Entrepreneurs Startups

Former Uber employee finds success in Boda Boda courier service

BY: ONDIRO OGANGA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 21 –  Imagine quitting a data management job that pays a six figure salary to venture into the uncertain water of entrepreneurship?

That is the story of Andrew Miller Muturi, CEO and founder Getboda, a courier service that uses crowd sourcing to get bikes and cars to deliver goods to clients at the tap of a button.

“Previously while working for Uber, I once asked my boss if they intended to introduce motorbike services. This is because I would use them often to beat traffic. As much as the company wasn’t going to implement that strategy then, I knew if I didn’t do it somebody else will. Upon giving it further thought, seven years later of constantly refining the idea and coding, Getboda became a reality.”

Andrew says the move was inspired by the fact that technology is rapidly changing the way people live their lives. “E-commerce is on the rise not just globally but also regionally. Smart phone penetration in the country is impressive. Also, Kenya has the best internet connectivity where data is affordable and the network coverage strong. With this in mind, I strongly believed all systems were go for the operation of Getboda.”

Together with two of his friends, armed with his savings, Getboda went from being a far fetched dream to an office, riders, clients and deliveries. “Upon starting, I had a meeting with several boda boda saccos and convinced them to come on board.”

Piloted in November 2017 and officially starting business in May 2018, Getboda has been on the rise with over 500 riders in 6 months, doing over 6000 deliveries daily. “Our first major client was Jumia during Black Friday sale in November. During that month, we had to do over ten thousand deliveries a day. This tested our resilience. However, upon seeing the cheque at the end of the month, the work we put in was worth it.”

However, in a market that is heavily dominated by brands such as uber and taxify, one cannot help but wonder how Getboda has managed to stay afloat. “To stay ahead of our competition, we accept cash on delivery a security risk many courier services are not willing to take. We also have competitive prices.”

However, the market graph is never a straight line. Businesses must find a way to striking a balance. “It’s important for any business to diversify its clientele. Also, it will serve you well to save for the rainy days. When business is doing well, set aside a budget to cover the business for the tough time. Bills are not conversant with profit or loss. They have to be taken care of.”

To ensure the company remains vibrant and makes money, one needs an impeccable work ethic, something Andrew strongly believes in. “You must be relentless. Times get tough and I must keep pushing. Sometime, business is booming and you have to put in over 16 hours of work a day. Irrespective of how hard or tiresome it gets, every single day I must make a conscious decision to make it work.”

While conquering the Kenyan market is a goal for Getboda, Andrew says expanding through the continent in Nigeria, Ghana and other competitive markets in the region is the companies vision.

As much as an exit strategy is key while building any business, Andrew thinks about it but is currently fully focused on growing the company. “I would like to go the IPO way or an acquisition by a big logistic company such as DHL. However, it’s important to note that is a future plan. For the moment, growing the business is my key priority.”

As the New Year slowly unfolds, Andrew hopes that Getboda will get more traction, which translates to business at the end of the day. “I would like to see the company continue to grow. I would like to employ more people, empower them economically and see their lives transform for the better thanks to their interaction with Getboda. I would also like to get reviews of clients who enjoy the ease of shopping online since they can trust Getboda to deliver swiftly and seamlessly.”

 

Kang'ethe Njoroge

Kang'ethe Njoroge is the Managing Editor of Money Series Africa. He is a seasoned communication strategist, with over five year experience in New Media and digital marketing. He is also the Co - Founder of Founders Breakfast Kenya and is currently a Business Development Director of TheCure Marketing Agency.

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