Mark Njagi and Tim Kamanga are the creators behind the travel app that is the talk of town in Nakuru-- Wasili Cab Services.
The app was launched in June 2018 and it has received a welcoming reception from residents of the fast growing town. It has made travelling easier with the services of a taxi that is at the user's fingertips.
Mark and Tim--both 30-year-olds--are childhood friends who grew up in Shabab estate in Nakuru town. Mark followed in his father's footsteps and established himself as a renowned businessman in the transport industry. His father owns a fleet of matatus.
On the other hand, Tim studied computer science and proceeded to become an IT professional. Despite their different career paths, they continued to keep in touch.
The idea for the app originated from Mark who was looking for a business partner at the time. Tim bought into the idea and brought his technology savviness to the table.
"We started out with only three taxis. Initially, we had a big challenge trying to change people's perception of taxis because they have always been viewed as a reserve for the moneyed few. In addition, the concept of using an app to request for a taxi was foreign, given that travel apps such as Uber and Taxify are not available in Nakuru. Like most start-ups, we suffered financial constraints as well. Despite these challenges, we have been fortunate to attract many people to invest in the business as car owners. Currently, we have 83 cabs enlisted on Wasili app," says Mark.
The process of getting a taxi begins with downloading the Wasili rider App from Play Store or Apple Store and installing it on your phone.
Next, the user needs to register an account with the app. Once this is done, the user can access a taxi immediately as the pickup point is automatically populated to indicate the user's location.
The app also provides a fare estimation before the user confirms a ride.
Wasili Cab services offers affordable services with the minimum charge of Sh150 per trip. This has given the cabs a competitive advantage over other means of transport such as tuktuks, motorcycles and other taxis that operate in the town.
But more and more taxis are preferring to enlist on the Wasili App, which offers services 24/7.
"We take in low consumption vehicles of 1300cc. A car owner takes home a net income of Sh9,000 per week. We are also looking to introduce cars that can cater for the physically challenged as well as small children. The town is growing fast and we hope to reap great profits as more people flock to Nakuru to pursue various ventures."
FAST GROWING TOWN
Drivers enlisted on the app are trained professionals who comply with the regulations, Mark and Tim say.
Some people have been hesitant to request for the Wasili taxis via the app as users prefer to dial the drivers directly. But Mark and Tim advise against this because a trip cannot be monitored unless the driver is logged onto the system of the app.
"We are confident we will be able to meet the needs of Nakuru residents. We plan to continue offering the best quality of services at the most competitive rates and also improve our services to serve more clients. We hope to roll out our cab services to all the counties in Rift Valley soon," says Tim.