Taxi-hailing app Little Cab has gone on the charm offensive to appease users even with plans to increase charges.
In an email to users, Little Cab says that it is increasing their fares from Sh30 to Sh35 in Nairobi starting on Thursday.
“After a deep thought, we’re rolling out a minor increase adjustment to our fares at Little in Nairobi starting today. I know this is not the best of the news for you. But, I would like to share some of my sentiments and the rationale behind this decision,” starts the email.
That Little Cab email was so emotional. Wauz.
— Kerubo ❤️ (@slyrie) July 19, 2018
I felt the same too. Communication at its best. I will be comfortable too paying the extra 5sh per km..
— Eunice M (@wagakimutahi) July 21, 2018
The email which appeals to users using the drivers’ experiences calls on Kenyans to support ‘Kenyan’ albeit in a covert way.
“Little is Kenyan, I am a Kenyan. I know for a fact that life in our city is not that easy. I want you to see this decision from the side of our drivers. For him to take you around safely, he will have to fuel his car, keep it clean, and ensure that car is roadworthy with necessary documents and Insurances.”
On an average, he needs a minimum of about Sh3, 000 a day to run his business. Anything above Sh3, 000 is his profit. Let us go by the bare minimum he makes a profit of Sh2, 000 per day. This means that he needs to make a minimum of Sh5, 000 a day.”
The email from Little Chief Executive Officer Kamal Budhabhatti explains that with Sh5, 000 a day, drivers are barely making ends meet, after paying the cost of running and maintaining the vehicle.
Budhabhatti compares their charges with their competitors’ price strategy and wars saying they pay as low as Sh29 per KM.
“They take between 15% and 25% commissions. That means he is basically earning about Sh24 a KM. So, for him to earn Sh5, 000 a day, he needs to do about 20 trips.”
On average if each ride is for half an hour so the driver needs to be driving for about 10 hours.
“This is the Trip time, the time when he is not on the trip and taking rounds looking for a Trip is added. Based on our data, a driver must drive over 12 hours on average every day to be profitable at the rates that other apps are giving him. I bet with this load, his family life goes for a toss.”
In a seeming attack on the competitors, Budhabhatti says with these low earnings, drivers from other apps have started giving clients bad experience. He says some of them even end up having accidents because of working overtime and others are involved cheating riders by overcharging.
He adds, “As a Kenyan, I want to be sure that I don’t take our fellow drivers for granted. I humbly request you, our riders to accept this minor price adjustment which will go a long way in bridging the gap towards a better driver welfare.”
Budhabhatti says he has been to various places of Nairobi meeting with drivers to learn of their experiences.
He maintains that discounted weekend rides will remain and drivers will still earn their full income.
Reactions on Twitter were praiseworthy of this email and while it seems that some Kenyans have no qualms with having their pockets dented a ‘Little’, others will still go for the cheapest options available.
Little Cab doing an emotional email on why they have hiked their prices.
Sad reality is when I'm taking a cab, I will go for whichever has a lower price estimate between Uber and Little. pic.twitter.com/bTWD9O8jP8
— Yes I Ken (@KenMacharia_) July 19, 2018