App-based car service to revolutionise transportation industry

LAHORE: Careem, an app-based car service, makes ordering chauffeur-driven cars reliable, safe, convenient and affordable, in line with its mission to bring a revolution in transportation and logistics industry of the region.

Talking exclusively with Daily Times, Careem Pakistan Managing Director Junaid Iqbal said the company emphasises on convenience, as it is a key value proposition and we make sure it does not come at the expense of a high price.

Careem was launched in 2012 by Mudassir Sheikh and Magnus Olsson, two former McKinsey consultants, who wished to develop reliable and affordable urban transportion.

The company is a pioneer in the MENA region’s nascent ‘sharing economy’ – its mission is to make people’s lives simpler by revolutionising the logistics industry in the region. The company operates across 10 countries and 22 cities including Abu Dhabi, Amman, Bahrain, Beirut, Cairo, Karachi and Lahore.

Careem came to Pakistan in 2015 and after a successful launch in Lahore and a positive growth, month-on-month, it took Karachi under its wing and launched its test service.

As per Iqbal, who also drove Elixir Securities for the last three and a half years as CEO, Careem aims at making the customers’ commuting experience hassle-free, adding that it brings a solution to all car problems of people in Pakistan whether you don’t have a car, you don’t have a driver, have a late-night airport flight to catch, daily office/university commute, a corporate meeting, a hangout to attend or a shopping spree.

“Keeping in mind needs of the consumer, Careem keeps itself flexible from the get go: from booking a car to paying for your journey. Customers can book a car from the app, website, or by calling the call centre,” Iqbal said. “We did not limit ourselves to just an app because people who do not have smartphones or Internet can also have access to our service. Our payment methods are also flexible.”

With special promotional offers, option of paying by cash or credit and monthly invoicing service, the consumers can make their payment as they see most convenient.

“When it comes to our drivers, whom we refer to as ‘Captains’, we do rigorous background checks that include address verification, criminal records and CNIC verification etc. In addition, we have an emergency hotline that is available 24/7 for both customers and ‘Captains’ to report any safety issues. And lastly, many parts of our service, eg confirmation texts and e-mails, ‘Captain’ picture on booking, ride tracking, privacy of customer phone number etc have been designed keeping in mind the safety of our customers,” explained Iqbal, one of the youngest CEOs in Pakistan’s financial sector.

The company is currently focusing on expanding its network across Pakistan. With the $60 million investment, which it raised recently from Al-Abraaj group, Careem plans to accelerate growth in existing markets, expand into new markets, invest in innovative new products and services, and recruit world-class regional talent to fulfil the company’s mission of simplifying the lives of people and building a regional success story that inspires.


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