Bolt ignites Egypt’s mobility market with specially tailored safety services for passengers and drivers

Sunday 17 Mar 2024

The mobile app offers 50% discount for passengers and zero commission for drivers

Bolt

After scoring a triumph across Europe and Africa, thorough their unique mobility services and safety features, leading mobility platform, Bolt, announced earlier in March, stepping into the Egyptian market, marking its first existence in the North Africa economic sphere.

Bolt is a mobile application that connects drivers with requested rides. It has been established over a decade ago and has been starred as one of the best mobility services in Europe.

Stepping into the thirsty mobility market with services that benefit drivers and grantee needed safety for passengers, is a challenge that Bolt announced complete willingness to overcome through its 10-year experience in the mobility market.

The company’s main focus in the Egyptian market, is offering riders safest rides. This is through a number of newly launched services, specifically tailored to meet the market needs. The new services include an SOS button that allows both rider and driver to connect to the police in case of emergencies. This is as well as an unmatching service that automatically unparallel the driver from the passenger if rated 1 star.

The application lands in Egypt offering customers discounts that reach up to 50%, as well as safety features that assures the welfare of the passengers. At the same time, it comes offering drivers with the 15% commission in the form of a bonus.

In this interview, Eduard Suchanek, Bolt Regional Manager of Middle East and North Africa, takes us in the details of Bolt’s launching in Egypt, with the remarkable services it brings along. He elaborates on the tools of responding to the customers complaints, and the company’s plan to provide the optimum riding experience to all users.

He also transparently shares the challenges of being in the Egyptian market and how Bolt aims to overcome them shortly, as well as its expansion plan.

 

How does Bolt plan to adapt its services to meet the unique needs and preferences of Egyptian customers?

At Bolt, our strategy for meeting unique needs and preferences of Egyptian customers, centers around having a skilled local team, who understand the market intricacies. Our commitment to fast, safe and affordable service coupled with prioritizing partner drivers' earnings, remains steadfast. We're agile and ready to adapt swiftly to any emerging specifics, ensuring a seamless entry into the Egyptian market while exceeding expectations. It all  with having a local experienced team of professionals that will take care of the market and any specifics. In general, no matter where we operate, our customers want to have fast, safe and affordable service and the drivers want to have the best earnings. This is what we will focus on from day 1 on the Egyptian market. If any specifics occur along the way, our team is ready to implement them fast.

How does Bolt ensure the safety of both riders and drivers?

Ensuring the safety of both riders and partners is paramount to our global operations, and this commitment extends to our service in Egypt. We continuously implement new safety features within our app to set a new standard in every market we serve. While not all features are currently live in Egypt, we are progressively introducing them.

For drivers, we prioritize their safety by providing in-app training before they can start accepting orders. We also limit their online hours and conduct selfie checks to verify their identity. Riders and drivers alike have access to an SOS button in the app for contacting emergency services. Additionally, our driver and rider unmatching feature ensures that if a user rates with 1 star, they won't be connected with the same party again.

Exciting new safety features include the trip monitoring feature, which prompts our safety team to check in if a car remains still for too long. We also offer audio trip recording, allowing users to record their journey if they feel unsafe, with the option to share it with customer service for assistance.

While we cannot prevent incidents entirely, we have robust procedures and training in place to address car incidents, harassment, and assaults. As an example of our dedication, our safety experts from Tallinn are currently mentoring our local safety team in Cairo. We remain committed to continually enhancing safety measures to protect both our riders and drivers.

What are the requirements and qualifications for drivers to join the Bolt platform in Egypt?

For one to become a Bolt driver, they will require a valid Egyptian ID, a driving license and a clear criminal record. We ensure passenger comfort by only allowing vehicles on our platform that are no older than 16 years. All driver applications are being processed by our Cairo-based team manually and all documents are checked carefully.

Can you share any insights into the process of onboarding and vetting drivers to ensure their suitability for the Bolt platform?

Becoming a driver on the Bolt platform involves a rigorous process of onboarding and vetting for every driver. This includes thorough screening and background checks by our team in Egypt prior to one becoming a driver. Furthermore, we continuously monitor driver performance, temporarily suspending those with ratings below 4.5 out of 5 for retraining. Continuous low ratings may lead to permanent removal from the platform. This dedication to quality extends to our customers, as we actively seek feedback from those who rate their rides 3 stars or below to continually improve our service

Does Bolt have plans to introduce in-app payment options in Egypt, and if so, when can users expect this feature to be available?

We are working to get this done in the coming days.

Can you share any insights into Bolt's success in Saudi Arabia and how that experience will inform its strategy in Egypt?

Bolt's success in Saudi Arabia since 2017, where we've completed millions of trips with hundreds of thousands of drivers on our platform, has been instrumental in shaping our strategy for expansion into Egypt. Over the past three years, our business in Saudi Arabia has grown tenfold, with operations now spanning all cities across the country. This growth trajectory underscores our commitment to accessibility, ensuring that our services reach not only the urban centers but also smaller cities, mirroring our vision for Egypt.

Our approach in Saudi Arabia, particularly our emphasis on country-wide expansion, has proven effective, resonating with diverse populations and demonstrating sustained demand for our services beyond major cities. Building on this experience, we aim to replicate our success in Egypt, prioritizing accessibility and inclusivity for all Egyptians.

Furthermore, Bolt's proactive engagement with government entities in Saudi Arabia, including collaborations to integrate ride-hailing services into the public transport ecosystem, has been pivotal. Notably, our partnership as a mobility provider for Riyadh Season 2022 exemplifies our commitment to enhancing transportation solutions in the Kingdom through strategic collaborations.

As we expand into Egypt, we are keen to foster similar partnerships with local authorities, viewing collaboration with governments as mutually beneficial. By aligning our objectives with the broader transportation goals of each country, we aim to contribute positively to the mobility landscape while ensuring the seamless integration of our services into the community.

How does Bolt plan to differentiate itself from existing ride-hailing services already operating in Egypt?

We have a frugal mindset and a hard-working team, which helps us do more with less and be able to pass the savings on to our customers and partners. By optimizing our operations, we can offer more cost-effective services to our customers while ensuring higher hourly earnings for our drivers and couriers.

As a brand that has been a challenger to larger companies in the ride-hailing, transportation and delivery sectors,Bolt prioritizes agility and innovation, maintaining a startup mindset despite considerable growth. We are frugal with spending, strategic in expansion, and agile in decision-making, enabling us to adapt swiftly to market dynamics.

Moreover, our emphasis on quality and customer service sets us apart. With a dedicated team in Cairo supported by experts from Europe and our safety team from our headquarters in Tallinn, we ensure readiness from day one, delivering a superior experience to our users.

How does Bolt plan to address any potential challenges or obstacles specific to the Egyptian market?

Egypt holds significant importance in our global expansion strategy, prompting us to establish a dedicated local team. This localized approach, coupled with strong support from our headquarters, enables swift resolution of any issues that may arise in Egypt, ensuring seamless operations and customer satisfaction.

Can you provide an estimate of the number of drivers and users Bolt aims to onboard in Egypt within the first year of operations?

While we can't provide specific figures, Bolt is entering the Egyptian market with a clear objective: to establish itself as a formidable competitor among existing players. We are committed to demonstrating to Egyptian drivers and customers that we offer the best option for their needs.

Are there any plans to introduce electric or environmentally friendly vehicles to the Bolt fleet in Egypt to promote sustainable transportation options?

We aim to introduce our Green category wherever feasible, in the coming years. While I can't provide a specific timeline at this moment, we are committed to promoting sustainable transportation options as part of our long-term strategy.

How does Bolt handle customer complaints or issues with drivers?

We operate a dedicated customer service team based in Cairo, with plans to implement 24/7 support. This ensures that every user, whether a driver or rider, can have their issues resolved promptly.

What measures are in place to ensure a positive customer experience?

We uphold a mutual driver-rider rating system, ensuring that only drivers and riders preferred by each other engage in rides. I encourage customers to actively rate every ride and report any discrepancies to aid continuous improvement. Our dedicated customer service team in Cairo promptly addresses all reported issues, ensuring the highest level of customer satisfaction and service quality.

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