Imagine this: you’re rushing to go somewhere. You do not have your own vehicle and can not trust the public vehicle infrastructure in your city. The only option you have now is to hop on to ride-hailing services. You open your phone, and tap on your GO-TO app. However, it becomes almost impossible to find a rider in one go. You share this incident among your friends and they let you know that these days, everyone is hooked upon a new ride-hailing app. A new app named, “inDriver”.
Well, that was not an imaginary situation but an incident that actually happened with me. Following day, I tried booking a ride in the inDriver App and was surprised at the number of bids I got for my request. There were almost 5 riders who sent me a price-bid for ride-request within 5 seconds. Even for popular apps like Tootle or Pathao, it takes too long to get a ride request accepted. So, what made inDriver so popular? Let’s discuss a little bit.
First of all, let’s learn a little bit about inDriver:
inDriver is an application that was launched in 2013 to tackle the inflexibility in taxi fares. The company got a new head start after closing a $150m investment status in early 2021. Since then, it has been rapidly expanding across major cities. Currently, the service is available across 39 cities and it has a user base of almost 100m. One would wonder why an international giant like this would expand its services in Nepal or Kathmandu in particular with a very small user base. That is still unknown. But, we do know how inDriver became a common name for users in Nepal.
In my opinion, inDriver gained its popularity due to 3 major reasons:
1. AGGRESSIVE MARKETING
In the earlier months of 2021, you might have seen frequent social media and in-app ads by inDriver. I certainly remember seeing mini ads in between youtube videos and in Instagram stories. Although the language used in those ads looked like it was translated using a third-party translation app, the ads were clear with the messages. The ads helped in user awareness and in addition to that, their communication regarding inDriver’s biggest USP (Unique Selling Point) – price bid made users hooked to the app.
The team did their homework and understood that in order to tap the market in Nepal, you should have happy drivers. My conversation with some drivers revealed that the regional team in India recruited all the drivers remotely through aggressive messaging, interactions and instant tech-support. This gave a sense of trust and appreciation to the drivers. And happy drivers pulled new customers. So, inDriver followed two of the most popular marketing methods in Nepal: Social Media Marketing and Word-of-Mouth.
2. FREEDOM ABOVE EVERYTHING
I don’t know if it crossed your mind, but the freedom inDriver provides to its users is simply astonishing. This fact holds true for both, the users and the drivers. Similarly, in a price sensitive market like Nepal, the freedom to quote price is itself a jaw-dropper. Almost all of the other ride-hailing service providers give you an estimated fixed price.
However, inDriver provides this FREEDOM to its users. In this platform, you can add your own pricing (keep in mind, the app doesn’t allow you go below a certain price). Likewise, the drivers have the freedom to either accept your proposed price or make some additions on their own. The drivers that were unsatisfied with Pathao and Tootle’s pricing policy moved to this platform. And, its temporary “no-commission” policy became a cherry on top. I guess you understand this very well, if you had followed the riot created by some frustrated riders in Pathao’s office back in 2021.
inDriver is really simple and easy to use. On the top of that, its map optimization is really good. This level of optimization is not provided by even the most popular platforms like Pathao and Tootle. The app’s UI looks very basic but it is at least simple to understand. Moreover, both- the drivers and the passengers use the same application. Thanks to its switch-app feature. I also believe, inDriver could actually tap in to the market that was created from scratch by the two leaders. They didn’t have to spend much on user awareness. The frustration created by Tootle’s buggy user experience and Pathao’s unworthy maps was cleared by inDriver’s user experience.
There are a lot of other things that have contributed in the app’s popularity. Some of them include, intercity feature, user experience, customer support and many more. I was a little reluctant about its price-bidding feature in the initial days. But, I think it actually fits the market we live in.
Note: This article is based on Author’s personal experiences. The views might not hold true for everyone.