GoSafr—A Women-Centred, Ride-Hailing App to Launch in Pakistan

GoSafr—a women-focused, ride-hailing company has announced the launch of its services in Pakistan by the end of 2017.

Women safety is an ongoing concern for the ride-hailing service firms in Pakistan. To address this concern the women-centric, ride-hailing providers have decided to launch their service.

Michael Pelletz—former Uber driver and the founder of GoSafr, targets on women empowerment and majorly hires women drivers. GoSafr is comparatively a new firm and has been managing their business with success in Boston.

Ramla Hassan—CEO GoSafr Pakistan, while explaining the reasons behind the service launch in Pakistan said women feel insecure in travelling with male drivers although women make up fifty percent of the population, there is no such transportation service that exclusively meets their need. This gap provided a promising opening for the success of GoSafr in Pakistan.

Presently, the service providers’ focus is women, however it would also be having male drivers and would be also be catering the needs of male customers.

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Mehreen Alavi—Marketing Manager-GoSafr Pakistan said that though women empowerment is the focus, the company do not want to encourage gender discrimination. It focuses on providing both the riders and drivers the choice to drive without discrimination or with someone of the same gender specifically.

Unique security features are what that makes the service different from the services being offered by other ride-hailing firms right from the driver and customer app. The application assigns a colour to both the riders and the drivers. Once the rider calls a cab, both the rider and driver make sure that the assigned colour is same before sitting in the car. The app also has an SOS button that could be pressed in case the rider feels uncomfortable at any point during the ride.

GoSafr would additionally be checking up on the backgrounds of their drivers to ensure that they have no prior criminal records and for verifying their personal data.

The real challenge for GoSafr would be to compete with Uber and Careem, who are successfully running their businesses in Pakistan. Additionally, since March—Paxi has also introduced their Pink Taxis exclusively for women drivers.

Hassan is sure that the already prevalent services would not affect the potential of the GoSafr business.

Alavi said that the marketing activities are being handled by the in-house marketing team and the major strategy is to focus on digital marketing.

The profession of cab-driving, especially in Pakistan, traditionally is a male-dominated profession but women are entering into it. Careem tested with women drivers in 2016 and got successful by attracting seven women drivers.

Nonetheless, the potential of this kind of service in Pakistan is extensive, keeping in mind the limited number of career choices because of the lack of secure and hassle-free transportation to and from work.

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