What makes Careem different?
Careem was launched in 2012 with the simple mission of improving and simplifying people’s lives. We are from the region and for the region and today operate in over 100 cities and 14 countries from Morocco in the West, through MENA (including Saudi Arabia, UAE, wider GCC and Levant) to Pakistan in the East. As well as improving mobility for millions of people, we have also created 975,000 income earning opportunities for people across our region and anticipate signing up our one millionth Captain in the next few months. Job creation was always one of the important things for us.
Careem has been in Bahrain since 2014. In that time, what have been the biggest lessons you have learned about this particular market?
We have learned that the Bahrain market is a very promising and we see that there are many opportunities to provide reliable, safe mobility solutions to customers. We have seen a lot of growth in the last 12 months as customers start adopting ride-hailing
services, and we believe that this is just the beginning of our journey to impact the lives of our customers in a positive way.
Why do you call your drivers ‘Captains’?
We call our drivers Captains as a term of respect and to acknowledge their essential role in keeping our cities moving and in providing a great service to our customers.
How do Careem’s services and prices compare with those of your competition?
We are priced very competitively in order to ensure that we are able to cater for all the segments in the market. Mobility for all is one of our aims and we want to ensure that customers see value in the service we’re offering and remain accessible to as many
people as possible.
Beyond being a taxi service, what other services does Careem offer?
In other markets like the UAE market, we offer many types of cars that cater to different needs, we have economy, business and GO which cater to different customer segments and a MAX car type for up to six passengers, Careem Kids cars which are fitted with child seats. We also have BOX delivery which allows purchase and pick up of any items, and a Roundmenu food app which is powered by Careem, which allows users to order food from a large array of restaurants and cafes and have it delivered to their location.
We are, at heart, a technology company and ride hailing is just one way in which we are using our platform. The app contains some cutting-edge technology – including advanced artificial intelligence – and is continually updated, so we are continually at the forefront of app-based technology and any new ways that it can help us simplify and improve lives.
What are the biggest challenges you believe your industry faces over the next five years?
Within the countries in which Careem currently operates, we believe that right now, we only have one percent of the addressable market. There are around 600 million people in the MENA region and we are currently only reaching about one percent of them. The potential for growth is significant and that’s the big challenge. It’s worth noting that the average age of a Careem customer is between 20-35 years old – Careem is a hugely-popular company with younger people and a sign that Millennials are leading the way towards a ride-sharing future.
What advice would you give to anyone on how to get the very best value as a Careem customer?
The more you use the Careem app the better it gets! The artificial intelligence keeps learning and the service keeps on improving – if you use the Careem service for six months then after that the A.I. will be much better for you because it has collected so much data, and based on that data it keeps learning how to provide you with a better service. It learns where you like to go, where you don’t go and start reflecting your preferences in the user experience – the Careem A.I. is raising the stakes. Also, get in touch. We listen closely to feedback and that’s invaluable as it allows us to improve our service.