…Founder shares progress route for Namibia’s own ‘Uber’
NAMIBIA’S first shuttle requesting application that connects passengers and drivers was launched in recent months allowing various passengers to request a ride by simply entering the location to which they would like to be transported to.
The brainchild of 27-year-old Melchizedek Ausiku (MA), LEFA allows passengers to view a driver’s profile and vehicle’s details before the ride so that they know who is picking them, including knowing the ratings of both the car and driver from previous clients.
To get insights on the status quo of the venture and progress route, Confidente’s Business Editor, Hilary Mare (HM), caught up with Ausiku to talk about this APP that also allows clients to rack their requested shuttle in real-time once the ride has been confirmed
(HM): So let me just start by asking you to share a little about yourself and how you arrived at LEFA?
(MA): My name is Melkisedek Ausiku, was born in Oshakati and I attended high-school at Westside High School in Swakopmund. I studied for a BEng (Electrical) degree at the University of Pretoria. I worked as an electrical engineer at a consulting firm until I got retrenched due to the negative economy climate in Namibia.
I was fortunate enough to have travelled to various places in the world. Through my travelling I have been observing how various challenges are solved through innovative solutions. One of the innovations that struck a chord within me is the transportation industry. The UBER model has been a huge success in various parts of the world. I have always been passionate about providing Namibians with a great solution to improve and transform the transportation industry through innovation. LEFA was born from a place of concern and care for the general Namibian. To provide a transportation solution that is punctual, safe and reliable.
(HM): What is your ambition for LEFA and where you would like to see the business at the end of this year?
(MA): My ambition for LEFA is to have the service available 24hours in Windhoek and to expand to Swakopmund and Walvisbay by the end of this year.
(HM): How has been the uptake of the service so far in this market that is dominated by relatively affordable taxis?
(MA): The response has been positive. Majority of our clients are impressed by how easy it is to request a cab via LEFA. Clients find the el i m i na tion for the need to phone a call centre, GPS location system very convenient. Clients never have to explain to drivers where to pick them up or drop them.
(HM): Can you provide any statistics in regards to the download of the LEFA app?
(MA): Statistics will be provided once the marketing campaign commences.
(HM): How many cars are now on the road servicing the LEFA platform?
(MA): We have 25 drivers signed up on our platform.
(HM): What are you doing to ensure that everyone knows and understands the benefits of LEFA?
(MA): We will embark on a vigorous marketing campaign that will share information regarding the benefits of LEFA.
(HM)What have been some of the challenges you have faced early on in the business?
(MA): Technology adoption in the Namibian market has been one of our challenges as well as convincing existing drivers of the benefits that the LEFA app will bring them.
(HM): People are already calling it Namibia’s own Uber, do you think LEFA will match Uber standards?
(MA): LEFA has been striving to provide clients with an excellent service that we will continue to improve on a daily basis.
(HM): Generally for the layman on the street, what are the general charges for using LEFA?
(MA): LEFA has a minimum fare of N$40.00. The fare is calculated based on a time factor of N$3.50/min and N$4.00/km
Currently, LEFA operates in all suburbs in Windhoek, to Hosea Kutako International Airport as well as lodges and game farms surrounding Windhoek. LEFA provides convenient cash and cashless payment options for its passengers.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015