CHALO is a newly launched app that can give you rides from one destination to another. It provides an on-demand car service with the highest level of customer safety and comfort. Feeling the necessity of launching UBER Services in Bangladesh like outside world, Dewan Shuvo, CEO of CHALO, talks to T-Junction about the intricacies.
What is the main idea Chalo app? Tell us a little about how it began.
Dhaka has around 15 million people but don’t have any on-demand car services like Uber/Lyft. In Dhaka, over 100,000 people use smart phones and commute using their own cars or taxis. It is one of the hardest jobs for a passenger to get a taxi as it takes a long time to get one and negotiate the fare. Many people can afford rental cars and CNGs but very few are available when they need them. Only about 100 yellow and 500 black taxis are available for taxi services. Passengers are still using car rental companies where everything is manual and there is no verification of drivers/passengers and no price control. They usually don’t know when they will get their cars, who is going to drive them and what the fare will be.
Here, CHALO comes in to ensure futuristic premium car service with highest quality with no risks and complete safety.
What is the role of Desh Venture Inc in CHALO?
Desh Ventures Inc, from Silicon Valley, is the primary investor of CHALO Technologies Limited for its seed round. The company is implementing world class technology to various countries. In the process, Desh Ventures Inc invested in Bangladeshi transport service through CHALO to change the customer taxi service to match the world-class standard. Desh Venture Inc is also going to invest through the development stages as well to make it the number one on-demand car service in Bangladesh.
The Desh Ventures Inc is a venture company from Silicon Valley, San Francisco who is managing the IT sourcing and providing technological service to many companies in different countries such as North America, UK, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
What sort of technology is being used in this app?
The app is available for Android and iOS platforms and has advanced GPS tracking systems, Google Maps integration, international and local payment gateways and fleet monitoring systems as well.
The app currently is in BETA version. We are doing the necessary modifications to make it work for Bangladesh. We are even adding more features to the app to ensure the security of the drivers and passengers alike.
As you initially started out, what concerns did you have about your company?
Our target is to reach all of Bangladesh and ensure cars that arrive within 10 minutes wherever you stand, at any corner of the country. Initially, we are starting our project for Dhaka and by 2016, we hope to ensure that promise within the city.
Tell us one thing that CHALO app does differently, something that sets it apart.
In the case of Bangladesh, we are taking more heavier measures on the app and adding more features, ensuring security as a priority. Also, enabling Bangladeshi payment options and better car tracking systems which are not available on other similar services like Uber or Lyft in other countries.
Who are your target consumers? Do you think people will take it? What will be your strategy to reach them?
CHALO wants to reach to all types of people and ensure everybody gets our service. The prices we have set are far lower than any other car service providers in the country so that the maximum number of people can enjoy the premium quality service for a smaller amount of money. Also, we will adjust our pricing based on supply and demand. That means the more passengers of CHALO we get, the more we will be able to reduce the price.
On basis of recent incidents of hijacking and security issues, will people accept this service in the way you are expecting it to?
Because of the current security issues, CHALO is only offering services to its registered clients who had been verified after an examination of their information. Also, our fleets are run by experienced drivers who were selected and approved by a very strict verification process that includes a complete background check. We always seek for experienced, well-mannered, patient drivers when we recruit them. All our cars are continuously monitored by a GPS tracking system that enables a safer operation.
In addition to that, CHALO will keep adding more security features that can ensure the safety of the service for both passengers and drivers.
Also, traffic jams are an issue that can't be overlooked, at least in Dhaka. Is 10 minutes a realistic time frame on that regard?
Yes, of course. But our cars will not have to come across the traffic jam. Within 2016, we are trying to ensure that our cars roam around every corner of the city. When you shall call for our cars, the nearest vehicle will respond to your call and arrive within the timeline.
Currently, who are your biggest competitors?
Currently we are not thinking about our competitors. We are only focusing to target and gain our passenger's satisfaction by ensuring great quality service.
In your journey with CHALO app, what has been your most satisfying moment?
When people are appreciating our initiatives and are waiting for the full version of the app with patience.
Any future plans you are excited about at the moment?
Ensuring that our cars reach within 10 minutes at every corner of the country, if not less.
“We thank and appreciate the love and support that people are giving us and are waiting patiently for the app. We promise we will bring a great solution for all. Please visit our site www.chalo.com.bd and our facebook page www.facebook.com/chalo.com.bd and give us a thumbs up!”