The Swahili people have a saying that goes something like this, ‘Fahali wawili wakipigana, nyasi huumia.’ In English, ‘when two bulls fight, it is the grass that gets hurt.’ That is the case for commuters in Nairobi using taxis, except instead of getting hurt when big wigs fight, they are benefitting from their fight.
Uber is essentially doing what economics would describe as ‘price war’, where a dominant player in the market sets up barriers for new players trying to enter the market. The Kenyan market has seen increasing number of mobile apps and web-based services for hailing a taxi, with the most notable one being Little Cabs.
Now, many players come and go with little to no effect on Uber’s dominance. However, Little Cabs is not just another player. It has the backing of Safaricom, Kenya’s leading telecom company and one of the most profitable companies in sub-Sahara Africa. Little Cabs powered by Safaricom, is a game changer, and potentially could unseat Uber in the Kenyan market.
“It is effectively a rival for Uber,” said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore to Reuters. “It is a local …read more