Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

GM of Emerging Markets at Careem Reveals Plans to Expand in Arab Cities | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Yasmin Perveen, one of the pioneer women “captains” of Careem, adjusts back mirror while driving her car in Islamabad, Pakistan. (Reuters)

Beirut – Five years after its launch from Dubai, Careem, which is specialized in transportation services via its smart application and website, succeeded in expanding to 55 cities and hiring more than 200,000 drivers.

The company’s plans include expanding to more cities in the MENA in order to increase the number of users, who now exceed an estimate of nine million.

According to General Manager of Emerging Markets at Careem, Ibrahim Manna, the service is now available in more than 55 cities and extends from Morocco to Pakistan with the cooperation of 200,000 “captains” – the name drivers are called as a symbol of respect.

“The number of employees in the company currently exceeds one thousand and we have offices in more than seven countries – the growth average of the company is around 30 percent per month,” he said.

Manna added that there is an urgent need to recruit since the company is witnessing increasing growth, knowing that last year there were 300 employees in the company and now there are over 1,000.

Despite this success, Manna, who hails from Jordan, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the company is still in its beginning.

On whether Uber is the biggest competitor of Careem, Manna answered: “No. Our biggest competitor is the way people approach transportation, whether their own vehicle or other means. We try hard to encourage people to adopt the gig economy phenomenon, instead of owning a private vehicle that they only use for two hours a day. Careem is always available and can provide transportation for a reasonable price.”

He added that “there is a category in Saudi Arabia and other countries that cannot move freely, because they have special needs. We never stopped thinking about that and we have launched Careem ONE that helps them sit easily and safely in the wheelchair in the vehicle.”

Manna stressed that in the end, the main focus is currently on the region that is witnessing challenges in the transportation field and that expanding to Europe is not on the 2017 agenda.