Firm craftsmen of our fate: HQ, Uber & the Future

The right honorable Mia Mottley, has provided a plan for the restoration and advancement of Barbados’s economy in the Official 2019 budget.

While locals shared a feeling of unease leading up to the calling of parliament on Wednesday, Bajan’s were treated to a phenomenon unseen in our island over the last decade.. honesty.

Our prime minister spoke frankly, explaining that there was no way for us to have recovered from a decade of corruption within the 6 months of her election, however, she has succeeded in increasing our reserves from $400M to approximately $1,1Billion. Both covering the costs of our imports and safeguarding our dollar from devaluation.

Excerpt from News article posted March 2017

However, it was recognized that going forward the need for investment and increased entrepreneurial activity will be fundamental to achieving her ‘Barbados 2025’ goals of 75% Debt to GDP, an electric bus system, paid maternity & 1,500+ additional new tourism industry jobs.

Excerpt from Deloitte Budget Analysis]

Controversy was initially focused around rumors of a rate hike in bus fare to $5, however person’s seemed less dissatisfied with the announced $3.50.

Contrarily, I believe there is opportunity to be recognized from this hike, as transport costs hadn’t increased over the past few decades, unlike the costs of gasoline & diesel.

This trend makes the alternative of ride sharing much more feasible on our small island, and given its successful adoption in numerous nearby islands, there’s adequate proof of concept for its implementation locally.

Refer to TTRS in Crake Ventures #3

Crake Ventures #3 The Trinidad & Tobago Carnival Guide

 

With this in mind we’ve already taken the next steps in developing such a platform, and carried out a trial run with the iOS version of the application as seen in the screenshots below:

Public Driver App accepted ride to Limegrove

The test drive shows a rider requesting a trip from Bridgetown, Barbados to Limegrove, St. James, the app will vary in rates between $2.50 – $3.00/km and bringing this ride to a maximum of $27BDS.

Rider App w/ Cash Payment Enabled

EDIT: I’ve decided to come back and share some more insight on setting up your own UBER clone business since I don’t have the funding and you better give me a permanent discount code in exchange for my knowledge.

My Uber Mockup was created using Jugnoo Taxi Dispatch, this company is one of the thousands which currently offer an uber clone service.

When choosing your own development company be sure that your solution offers both an iOS & Android version, some companies attempt to hide additional fees by charging per driver using your app. Be sure to clarify this before making any payments.

Assuming you’re successful in acquiring a working, cross platform uber clone, I’d advise you utilize Mmoney locally, irregardless of if your app is capable if facilitating credit card payments, I don’t believe the average Bajan currently has access to such instruments, as as a result a simple, familiar top up like system can be established using Mmoney merchants and standard smartphones.

Finally I’d like to go on to suggest that instead of mimicking the foreign model of ride sharing, we seek to integrate the existing ZR van infrastructure in a “Pooled riding” service, in which case ZR drivers may charge on average $10/head to pickup and drop off riders following a similar course, generating much more revenue than they would with $2 fairs with 1/5 of the labor required to earn the same revenue.

I believe’d these measures would distinguish us from the currently existing QuickCabs which I believe charges $3/km according to their ride estimates.

There’s still a number of issues to address before we can publicly launch our platform, and begin to allow local drivers to generate their own independent income.

One other initiative we believe will be beneficial for Barbadians on a whole is the launch of our new HQ & Co-working space in collaboration with XS.bb, Salter’s St. George.

BimShops HQ & Co-working Space

The HQ features a number of 100sqft Office spaces, climate controlled storage containers and additional retail spaces on the ground level.

Private office space w/ all amenities included

Private office space w/ all amenities included

By choosing a co-working alternative over your own private space, small businesses can benefit from shared costs, in this case tenants gain access to a shared board room, lobby, front desk secretary, high speed internet & all other on premise features.

BimShops HQ Front Lobby

BimShops HQ Entrance

BimShops HQ Lobby Co-working Space

Not to mention the additional storage rental options at special rates for of our select merchants.

XS.bb Rental Container Storage

Ideally our vision for the premises is to become a hub for local young entrepreneurs & creatives to collaborate and develop our platform as a means of marketing their goods & services internationally, substituting the need for excessive imports with locally merchandise.

Any person interested in embarking on such an endeavor is more than welcome to reach out via any medium for more information or with any inquiries, as each of us have a duty to these hills and fields we call home.

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Philip King