Easy Taxi Begins Its Preparations Towards an Indonesian Expansion.
After having previously announced its expansion into India sometime earlier within the week, Rocket Internet’s taxi booking application, Easy Taxi has set their sights on driving over to Indonesia as well. At the moment, in a pre-launching phase in the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, the official launch is planned to be made sometime later within the month. The company has brought in investment strategist Usmand Lodhi as the Country Manager.
Easy Taxo was originally launches in Brazil during April 2012, which is currently available in over 30 countries across the world.
“Indonesia is one of the relatively later markets that we have entered. But it is also one of the markets that I personally believe has the biggest potential as compared to any other market in the region,” Lodhi stated.
His confidence stems from the fact that not only is Indonesia a large country but also the main reason is that the country “has the lowest taxi to population ratio in the region.”
One of the most troublesome things for Easy Taxi in the market is to train the drivers in getting comfy with the usability of a smartphone. The majority of drives within the country, according to Lodhi, sill utilize feature phones, Although, the Country Manage has been quite surprised by the amounts of optimistic and enthusiastic response show by drivers.
“Drivers come from all age and backgrounds. The adaptation is better than our expectation. They are picking up very quickly. That’s very encouraging,” he adds.
Besides the necessity of having to train drivers, Easy Tax shall also be working along with third party partners to avail deals, allowing cab drivers to acquire smartphones and discounted prices.
The second challenge for the company would be the weak internet connection, but lodhi is quite optimistic of the results for the test pilot so far.
“We’ve tested our app in Jakarta and surrounding area, and we’ve noticed no problem. As the app is not that data intensive, it can rely on 3G network, and doesn’t require WiFi. It’s robust enough that it won’t crash due to lost connections,”he said.
Aside from providing a much easier access to taxis, Easy Taxi has boasted on working with the taxi drivers on raising passenger safety standards within the market.
“Safety is our first priority,” says Lodhi, adding, “We only work with reputable taxi companies and we screen each driver before providing them training on usage of our app and the standard of services.”
Unlike, India, where Easy Taxi would be raking the in-app advertising model to increase revenues, Indonesia expects them to charge the driver a flat fee per booking that’s completed. Although, the service would be free during the launching phase. With that lay out, he clarifies that the passenger would be charged on the total amount that’s displayed on the meter.
“In that way we do not interfere with government regulation,” the Country Manager said.
Easy Taxi shall localize the application for the country, which will enable users to give references for addresses. “You know sometimes street numbers are not accurate, so you can give reference information,” Lodhi states. The application will use Google Maps and Waze APIs to ping taxis in the radius of two kilometers.
Lodhi claims that the application will help cab drivers increase their earnings by 50 percent.“A driver usually would do 20 rides a day; now it can go up to 30 a day,” he said, further explaining that usually a taxi driver in Jakarta works up to 20 hours a day.