Bolt has launched a tricycle (Keke) operation in Enugu, Samuel Nwite reports. Generally, the unit economics of keke service is challenging in Nigeria. And expecting people to use an app to summon keke when many are passing them every 60 seconds calls for a total shift in consumer behavior. Why do I need an app to call a product whose supply is largely above optimum level, when benchmarked with demand, at the equilibrium point? I have always reasoned that the keke service is not premium enough for the utility element of the app economy to power it in Nigeria. Yes, many who ride keke do not use apps that much.
Bolt has launched tricycle (Keke) operation in Enugu, months after it launched its first in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Bolt’s introduction of keke to its operation is part of its expansion strategy to other cities in Nigeria apart from Lagos, Benin and Abuja.
Keke is a popular means of transportation in Enugu, and Bolt, having learned the tricks with its pilot operation in Uyo, walked into the market with cheap ride offers that will endear riders.
The welfare of drivers has always been a bone of contention, especially their earnings, but the ride-hailing company told Tekedia that the drivers have bonus packages designed to increase their earnings.
“Drivers also stand a chance to take advantage of the estimated earnings of N18,000 per week. In addition, a bonus of N1,000 for the first five trips and 15% bonus per trip until a communicated time,” Bolt said.
Yet, Bolt could do something which makes sense: buy many kekes and give them via a hire purchase model to drivers. The drivers will return a certain amount of money daily, weekly or monthly, and the use of apps should not be a requirement in the ecosystem.
We will be watching how Bolt will capture value in the market by collecting N150, N200, etc transport fares. I had expected a double play here which can be used to capture value in the keke business. (OPay used the paytech unit to capture value on the keke business before it gave up).