Sayeda Nabila Mahabub
Marketing Head of Pathao Rides
How is Pathao differentiating itself from the other apps in the market? Can you describe the marketing strategy of Pathao for the diverse riders using the app?
Pathao has become a popular e-commerce delivery and ride-hailing service today. We are no longer just a ride-sharing app, it is a digital platform that serves multiple needs. Pathao is a lifestyle solution to all of our daily problems. We have built a platform that enables employment for thousands of drivers and a product that millions of people in Bangladesh use every day. With Pathao, customers are just a click away from a solution.
Initially, we began with five riders, booking rides manually through a covert Facebook page. Currently, Pathao has five hundred riders under its employment, who form the backbone of the company. The lucrative aspect of the app is that with its wide array of products, it gives riders the unique opportunity to be entrepreneurs. The app allows riders to have an independent source of income making Pathao the number one earning platform.
What are some of the challenges that Pathao has come across? With Pathao recently launching in Nepal, what are the barricades to overcome? Are there plans to take Pathao worldwide in the coming years?
During the inception phase of Pathao, convincing people to share a ride with a stranger was the biggest challenge.. Building trust and ensuring safety and security were the first hurdles we had to overcome when asking customers to rely on our app. But there was a demand for an innovative transport solution, and through our app we helped establish a bike culture in Bangladesh. One of the challenges is making consumers understand that we have evolved beyond a two-wheeler company has been a persistent setback. We are no longer limited to being a ride sharing company and have expanded to the extent of becoming a digital platform with multiple solutions.
When it comes to Nepal we are still young and new. But we are excited to take our Pathao internationally – starting with Nepal. We have already started to get riders on board. The Pathao team is inspired to be #MovingNepal and working closely with the local ecosystem. Our familiarity with Nepal isn’t limited to its thriving environment but also the country and culture in general, and so the challenges with Nepal are quite similar.
In such a globally connected world, the next step for Pathao would be to make an impact in international frontiers.
What do you like best about the Pathao App? What sort of innovation does Pathao have in the pipelines?
My favorite option is hands down the option to share my ongoing ride. Safety is one of our primary areas of focus, and the option to let loved ones know of your whereabouts makes the safety net that much stronger and reliable.
The sky is the limit when it comes to improving ourselves and the services Pathao offers. Our late nights at work are the result of the fact that we are our own biggest critics. We constantly try to find ways to improve the app so we can give all our stakeholders a better experience. Digital development is extremely fast paced. There’s something new and improved daily to weed out the old ways, so we have to constantly stay up to date in order to keep up with our customers’ expectations. We are currently working on our drive app to give a better experience to our riders because Pathao has evolved into a source of livelihood for them. We surveyed over two hundred riders to scope out the problems they previously faced. Keeping that in mind we have introduced multiple new and improved features.
Our riders are one of our major stakeholders. We are constantly working on our user app as well, to improve it and to guarantee a seamless experience. At Pathao, we are always on the lookout for ways to innovate, and in the future, we will continue to do so.
What would the definition of success be for you as the lead marketing manager of Pathao?
As the lead marketing manager of Pathao, there are multiple measures of success. The first one is definitely my team; their dedication and hard work are behind each successful campaign and communication. Also, every car with a Pathao sticker is a small step towards a definitive milestone.
The second measure is our growing roster of regular Pathao customers. Every time a campaign is successful and appreciated by our freelancers and users, we know that Pathao has effectively reached and touched its stakeholders. They are our true critics. If they are happy it means we are doing the right thing.
Every extraordinary life that we are able to change through Pathao is the biggest inspiration. Hearing life-changing stories about our riders and customers gives us the drive to push for more. These people are the real heroes. They are changing our lives and creating stories everywhere. Similarly, my team is another generator of inspiration. They motivate me to be a better leader every day. Pathao is a big power generator. The energy to strive, and to better ourselves daily is a palpable driving force of the company.
Pathao has surely done its bit to compensate for the congestion in the country. However, the authenticity of rider driver’s license is a cause for concern. How does Pathao ensure that their riders are authenticated?
Our number one concern is the safety of our users and riders, and we make sure to not compromise with that. There is a strict procedure that service providers have to go through before being assigned a rider or captain status. We ensure that all the criteria are met to assure our users that we will always deliver on our promise of safety. We have a list of mandatory documents that need to be provided by the riders which include an updated driver’s license. We also require fitness and registration papers of the vehicles and additional documents that provide authentication to the rider.