have executed that, we are going to have a look at what else we are able to begin to provide.
There are such a lot of completely different ways in which this enterprise could be expanded and tweaked as soon as we now have established our model. Every of them presents its personal alternatives and challenges.
What are the present struggles of working within the digital house in Pakistan?
The only greatest problem for us up to now has been that it’s a money economic system. It creates loads of inefficiency and operational burden that may go away as soon as funds begin to turn out to be digitized.
What are your long-term objectives and ambitions? The place would you prefer to take the model in 5-10 years?
My dream is to take Roamer abroad as soon as it has reached vital mass in Pakistan itself. A part of the motivation behind that is to create a profitable Pakistani app on this house reasonably than simply have international corporations come and supply an answer. However an extension of that ambition is to broaden regionally in order that we are able to all be happy with a Pakistani know-how firm with a global footprint.
What are you able to inform us concerning the founders and their backgrounds?
I spent round 15 years earlier than this in varied management roles in software program improvement in the US and Pakistan. Most not too long ago, I managed a software program improvement firm in Islamabad which serviced company and authorities sector shoppers within the US. I’ve a Bachelors diploma in Pc Science and Accounting from the College of Arkansas.
My co-founder spent about 15 years working in funding banking in New York and has a stable understanding of capital markets and finance, which I believe makes us a very highly effective workforce with distinctive and complementary abilities.
Final however not the least, for all of the budding graduates on the market trying to enter Pakistan’s digital house, what message would you want to supply them?
Firstly, I wish to say that what we’re witnessing proper now within the Pakistani tech house is the start of a gold rush. The size and scope of alternatives in an economic system of this dimension are completely large, and you actually can create one thing of worth in any trade.
You simply want to consider how one can create a extra environment friendly and efficient consequence for folks with using know-how. The potential is boundless. Having stated all that, I might warning any budding entrepreneur that the foremost determinant of success is just not the concept itself however reasonably the execution of that concept so be sure to do your due diligence and construct a possible plan earlier than taking the plunge.