August ‘15
Insight Interview

August ‘15


Uber seamlessly connects riders to drivers through a simple mobile apps, making cities more accessible andopening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers. Uber's rapidly expanding global presence continues to bring people and their cities closer. Recently the trending service blasts Cairo offering not just a simple car ride rather a luxurious adventure'¦

What can you tell us about yourself?

I am Nour Ahmadein Head of Marketing and Business Development for Uber. I am currently the Head of Marketing and Business Development for Uber in Cairo. I'm a passionate entrepreneur with a strong track record in rapidly scaling and developing SME's. I'm always in search of the next disruptive idea and constantly push the envelope. Born and and raised in Cairo my entire life, I went on to the University of San Francisco to complete my bachelors in Business and International Studies and was also a Division 1 Collegiate athlete. I have a strong affinity for innovation, traveling, sports, and adrenaline-packed activities.

Tell us the story of 'Uber'?

San Francisco - 'Uber's' first market - launched in June 2010. 204 black car trips were completed in 'Uber's' first month. 18 months after launching in San Francisco, Paris became 'Uber's' first international market. Today, 'Uber' connects riders and drivers for more than one million trips every day all around the world. In the Middle East, we launched in Dubai in September 2013 and have since expanded to Abu Dhabi, Doha, Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, Manama, Amman and Beirut. We are always exploring ways we can provide more cities with more choice in transportation, and can we definitely say there will be more launches in the region for years to come.

What did you aim to achieve when you first launched the brand in Cairo?

We're always looking at ways that help us provide our riders with more value; we wanted to make sure that commuters had a safe and reliable transportation option that's always accessible and efficiently utilized. Imagine how productive you can be if sitting as a passenger in a car rather than stuck in traffic behind the wheel. Cairo was also an ideal market for us due to its young tech-savvy population and start-up culture, making it a very exciting and vibrant city for our operations.

On what terms do you choose your drivers?

Our driver-partners are all existing, licensed transportation providers, and each driver is personally screened and trained by our team. In addition to this, when you order an 'Uber', you get sent - via the app - a picture of the driver and his registration details so you know exactly who is driving you. When you are in the car you can send - via text message - a link to an online map where a friend or loved-one can track your entire journey via GPS, then the driver is rated by the rider after every 'Uber' trip. This means we are constantly monitoring and improving the quality of service to create an experience like never before.

What makes 'Uber' a stand-alone competitor?

Our global nature is such that the same experience can be replicated in any of the 56 countries and over 310 cities we operate in. Once the app has been installed on to your phone it can be used globally, overcoming the language and fare challenges that come with transport in a foreign city.

You launched in Cairo last February, how has this period been in terms of growth and recognition?

Since launching six months ago, the uptake has been incredible. In a short space of time, we're already doing thousands of trips per week. Riders are constantly amazed that they can get such a convenient ride at their doorstep in a matter of minutes - simply with the tap of a button. Our partner operators love working with us too because it helps build their business, making drivers more efficient and reliable.

What's your future vision for 'Uber' in Egypt? Any future partnerships we should know of?

Our focus right now is on our current product and making sure it accessible throughout the city - to riders, and to drivers. We are currently in discussions with some potentially very strategic partners that we believe will be a great value-add for our service and ultimately enhance the overall experience for the rider.

What do you envision for the future of transportation?

A world where anyone, anywhere can connect with a safe, reliable and seamless ride at the touch of a button. We have a vision to be safe and reliable enough, to as many neighborhoods as possible, that people opt to leave their car at home and Uber on a daily basis. Think of what they will do for congestion, productivity and the environment.

What's the company's mission statement?

Uber gets cities moving more efficiently- bringing a safe, reliable and flexible alternative to urban transport through the tap of an app; we're bringing more choice to riders and drivers alike, and helping to create the smart cities of tomorrow.

By Rania Ihab