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Rocket Internet’s taxi booking app Easy Taxi arrives in Thailand

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A month after Easy Taxi launched in Hong Kong, Rocket Internet’s taxi booking app is now available in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok.

Prior to this launch, the company has been working to recruit taxi drivers for about five months. The firm had considered Phuket, but eventually opted to launch in the capital first.

Easy Taxi declined to disclose the number of drivers now using the app in Bangkok. Felipe Kasinsky, Easy Taxi Thailand’s CEO, sees a great opportunity in the city of angels:

Bangkok has a big market. There are 80,000 drivers in Bangkok. With an average of 15 rides per day, that’s 10 million prospective users.

Rival apps like Grab Taxi are already operating in Bangkok, but Felipe isn’t too concerned about the competition.

Competitors will not change how we operate the business. Our goal is to help passengers get a taxi easier and taxi drivers to make more profit. At the end of the day, competitors can only benefit everyone.

Easy Taxi Thailand expects to have 100,000 users by the end of this year.

Educating drivers

One of the challenges Easy Taxi has to face in order to operate in Bangkok is educating the taxi drivers. This includes teaching them how to use a smartphone, the in-app map, and the app itself.

Felipe explained:

We have 15 staffers in Bangkok right now. How we operate is that we work on a one-on-one basis. We don’t just mass recruit drivers. In order to acquire a driver to our network, we have one person talk about the benefits and walk the driver through the process in order to make sure that he can deliver to our standard and, consequently, make our customers – the passengers – happy.

See: 10 taxi apps you can use across Asia

Thailand’s taxi driver problem

Easy Taxi aims to solve the bad taxi problem in Thailand. Taxi drivers often turn people down and sometimes are hard to find during rush hours. With the app, passengers will know whether a taxi is on the way or not within three minutes.

The Easy Taxi app has rating system, but the only options are ‘good’ or ‘not good’. The app should have a reporting function as well.

Easy Taxi has a department dedicated to dealing with passengers, like making a call to confirm that the taxi is on its way, and sometimes it follows up with passengers to discuss the riding experience – especially if the rider rated the driver as being bad.

Started in Brazil back in 2011, Easy Taxi has over 80,000 taxis in its global network so far. It’s expanding at the rate of three cities per month.

Easy Taxi app is available on iOS and Android, and it now supports Thai as well as English. The Easy Taxi website is not available in Thai just yet, but it should be up and running by the end of this year.

(Editing by Steven Millward)



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