Middle East ride-hailing app charting a successful course through coronavirus crisis

Jeeny has reimagined its business model as a result of the global pandemic, preserving staff and keeping safety paramount

Bricius revealed that they are currently evaluating expansion opportunities and watching developments in other markets.

The co-CEO of Middle East ride-hailing app Jeeny is hoping its journey through the current coronavirus can act as inspiration for others.

The company, a joint venture between the Middle East Internet Group (MEIG), Rocket Internet and IMENA, was forced to completely reinvent its model, which helped it retain its workforce and execute its last-mile delivery operations, while taking the best possible health and safety measures.

Eugen Bricius told Arabian Business: “Our ride hailing business dropped by 100 percent in full lockdowns that were implemented in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.”

This is when the company sought to reimagine its business model by re-designing its app and established large scale delivery partnerships with companies which required emergency last-mile deliveries until curfews were lifted.

“We worked closely with the Saudi government in providing a fleet of drivers who were well-equipped with top health and safety training and hygiene kits,” said Bricius.

“For us, as a business that mainly revolves around transportation, our new normal was applying extreme safety and sanitation measures to our drivers and their cars.

“As a start, we partnered with Helpling, a Dubai-based on-demand cleaning services venture to provide ongoing professional sanitation for drivers who visit our service offices in the main cities. We also imported plastic films as in-cab isolators and installed them in our most active drivers’ cars, in addition to redesigning our driver service offices with safety equipment to keep both our agents and drivers safe via proper social distancing,” he added.

Despite the economic challenges brought on by the pandemic, Bricius retains one of the company’s primary objectives – to remain affordable for its customers.

He explained: “Our main competitive value in Saudi Arabia and Jordan used to be affordability. We always aim to provide the most affordable ride-booking experience via our app. We now plan to grow vertically stronger than ever, by being the safest choice to move around within the market, while still holding our position as the economical app.”

Jeeny has offices in Riyadh, Jeddah, Madinah, Dammam, Khobar, Amman, Lahore, and Karachi, while Bricius added that they are currently evaluating expansion opportunities and watching developments in other markets.

“We believe there is a great opportunity for us to enter other GCC and ME region small and big markets, keeping our value proposition which is offering the economic transportation solution,” he said.

Throughout the pandemic, the public dealt with a great deal of pressure due to economic troubles and unemployment. Jeeny dealt with this pandemic by creating a secure environment for its workforce. The organisation’s success in striving to overcome this pandemic and taking the necessary health and safety measures could inspire other start-ups and tech companies in implementing “disrupt and pivot” and preserving their core assets, the employees, as a method to overcome force majeure, not only as growth tools.

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