Wasili Cabs – Cracking the stubborn Nakuru Taxi market

Wasili Cabs, Nakuru

After a hugely successful eight months run in Nakuru Town, Wasili Cabs has this week launched in Eldoret Town.

Wasili Cabs first launched in Nakuru on 27th June 2018. The founders are now hoping to replicate the success it has achieved in the Flamingo County in the “Home of Champions.”

“We came into this market at the right time. We offered a service that people needed and the pricing was ok. This has been the secret of our success,” says Tim Kamanga a co-founder of Wasili Cabs.

Speaking during an entrepreneur’s forum in Nakuru Town on Tuesday evening, the soft-spoken Tim reveals that the idea of the Wasili cabs hailing app was born out of a conversation with friends.

“I was brought up in Shabaab estate in Nakuru. One day we were walking with friends when the idea of launching a classy, comfortable and affordable means of travel came up,” reveals Tim.

It was almost a year later that Tim and his friend Mark Njagi decided to implement the idea. Tim was then working for the technology firm, Oracle Technology Systems, and his friend was in car imports.

While Tim was tasked with developing the app, Mark would procure the cars.

Inaugural Startup grind Forum in Nakuru

As he related and fielded questions from eager listeners, Tim explained how they had chosen to go by a specific type of car.

“We wanted a low consuming car. Something that could charge the same as a tuk-tuk but give a smooth ride unlike the bumpy tuk-tuk ride,” Tim told Charles Mburu the convener of the entrepreneurs’ forum, Startup Grind in Nakuru.

Startup Grind which was launching in Nakuru for the first time is a forum for successful entrepreneurs to interact with others and share the stories of their entrepreneurial journey.

Startup Grind, Nakuru
Tim (left) and Charles at the inaugural Startup Grind forum in Nakuru

“At startup grind, we believe in making friends, not contacts. We believe in giving, not taking. We believe in helping others before helping ourselves,” says Charles. The concept of Startup Grind is owned by Google to support businesses.

“Every few months, we’ll be hosting a successful entrepreneur who will share with others their secrets of success and the challenges they face. This way, we can learn from each other, support each other and mentor each other,” said Charles Mburu during the launch.

Startup Grind is the largest independent startup community, actively educating, inspiring, and connecting more than 1.5 million entrepreneurs in over 500 chapters. Startup Grind nurtures startup ecosystems in 125 countries through events, media, and partnerships with organizations like Google for Startups.

Wasili Cabs – Cracking a stubborn market

Despite their mercurial success, a lot of people expected Wasili cabs to fail. Their prices were ridiculously low, the concept was relatively new in Nakuru and there were plenty of other alternatives clients could choose from.

“Nakuru town is teeming with motorcycles, tuk-tuks and the traditional taxis. With our low rates, no one expected us to survive. Not even our relatives and friends,” says Tim with a smile. Before they came into the market, another Taxi hailing up had pioneered in Nakuru but failed terribly.

After the launch at the end of June last year, they had only two cars. Mark the co-founder was one of the drivers and it was two days before they got the first client.

“We were overly excited. We knew we could make it but that was just me and my partner. We had faith in our idea but no one else did,” he says. When be eventually quit his job at Oracle, everyone thought he had lost it.

Eight months down, Wasili cabs is now an indelible mark in Nakuru Town and the surrounding areas. You can hardly walk or drive a few meters without seeing a Wasili cab. Their success has spawned several copycats but Tim is confident of retaining the top position.

“We are always striving to give the customer the best experience. We are promising quality and endlessly striving to deliver that,” says the entrepreneur.

His greatest satisfaction comes from the impact he’s making.

“It’s not all about making money. It’s the knowledge that we’re providing a source of income to over 150 families directly that gives me the satisfaction,” says the Wasili cabs founder.

The launch in Eldoret is just the beginning. The determined duo or Tim and Mark are determined to be a national brand. In addition, he promises that the people of Nakuru to stay on the lookout for more exciting services from them in the future.

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