Sri Lanka’s most innovative taxi hailing service, PickMe won the Best Disruptor award at the SLASSCOM Innovation Summit and Awards 2018 themed ‘Celebrate Ingenuity’. The PickMe product which comprises of the driver app, the passenger app and the corporate business portal, changed the way Sri Lankans uses taxis through its capacity to allow affiliated taxis ranging from TUKs to Luxury Sedans connect with individual passengers seeking transport to corporate businesses requiring solutions for business travel. The SLASSCOM Innovation Summit and Awards which concluded recently at the Cinnamon Grand recognised innovators across a range of award categories in the IT/BPM industry.
“Winning the Best Disruptor award at such an esteemed event is a tribute to the truly disruptive power of technological adaptations that take into account local realities and seek viable and creative solution. The ingenuity of our platform is that we managed to completely change the then less than desirable status quo of the taxi trade. The biggest challenge we had to surpass when we first launched the app was to familiarise drivers with this global technology. In the process of guiding drivers to use the app effectively, our award winning driver app emerged. This app features colour coded buttons for easy understanding of the process even for illiterate drivers and the live-running-meter which is a first of its kind amongst all similar apps in the world at the time,” commented PickMe Chief Executive Officer Zulfer Jiffry.
Following the success of the driver app, PickMe launched the passenger app allowing passengers to hail taxis at their fingertips for the first time in Sri Lanka. The market received the minimum viable product of basic taxi hailing with open arms, as it was a timely solution to a problem that the country had been facing for decades. Accordingly, PickMe became a platform that connected driver to passenger in a live, transparent and engaging manner. The drivers themselves were pleased to join a service that elevated their professional position.
Throughout the Company’s successful journey to disrupt the market, PickMe set the stage for a more effective, interactive and a reliable taxi trade to emerge which eventually benefitted both passengers and drivers. PickMe app promoted accountability from the part of the drivers in terms of taxi meter usage, consequently changing the taxi-meter concept which was at the time an unregulated, unreliable measure subject to manipulation by various individuals or groups influencing the market.
This triggered a host of other advantageous changes from the norm, including a fair and a transparent pricing method, passenger and driver safety and a faster ETA (estimated time of arrival). Coupled with the new found convenience of booking a taxi and being able to rely on the service, many turned to PickMe, thus creating substantial demand for taxi services in general.
Gaining popularity with both drivers and passengers, PickMe soon ventured in to the corporate sector, giving business travel solutions to businesses helping them reduce costs on transport, resources and time. The saving which was in some cases as large as 40% of what used to be of the cost of facilitating business traveling that PickMe has become the official transport provider for over 150 corporates in the country.
As the company reaches its milestone third year of success, PickMe offers passengers a choice of vehicles to book ranging from Tuk Tuks, cars and minivans to VIP vehicles. Today, PickMe drivers enjoy the security of a reliable occupation that has elevated their social positioning. Currently, the PickMe platform caters to over 15,000 drivers and offers professional services to over 1.5 million passengers spread across four districts in the country.