7 February 2020
Gava Cab is quietly transforming the on-demand cab service landscape.
The pink-purple app is quietly penetrating Nigerian cities, outflanking the more established competitors like Uber or Bolt (Taxify).
Typically, an on-demand cab emanates in Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous and profitable city, or Abuja, the capital. But Gava had different ideas. The resilient cab started on the tough terrain of Enugu city that has buried other new taxis on the block like Oma and Rideon, simply because there weren’t enough drivers nor patronage, or the lack of awareness or unreliability of on-demand cab services. Tricycles aka Keke was the way to go and the “Coal City”, had to make do with less than luxury taxi services, until Gava showed up.
The company resisted the urge to easy money and never flirted with Keke like Oma or intercity rides like Rideon. Instead they carved a niche for their cabs, courting ladies with their beautiful pink-purple app that is not only easy on the eye, but very sharp, responsive and very user-friendly.
Then, they zeroed in on the growing Enugu middle class and some upper class, with their clean, comfortable and ever-reliable drivers and their unmarked cars. Any on-demand cab that can pick you up at 3am right from their app will win over any city and “Coal City” was not going to be an exception.
In six months, Gava has gone from an unknown start-up to a 2,000 rider-strong follower-ship in the city of Enugu alone.
Amazingly, in December, after six months of Gava operating in Enugu, the arrival of Bolt (Taxify) in the city made little difference to Gava’s operations. Gava-Cabs continues to match and out-compete Bolt in pricing, reliability and promotions. They gained more followers, attracting users that were unhappy with the Bolt service.
As Bolt was trying to gain a foothold in Enugu, Gava was making a bold move into the unpredictable mega city market of Lagos. A city that has drowned very many on-demand start-ups, most could not hold sway where Uber and Bolt ruled the roost.
Will Gava be able to survive the Lagos market? Judging from their short but strong history coupled with their tenacity, discipline, very appealing and user-friendly app, good pricing and driver friendly incentives, they are in a good position to gain a foothold in Lagos.
Lagos is big enough for three cab hailing firms and the customer will know best on which one to patronise.