Uber is one of the largest global businesses in the world. All over the world, several organizations are fighting to carve a space in the rideshare industry as Uber has carved for itself. One of Uber’s major competitors is Easy Taxi. This post is an evaluation of Easy Taxi as it compares to Uber in Nigeria. To understand this, we will look at various aspects of the business structure of both companies and their services.
Easy Taxi is a mobile E-hailing application available in 30 countries. The app allows users to book a taxi via the iPhone, Android, or Windows phone. Easy Taxi was founded in 2011 in Brazil and has since expanded globally, covering a network of 30 countries and more than 420 cities. As of December 2014, the company reported that it had a total of 17 million users and more than 400,000 taxi drivers on its Taxi network.
Uber is an American International Transportation Network Company headquartered in San Francisco, California. With the Uber mobile app, consumers’ Android and iPhones can submit a trip request which Uber forwards to Uber drivers who use their own cars. As of May 28, 2015, the service was available in 58 countries and 300 cities worldwide. Since Uber’s launch in 2010, several other companies have copied its business model, a trend that has come to be referred to as “Uberification”.
Mode of Operation
As we know, Uber has refused to take the title of a transportation company; instead it prefers to be called a tech company that simply mediates the driver-rider relation to ensure effective mobility. In Nigeria and as it is in all other Uber countries, Uber registers independent contractors/car owners (as drivers) and regular passengers on their app. The app allows users to make on-demand ride requests. These requests are sent to available drivers. Uber would then collect all fares, takes a 20% commission and pays the rest to the driver. This has worked perfectly fine in many countries across the world, creating job opportunities and reducing the hassle of getting regular cabs.
Easy Taxi is an online E-hailing company. Like Uber, they also have an app that allows you to order rides, but in this case only taxis. It saves the hassle of trying to hail a cab. Looking at the mode of operation of this business side by side with that of Uber, one would see that while Uber provides unemployed people the chance to earn a good deal and, also solves a big transportation problem, Easy Taxi seems to be solving only one. One of the edges that you might say Uber has over Easy Taxi.
In most of the countries where Uber operates, it is usually cheaper to get an Uber ride than other services. With a price slash sometime in May 2015, Uber dropped its price below all other available services. The problem with Easy Taxi’s pricing is majorly that they deal with taxi owners, who in Nigeria, are used to the very high charges. Therefore, no matter how much they try to regulate, they cannot go as low as Uber, who mostly has employed people who just need extra cash as their drivers. With a base fare of about N1000, Uber has made going around in Lagos cost around N90/km. The fact that Uber is able to offer an unbranded and classy vehicle at a more affordable price is simply amazing.
In Lagos there are basically two Uber services available. They are UberX and UberBLACK. The UberX service is a low-cost service that Uber offers riders: with this service you can get around in a comfortable vehicle and still get to pay an affordable fare. When ordering an UberX, riders can expect cars like a Toyota (Corolla, Camry), Nissan (Almera, Altima), Honda (Accord) or Kia (Cerato).
UberBLACK is a bit higher on the grid because as we know, it involves the use of pricey luxury vehicles and top notch chauffeuring services to go with it. When ordering a BLACK vehicle, expect cars like an Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Toyota Prado and so on.
In the case of Easy Taxi, you can only expect to get a Taxi that will take you wherever you want to go. The diversity that Uber brings to the table in the only city where they operate currently is a threat to Easy Taxi’s modus operandi generally.
With the growing popularity of Uber in Nigeria, the company is looking to expand its reach to other cities in Nigeria. The taxi hailing company currently has its name pinned on two cities (Lagos and Abuja). However, there are speculation that they are exiting the Nigeria market already (see the ‘state of things’ section below).
State of Things
While Uber seems to be planning to extend to more cities in Nigeria, Easy Taxi seems to have been structuring a silent exit as hints have been dropping here and there. Some users have complained that they now have difficulty using the app. As reported on Dantewest, the widespread rumor is that the former MD/Founder of Easy Taxi Nigeria, Bankole Cardoso has been spotted in Uber countless times. Same source reported that key staff of Easy Taxi Nigeria have also left the company for various reasons and that report reaching Nigerians on LinkedIn is that the Social Media Manager recently announced his resignation of his appointment with the company. These sudden moves are questions begging for answers and have kept Easy Taxi fans and customers wondering if all is well in the company. The only statement the said source was able to get from this social media manager was: “I needed to move to a better environment, and I’m still a fan of the company”. There are already pointers in Abuja as a disappointed writer reported incidents of app malfunction and the ‘request’ button refusing to click. These are all indications that Easy Taxi might be bowing out in the face of strong competition – leaving Uber to claim the position of kingpin in the Nigerian market. The incident won’t be very shocking when it becomes official as we already saw what happened in Ghana and Singapore. Yet it is not my place to make the official pronouncement and as such, this is not a pronouncement of any sort on behalf of Easy Taxi.
Let me be the judge of this. Looking at the Uber app and official website, I personally believe that it beats all that I have seen of Easy Taxi. The Uber app generally has better features and a better interface: allowing you to split fares, share your trip progress and many more. This is surely one of the major reasons why the Nigerian market, like every other Uber market, has opened up pretty easily to the innovation that Uber brings.
These are very necessary details that I have found when comparing the Uber and Easy Taxi business structure in the Nigerian market.
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Other Interesting Uber Related Post
For our blog posts on some of Uber’s Services, see the links below
- How to Become an Uber Driver (in Lagos, Nigeria)
- An Introduction to Different Uber Services
- Uber Car Requirements: 420 Uber Black Cars Analyzed.
- Uber Car Requirements: 90 Uber SUV Vehicles Analyzed.
- Uber Car Requirements: 580 UberX Cars Analyzed.
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- How Much Do Uber Drivers Make?
- How to Verify Your Uber Revenue
- How to Find the Highest UberX Fares
- How to Become an Uber Driver (In the US)
- Uber Customer Service