One of Careem's greatest challenges today: "Finding tech talents and keeping them in our region"

SOURCE: AMEinfo


Over the years, Careem has proven itself a pioneering regional tech firm born out of the UAE. However, the region still has its challenges.

 

- Of the company's many projects, it has recently launched a joint venture dubbed Hala with Dubai's RTA

- There is one particular country in which Careem wants to improve its presence

- For those looking for tech jobs: You're in high demand! Careem is looking for you!

 

As we near 2020 and the slated $3.1 Uber-Careem acquisition, AMEinfo spoke to Khaled Nuseibah, General Manager of Careem Gulf, to learn more about the company's latest, as well as the state of their business post acquisition.

Of the many challenges Careem has overcome over the years, one of the lingering issues today is the lack of technical talents.

 

Uber acquiring Careem speaks to the major impact and success your company has had on the transportation sector in the Middle East. Careem understood the very specific culture found in this region, and understood what works and what doesn't. Now that Uber will acquire your firm, what will Careem as a company be like under them, and what are the benefits and drawbacks of this acquisition to Careem and its customers? You stated that you will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary.

A transaction of this magnitude puts the region’s emerging technology ecosystem squarely on the map of regional and foreign investors. It will radically and irreversibly enhance the support and funding opportunities for local entrepreneurs. Every ecosystem needs a landmark transaction, and we hope this will be ours.

Careem, however, will remain independent. Focusing on expanding in ride-hailing and providing reliable mobility for the masses of the region. We will continue to build critical deliveries and payments infrastructure to enable future digital businesses.

Our aim is to become the region’s first super-app that is a one-stop shop for people’s daily lives and the primary source of business for the region’s tech entrepreneurs.

 

Can you share with us some of the expected outcomes and goals behind the Hala joint venture with the RTA in Dubai? Careem is helping modernize the traditional RTA service.

Our main aim is to provide our customers with a wider choice in pricing options and car types on the Careem platform. Additionally, RTA Taxi Captains will be able to complete a higher number of daily rides and optimize their time on the road through customer proximity matching and real time alerts of geographical areas experiencing high demand.

Residents and visitors of Dubai are now able to find the closest Dubai Taxi to them on demand, see a fare estimate and time of arrival before booking their ride and connect their credit card for easy, hassle free payment via the Careem app.

 

Today, Careem has become a mainstay of modern Arab culture, finding widespread success across the Arab world. However, are there any certain obstacles you still face in certain parts of the region? (regulations, infrastructure, internet issues, etc.)

We made mistakes early on - you don’t realise that there are 20,000 things that can go wrong, from directions, to traffic, to the technology and lots of things we didn’t expect. But hindsight is always 20/20 and we learned from every mistake. We have a policy of launching early and iterating and improving the service with every step.

One of the main challenges we still face today is finding tech talents and keeping them in our region. We currently have over 600 engineers located in Dubai, Pakistan and Berlin and we are always looking for ways to provide opportunities for these talents to grow.

 

Are there any countries in the Middle East where you find your presence could be improved?

Oman is one of those countries, for sure. With a well established infrastructure and a smart government like the Omani government, I can see there is more than enough space for us to improve the transportation scene in the country.

We are currently in discussions with different entities in Oman as well as self-government companies to find ways to collaborate further and provide the residents of Oman with a better quality of service.

Careem has succeeded in utilizing its technology to support smart government across the region and we are looking forward to doing the same in Oman.

 

Careem is constantly branching out into new services, with a bike rental service announced a few months ago as a solution to the last mile issue. What other services do you hope to offer in the future?

We acquired Abu Dhabi bike sharing startup, Cyacle, earlier this year as we are always looking out for new ways to simplify the lives of people in the region and to help us fast track our entry into the micro mobility space. Benefitting from their talent, industry partnerships and existing tech, the bikes will enhance transport options and improve mobility both within the communities in which they are stationed, as well as providing first-and-last-mile transportation to and from Metro stations.

 


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