There is a new taxi-hailing app in Nairobi but the unique thing about is that it is meant only for women riders.
Nisataxi was launched two weeks ago and here are ten things that you should know about this girls-only venture.
Nisataxi is the brainchild of Mehnaz Sarwar. She attributes the need to create a women-only taxi app from her own needs and experiences.
Sarwar co-owned a restaurant and was in charge of marketing before this venture.
And for this venture, Nisataxi was born because of, again, Sarwar’s needs.
She says: “Because of my religious background, I always sought out female taxi drivers, so I thought if I require this so must many other women.”
Sarwar adds that when she did a survey amongst groups of women she knew, many spoke of how they felt uncomfortable being with a person they did not know in such a vulnerable position. The women also shared their concerns about how they would check if the child locks were unlocked in case they needed to escape a situation.
“The exclusivity is because the fear is both from drivers and customers and women decide they want to choose an option where they feel safe and the drivers are empowered.”
For Nisataxi, Sarwar details her hopes and aspirations and moving forward.
- Regarding competition and being the first of its kind, Sarwar says that the response is amazing.
“Of course it’s a new business so will have some teething problems but we do see ourselves growing at a steady pace.”
- Nisataxi prices are a bit on the high end. Isn’t this a disadvantage seeing that other apps offer lower prices?
“Prices are similar to other apps, maybe a Sh50 difference but remember for the drivers, that can make a big difference as they have to maintain the vehicles, fuel etc. And, we as a company only take 10%.”
- What have been the setbacks in creating this app?
“So far we have just faced a few issues on the grounds but have already pinpointed and worked them out.”
- How long has the process been in years/monetary investment?
“It’s been something I have been thinking about for years, but have just started executing within the last 6 months, costing around Sh1 million.”
- On expansion, is this an individual venture or are you seeking partnerships?
“For now it’s an individual business, but we would definitely look into partnerships which bring in resources for growth.”
- How many drivers do you have and apart from Nairobi, where else is Nisataxi?
“For now we have around 50 drivers, we are in the process of adding more and are expecting the numbers to rise over the course of the months as many ladies are excited to join us.”
The service is currently available in nairobi but it will be rolled out in other towns depending on demand later.
- And on fairness, isn’t Nisataxi discriminative against men since there are no exclusive cabs for men?
“It’s not discrimination as there are many alternatives for men and not for women and as women we have different challenges and insecurities so making it just for women we focus on what their needs are.”
Nisataxi is meant to give women and children safer options of travelling away from the male-dominated taxi business in Kenya.