KUWAIT: Careem, a transportation network company based in Dubai, operates with a motto to transform and simplify the lives of people – both captains and customers. It believes in providing quality services, addressing market needs and creating impact. Careem believes these values will give it the desired results, said Khaled Nuseibeh, the General Manager of the Careem GCC, in an interview.
Kuwait Times: How is Careem in Kuwait? When did it start and who are the current customers?
Answer: The Kuwaiti market is a promising market with a lot of potential. We have managed to be part of solving leading problems in Kuwait such as congestion and parking issues. We started our services in Kuwait in May 2017 and like other markets we serve a mix of expats and Kuwaiti nationals.
KT: So this is basically just like a famous grab taxis in other countries right? How can you differentiate the services to grab taxi, Careem and the normal taxi out there?
A: Careem welcomes healthy competition from both local and international companies. However, quality services, proactive communication, community outreach, and constant support to captains and customers have always helped Careem remain at the top of its game. Our motto is to transform and simplify the lives of people – both captains and customers. We believe in providing quality services, addressing market needs and creating impact. We believe these values will give us the desired results.
KT: So is this like a personal business to people who have cars with the license from your company, how can an individual register and do the business? Can I register for example? What are the qualifications? In that way you are actually creating job for people, probably extra income for individual car owners?
A: To abide with the Kuwaiti local laws and regulations, Careem in Kuwait works with selected Taxis based on certain quality standards set by Careem. We also offer a Business car type through a local supplier. If an individual is interested in being a part of Careem through our Business car type, they can reach out to our business supplier.
KT: What about the issue of license and the fact that in Kuwait, you are accused of illegally transporting people without license…how do you handle this?
A: We are a licensed company in Kuwait and we operate legally. As per the ministry of interior we are allowed to work with Taxi companies and private limousine companies only at this stage.
KT: Careem as Tech Company…. how does it work? Why do we trust your company for the safety of my kids for example women passengers?
A: Safety and Security is at the top of Careem’s agenda. We have and will continue to invest millions of dollars every year in bringing in the best talent and providing the best protection for Customers and Captains across our network. In 2018 alone, we have committed to spending over $3.5 million on safety and security. The spend has gone towards improved technologies for captain screening, real-time driving behavior tracking, call masking, 24/7 safety and security operations center, piloting new tech like facial recognition and providing cover for all our rides through in ride insurance for customers and Captains. We also have on the ground S&S response teams that manage incidents in real time as required.
KT: Careem promotes mobility and affordability (transportation solutions) How will you determine the fare per passenger, per destination?
A: Careem is metered, our fares are monitored and measured as per the Kuwaiti laws. Through our technology, Careem users are able to choose the car type that suits them, know the fare before booking the ride and see the estimated time of arrival of their Captain (Careem calls their drivers “Captain” as a sign of respect”).
KT: How do you see the company in the coming months/years? Any plan for expansion? In other countries?
A: We just launched Al-Jahra city a month ago and we currently cover all major areas in Kuwait. Our main focus at the moment is to provide our customers with a variety of options to cover their everyday needs such as taxi and business.