A lot has been written about the ride hailing services in the regions of UK, USA in the past years but now the term is known in other parts of the world as well.
The ride hailing has become a popular trend in Pakistan as well. Most of the population prefers to use the Uber/Careem services rather than any conventional mean of public transportation which has been operational in Pakistan since long.
Starting with a few, currently there are a number of new ride sharing companies that are successful are prevailing in Pakistan and surely, they are giving a tough competition to each other.
In the past few years, Uber has revamped a high-quality ridesharing and car-hiring services around the globe. It has also expanded tremendously in different countries of the world, among which the most popular is the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Speaking specifically about Pakistan, we can say that Uber is facing tough competition and major competitor is Careem. Careem is headquartered in Dubai and the company entered in Pakistani market before the Uber did. Despite the fact that Uber was second to reach Pakistani market, it is giving a tough competition to Careem but Careem does not seem to be giving up on the fight to become number one.
Here, the most common question is how Uber is piling up to Careem, and what are the major issues that Uber is facing while expanding its work in the MENA region? Here are some of the common challenges that Uber is dealing with in the rise of becoming the number one.
The Payment System
Careem is definitely a step ahead of the payment methods offered by Uber in Pakistan and this convenience in payment is also a reason many Careem users prefer to use it over the Uber. The security of payment, the ease of the customer and a lot of other benefits is why Careem is the preferred choice for the users.
While on the other hand, where the American Uber drivers completely refuse to take the cash, the policies are a bit tailored in the MENA region. However, the Careem has a clearly robust and simple to deal with a payment system that can be managed both on account and the cash payment at the same time. This is one of the core reasons for why it is more appreciated by the users. Thus Uber needs to adjust its policies according to the market requirements specifically that of MENA and Pakistani market if it is really striving to become a preferred choice for the users.
The Pick-up Time
The minimum pickup time is the core concern of most of the ride hailing service users. People tend to prefer a short time to meet their drivers at the given pickup point. The reason why Uber has longer pickup time is that there are lesser drivers with Uber and thus lesser availability of rides and more time required to reach the given destination. On the other hand with more drivers and cars on the road, Careem is efficient in reaching the given pickup point. Careem users count it as one of the major reason for preferring Careem over Uber.
However, in some parts of the country, there are customers who complain about the delay in the pickup time. Analysing the situation overall, we can suggest that both Uber and Careem must pay attention to the bulk availability of the services, at least in the major cities of the country to where the demand is higher for services.
Lack of Trust in Services
Since Uber started its operations in Pakistan, they were charged with some major accusations like having a fleet of rental cars and sending all units to pick the riders etc. Apparently, there is nothing serious or illegal about it. But in some cases, the customers reported some poor customer experience and overworked staff. Some drivers were reported to be working more than 18 hours a day and a tired driver is more risk to the passenger.
Despite the fact that Uber took some serious actions on the matter and upgraded its services comprehensively, the situation left a bad impact on the consumers. While on the other hand, Careem has issues of its own as in one case the driver troubled the female passenger.
For such issues, the experts suggest that it is not the fault of the companies and their rules and regulations rather this should be referred to an individual entity. Despite so much ease, such incidents do make a customer think again if they must consider such services or not.
Surge Rate and Low Cost
Uber is the one that has higher surge prices. However, it also has the lower overall cost. While on the other hand, Careem offers really reasonable surge rates to its customers. The surge prices of Uber can go more than 4X in the nights or on special/emergency situations etc. while in case of Careem it remains around 2x standard prices. This means that Careem is much cheaper as compared to the Uber in surge rates. However, at time when there is an increase in rates the rides with Uber costs much lesser than the Careem and the reason for so is the promo codes that the Uber user gets.
New entrants, more choices for user. List of some other ride hailing players in Pakistan
Despite of these two major competitors in the market, there is a list of other ride service providers in Pakistan. Sprouting at the moment, the companies are still not even known to many. Here is the list of the companies that are offering riding services in Pakistan:
An exclusive ride hailing service drive by female, make us believe that females are not behind the men anymore. This amazing taxi cab services is successfully operational in Pakistan featuring the young, energetic and self sufficient women of Pakistan.
The company is working with a focus to facilitate the young generation of pakistan, specifically the students, young professionals and that of the blue collar employees operational in any part of Pakistan. The mobile application for this service is easily available on Android and iOS and you can download the application, and book your ride with any pickup point as per your ease and comfort. You can also use a free Wi-Fi while your journey that is available in all the cars owned working for the company.
You will not be able to find it with the name A-Taxi rather you will need to search with the name Taxi 7×24. This app offers services just same as that of Uber or Careem however there is one issue with the mobile application, it is a bit confusing for the beginners. Thus the customers suggest to upgrade the application so that it can be more user friendly.
Came up with an aim to give a tough competition to Uber and Careem, this service is a bit different than the two. You do not need an internet connection to hire a ride. Rather you will need to dial 7555 and according to your location the nearby driver will reach you at your given pickup point.
For those who are looking for an economical ride in Pakistan the Shahi Sawari is the best option. It is basically a rickshaw hailing app that can be used by any person with its easy to use interface. The services keep offering promotional packages and other perks to its loyal customers. The only reason we don’t know much about them is that the company is not investing much into the marketing and promotional activities.
Overall we can say that Uber is a premium cab service but many think that Careem is offering much better service as compared to the Uber. However, they both need to eliminate any major or minor level corruption as they are becoming a benchmark to other sprouting companies in the Pakistani market. They must specifically focus on better pickup time, more security to the customer, high-quality fleet and professional drivers with competitive rates to work on.