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Taxi Chap Chap app launches in Nairobi

Taxi Chap Chap app launches in Nairobi

Following six months of testing, the Taxi Chap Chap mobile app, developed by Taxi Chap Chap Ltd., has launched in Nairobi and the company behind the offering believe there is enough room in the market for another operator at whatever rates offered.

Taxi Chap Chap has been introduced with a points-based customer loyalty program called CabMiles, according to which customers can accumulate points for every kilometre travelled and later redeem these for cash or towards further rides.

The service is also running a competition whereby anyone who downloads the app (available on Android and iOS) until 30 September stands to win a free trip to Dubai.

General Manager Sriram S. lyer says the services' rates are not lower than other app-based providers. "Some of them subsidise the price to the customer and calls that as investment. The tactic is to drive away small players and then increase the price. We do not believe in using investor money to gain market share. But we are surely economical than the traditional taxis that operate without any app, but profitable for the member drivers who are a part of our platform."

He added that the company was developing "unique security measures", including being able to track rides, to enhance customer experience and that this customer-centric approach is the core value proposition of the service.

It is a value proposition that has to hit home quickly among consumers, given the increase in competition in the market and the impact of dissatisfaction between traditional operators and mobile-app tax services.

In August ITWeb Africa reported that Uber services in Kenya had experienced disruption after hundreds of driver partners operating under the taxi-hailing app camped at the company's head office in Nairobi to protest the company's move to reduce fare charges by 35%.

The strike occurred a week after Uber decided to cut their fare prices in response to growing competition - especially from the newly launched Little Cabs, co-owned by Safaricom and technology company, Craft Silicon.

Lyer said he does not want to comment on competition and is adamant the days of protest by metered taxi operators over the likes of Uber and similar offerings are over.

"...with our study of the market we feel that the traditional operators have come to understand how to adapt to changing technologies," he said.

Taxi Chap Chap will initially be available in Nairobi, followed by other Kenyan cities and towns, and there are plans to expand to Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.

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