10:26 | 01/03/2019 Science - Technology
(VEN) - Tran Thanh Hai, CEO of the Be Group, talked about Vietnam’s newest ride-hailing player that debuted in late 2018 with Vietnam Economic News’ Minh Long.
|Tran Thanh Hai, CEO of the Be Group|
Why did you decide to start a ride-hailing app?
My inspiration came from Go-Jek (Indonesia’s startup model) after seeing the great national pride of the owner, who comes from a military and patriotic family. Go-Jek has created jobs for many motorbike taxi drivers in Indonesia. Some 70 percent of drivers interviewed say they drive for Go-Jek because it is an Indonesian company. So, I came up with an idea: Why not establish a company for Vietnamese drivers?
With Uber’s exit, only one or two ride-hailing apps remain, which inevitably would lead to a monopoly and price manipulation and would no longer be cheap. New players in the field will create open competition.
What kind of services will Be provide?
Be has registered to operate as a transportation company. Applying technology to transportation services helps increase their efficiency for both drivers and passengers.
As a transportation company, Be may be more disadvantaged since it is required to pay 10 percent VAT. However, following the law and paying enough taxes are the right directions, contributing to the country’s development. Passengers see our service as another ride-hailing app, while management agencies see it as a taxi service.
The first two services we are deploying are beBike for motorbike rides and beCar for car rides. In the future, Be will also develop delivery services and will offer a customer loyalty program and an e-wallet on the Be platform.
Is Be confident it can compete with its major rivals?
The Vietnamese ride-hailing market is only concentrated in some big cities. The market was valued at about US$480 million in 2018 (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City account for 93 percent), and the figure will increase to about US$2 billion by 2025. Therefore, the market is large enough to compete.
My point is to speak less, do more and focus on products and services. Drivers are the ones who make guests happy but also the ones who can lose passengers. Therefore, all our policies are based on the drivers as a foundation.
Be focuses on protecting the interests of the drivers and ensuring their social security because they work 10-12 hours a day to ensure an income, while the risk of accidents in Vietnam is heavy. Be is the first ride-hailing platform to build a comprehensive accident insurance program (medical expenses due to accidents and income subsidies during the treatment process) for its all drivers. Be has also cooperated with banks to develop individual credit packages to support drivers.
The biggest difficulty of Vietnamese technology startups is capital. How is Be accessing resources?
Several years ago, capital source seemed to be a difficult problem for domestic businesses, but now financing is not such a stressful issue. Startups only need to receive the support of consumers.
To receive the support of passengers, Be will focus on service quality instead of cheap prices. However, motorbike rides and car rides will not increase prices during peak hours.