SheKab: Ride Hailing Platform in Islamabad Empowering Women. Transportation is a major hurdle for working women. It is a bottleneck in the success of an average women, working or studying in Pakistan. To cater this problem a scholar and Georgia tech public policy graduate Hira Batoll Rizvi decided to make a ride hailing platform that would be dedicated to women only.
A Computer Engineer by profession and an entrepreneur by passion, Hira Batool believes in empowering technology to improve lives. Rizvi noticed that women are dealing with harassment, safety issues and price extorting issues on routine basis. This made them reluctant to use public transport.
SheKab: Ride Hailing Platform in Islamabad Empowering Women
Hira took the women facing transportation issues seriously and hence decided to launch a startup firm to provide solution. She conceived the idea of SheKab at Georgia Tech. SheKab is basically a technology platform that connects female riders to trusted taxi drivers in Pakistan through its website.
A smartphone App of Shekab is yet in progress. After its launch by end 2015, SheKab succeeded to have 800 clients. This number of clients will surely grow because SheKab has strong entrepreneurship stance and no competitors. Right now there is no ride hailing service in Pakistan that is uniquely focusing women only.
The Journey of Startup to Complete Business
Hira rizvi revealed that to start this journey was not at all easy for her. She recieved a trainnig from WECREATE/Pakistan Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship, in partnership with U.S. Pakistan Women’s Council. It helped her overcome her fears related to people responding her untested idea.
Rizvi also thought that she may need funding to start her business right away. But later on with the help of her mentors she realized that to legalize her product she only need a minute amount of money. So she started it with her personal savings.
She expected that she would have to face problems to communicate with male drivers being a woman business owner. Out of utter surprise she realized that being a female boss made her negotiations better as many people are courteous to this gender. Still having all male staff to deal with is a challenge indeed.
Right the the service is available in twin cities only but Rizvi plans to extend it soon in other major cities of Pakistan. SheKab is currently operational with a fleet of 20 partner cabs and 45 registered riders. By the end of next year, SheKab aims to introduce a fleet of 60 partner cabs and get sponsorship for 10 secondhand cars, to meet the transportation needs of at least 5,000 working women in the twin cities.