Barely two weeks ago, 14th of August 2019 precisely, Nigeria’s premier motorbike hailing service, Gokada, announced a temporary shutdown. The unexpected close was as a result of the unpleasant experience the CEO, Fahim Saleh, had when he used one of the bikes. In our previous article, Fahim spoke about his disappointment and his plans for an upgrade.
The plans were geared towards improving the services of the brand based on the standard the company has set for itself. In the words of Fahim,
“Gokada has always prided itself on setting the standard in the market for safety and service.
Hairnets, DOT certified helmets, extensive training – these are all reasons safety on our bikes have been so consistent and how we were able to convince so many to give this new age bike taxi a shot. As we scale, what we have now would be the template for what all our future pilots will follow.
We took the risk to pause for a moment and improve on that template in order to provide our customers with exceptional service at scale.”
As envisioned by the Gokada team, the brand was relaunched on 26th August 2019 with an upgraded version, Gokada 2.0 after halting its services with the intention of improving its safety standards and train its pilots, equipping them with advanced driving skills with a focus on safety, GPS navigation, and optimized customer service delivery. Gokada added more quality by overhauling its motorbike fleet completely and acquiring efficient TVS motorbikes alongside Bluetooth enabled helmets to enhance communication.
“We have introduced a new helmet, new motorcycles and we have partnered with a Chinese Company (TVS) to bring the motorbikes to them directly from the manufacturers. We needed a bike that is of high quality and consistent.
We chose TVS because we believe it will be on the road for more time. It is of high quality and I have visited their factory and they work with BMW bikes. They also have innovation experience of over 46 years and it is a high-end motorcycle brand. It is safe and has quality,” Fahim said.
Ayodeji Adewunmi, Co-CEO, explained that the objective of the upgraded version was centered on customer satisfaction;
“Gokada 2.0 is all about our unflinching commitment to our customers.
We believe that it is better to suspend our operations for two weeks so we can retool and revamp for unmatched service delivery and exceptional experience with the Gokada brand for a long time to come.
It will be an incredible time to use the Gokada services as we journey to transform transportation in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. As part of this relaunch, we have also made several upgrades to the management team, and I am truly excited about Gokada 2.0”
Along with this upgrade is a goal to raise over $10m before the end of the year. Adewunmi mentioned this strategic plan during the relaunch announcement. He said this goal is part of the vision of Gokada which is to become the operating system for mobility, on-demand services, and financial services, driving social and economic inclusion across Africa. He stated that since the inception of the brand they’ve been able to raise $5.4m.
Gokada’s Director of Government Relations, Kayode Adegbola, was also positive about their new accomplishment especially the partnership with the Lagos state government;
“We are excited to continue setting the standard in our industry by exceeding all of the regulatory requirements in Nigeria and partnering with government organizations like the Lagos State Government to help move residents through quicker, more comfortable, safer and responsible means”.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Innovations start with great thinkers and a team of like minds, which takes quite some serious work to assemble, especially in the Niger Delta Region of Port Harcourt. That is the story of Olotu Square, a rare light, beaming and leading a teeming population of young people along the path of technology and innovative solutions to problems.
Olotu Square is one of the foremost innovative hubs in Port Harcourt, established to build capacity in the technology space. The brand grooms young people with various talents and skills and has made remarkable impact in just three years. Olotu Square through its work has been tackling the problem of unemployment by training young people and engaging them with projects from paying clients.
Olotu Square was established in 2016, and the name is derived from two words; Olotu which means “a champion” or “a leader of warriors” and Square which means gathering or together. The brand name Olotu Square meaning “Community of Champions” has so far lived up to its name. In the past few years, Olotu Square has become a community of Startups & Technology Developers driven by a common interest to change the narrative of the Niger Delta and Africa at large.
Olotu Square started out as a software technology company with the mission to develop software for organisations. Bruce Lucas who conceived the vision after attending an economic and youth conference in Malaysia founded the company. Intrigued by his experience in Malaysia, he was moved to implement the same initiative in his own community. After he returned home, Bruce converted his office space into a community for potential developers and aspiring young people striving towards becoming the next Zuckerberg or Elon Musk.
Barely a year after launching Olotu Square in 2016, the company gained support, endorsements and a national recognition the next year 2017. They have moved on to host two Google programs successfully that was sponsored by Google, and other training programs as well. Within that period, the hub also birthed its first Startup Gerocare, an Uber kind of solution but for healthcare delivery.
Olotu Square has grown to become a recognised indigenous hub providing business support, mentorship, incubation, and valuable business network to Startups. They continue to serve as a community for tech enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. The brand keeps championing different notable projects with the vision of creating a better future for the next generation.
To achieve the best Startup and Technology success stories in Africa.
They believe collaboration is the way to build the future.
They believe they can create a future where there is equal opportunity to thrive and ample resources are within the reach of everyone no matter the location.
They dream of a future where innovations reign supreme in every corner of Africa and everyone has access to different levels of support to birth their dreams.
Their work culture revolves around,
- Equality and
Olotu Square is committed to doing more work than talking; they are a brand to watch in the coming years.
Here is a list of what they do;
- Trainings & Fellowships
- Youths, Jobs & Engagements
- Graphics, UI/UX Designs
- Software Development
- Digital Marketing
- Tech Systems Designs/Automation
- IT Infrastucture Management
- Developer/Tech Support
From our research, it is exciting to state with confidence that Olotu Square is looking forward to a great future of achievements and groundbreaking initiatives that will reverse the perception of the public on Nigerian youths in general. They have the capacity and work force to reach unimaginable heights.
Written by Nwaerema Cyprian J
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As the earth revolves around its orbit every second, so does the world evolve with constant innovations at the blink of an eye. Rarely does any day pass without something new being introduced to the ever-hungry market. There appears to be a new or modified facet to everything, from trends to market approach, to technology.
Due to this endless craving for modern ideas, both customers and organisations providing products and services have to remain abreast with the slightest new development springing forth globally. Sometimes keeping up with current innovations could be quite overwhelming; nevertheless, to prevail in the tight competitive business world, entrepreneurs and those in corporate firms are without a choice. This therefore means to gain dominance in any field; business owners must remain up to date with innovative events.
In order for enterprises to stay relevant, they must serve the customers with fresh irresistible innovative ideas. Since consumers don’t stay satisfied for long, there is a demand on businesses to consistently feed them with things that would improve their lives no matter how little. While trying to satisfy consumers, enterprises increase their profitability and efficiency. This further implies that innovation breeds advancement for any business.
Whenever innovation is mentioned, most entrepreneurs suddenly feel pressured to invent something new that has never been seen before. This is only a one-sided definition that limits the concept of innovation. Being innovative does not necessarily require new inventions, however, it requires regular brushing, polishing and recreating of old and existing ideas. Entrepreneurs need to seek ways to improve, making their products or services more appealing and value-added.
In pursuit of innovations, entrepreneurs must first study their target market deeply. This analysis enables them identify the needs of their old and prospective customers. It helps them discover opportunities they could leverage which puts them on a leading edge compared to their contemporaries.
This explains the reason why phone brands like Apple, Samsung, and Techno continue to modify their brands, adding new features other brands must have not thought of. For this reason, they give their competitors a fierce race, which may seem unbeatable for now until a new brand develops something strikingly different. Brands like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google keep improving their user interface, making it more user-friendly. That way their users have, a better experience, which makes them the preferred option. This means entrepreneurs have to keep in touch with their customers to know what their needs are and how to meet them.
While great brands endeavour to create novel or ameliorate existing products or technology, smaller brands remain complacent in their same old way. For the desire to succeed and retain dominance, every business should be driven by constant innovation and include it as part of their business strategy.
So we ask today, what innovative ways have you implemented to improve your business?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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