Gokada Suspends Operation Till August 26 to Review Business Strategy

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Gokada, Nigerian-based motorcycle hailing outfit has temporarily shut down its operation to restrategize and improve its services. The platform is expected to re-open on August 26th. This was disclosed in a Medium Post by Fahim Saleh, the CEO, Gokada.

According to  Saleh, as from August 14, 2019 (today), Gokada will be unavailable. The app will be down, and the pilots will be off the road.  This shut down is to sort out some of the operational issues that the CEO observed on a recent Gokada trip.

He wrote, “So what’s going on? Well, a little over a week ago I had taken a Gokada hoping to avoid traffic to get to the mainland bridge from VI. From there I planned to take a car. I opened the Gokada app, requested, got a pilot, and waited patiently for him to arrive. I called to confirm my location which the pilot said he knew. 5 minutes pass by. and the pilot had not moved.

“Another 5 minutes pass and the pilot was going in the wrong direction. After 15 minutes and three phone calls, the pilot finally arrived at which point I’m thinking it might have been faster to take a car all the way through. Upon questioning the pilot, I learned that he didn’t use GPS on his phone because the earplugs he had were broken. Irritated, I motioned him to get started with the ride as I was in a hurry.

“It should be pretty obvious how to get to the mainland bridge from VI, so I didn’t concern myself with providing him directions, but I knew from Google Maps using the best route, it should only take 10–15 minutes. After about 15 minutes, we were still on the road. I hastily took out my phone and did a quick input of the directions to the bridge and realized we were still 15 minutes away. This pilot had taken a long route to get to the bridge, one that would have been completely avoided had he used the map. I motioned that I would direct him based on the Google Maps navigation.

“Unfortunately, just as we were about to reach the bridge I directed the pilot to a wrong turn which would have required us to turn all the way around. At this point, it was obvious that a car would have been much faster even with all the traffic. How could I be the CEO of Gokada, the company that pioneered motorcycle ride-hailing in Nigeria and be saying this?

“I was disappointed in Gokada but most of all, I was disappointed in myself. I told the pilot to pull over to the side of the road, I would hop over the median and wait for an Uber. “This is what it has come to,” I thought. I made a decision right then that things needed to change.”

The closure, however, will be temporary as the company would be taking a short break to correct the problems that could result to poor customer experience. The shutdown which begins today will end on August 26, 2019.

Below is the last official tweet from the company before this report:

According to Saleh, the temporary exit from the market would enable the company to do the following:

  • provide new bikes;
  • retrain Gokada riders;
  • provide improved safety measures; and
  • ensure all riders are happy by maintaining their bikes for free, opening a drivers’ club, and expanding our health benefits.

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