I wrote about Gokada, a pioneering on-demand motorbike hailing service which makes it easier to move from one location in Lagos to another, and the creativities the young people working therein are bringing to help in fixing our intra-city transportation friction. In this piece, I explain the business model which is anchoring what the company is doing. The company is using the enablers of mobile internet, mobile apps, and other digital systems to orchestrate near-zero marginal cost linkages between riders and trained bikers, at scale. The outcome is outsmarting Lagos traffic when the moments call for it! For many people, in Lagos, the moments are nearly daily.
As Lagos remains the center of attraction for young graduates, the traffic problem is not going away anytime soon. Fixing that friction which affects any Lagosian is a business opportunity. At population in excess of 24 million people, Lagos has the numbers to test many business hypotheses before massive expansion to other locations in Nigeria. Deji Oduntan, the CEO of Gokada, understands that clearly when he spoke to newsmen recently, “In 5 years, Gokada will be the one-stop shop for the Nigerian consumer. Because we will be solving multiple problems once we have thousands of bikes on the road. With that kind of reach, we will be able to fix delivery and logistics, and of course transportation.” Making that happen would depend on how he manages the growth of the platform: allowing unbranded non-Gokada bikes may be challenging, but necessarily, for a big country like Nigeria, if he wants to scale.