Ordering tickets for out of town travel via bus is now as easy as the EasyTaxi service or the convenient Foodpanda app in your phone. Another venture, by the name of ClickBus has been launched in Pakistan by Rocket Internet. ClickBus, has been launched in Brazil in 2013 and in other subsequent countries along with Pakistan. Tayab Hassan, is the young managing director behind this service. Developed and produced in Germany, with its entire core IT operations being handled in there, this online ticket service model allows a user to purchase their tickets through the web.
How it works?
The way ClickBus works is that the end customer logs on to ClickBus via the website or the app, enters the destination and chooses the time from the list of a specific day. Say for example, for Islamabad to Lahore, there will be all sorts of options with different prices from/for which they want and they have a ticket delivered at their doorstep which they can just take instead of paying a visit to the coaching company.
Hassan shares “No more standing up in queues or calling up the operator to find out if there is a coach available or at what time, no more going through calling up different companies. All the hassle and pain of booking your coach tickets prior travelling is taken away. We just let customers do what they want to do, which is travel.”
This service is outbound workings from Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi to begin with. They cover 200 routes from everywhere whether it is from Karachi to Hyderabad, to Gilgit-Baltistan, or Peshawar.
There aim is simple; to provide you all the details of the bus services “We have published the list of every single company which we are working with. There are around 18 or 19 right now.” Tells Hassan
The problem that they faced in introducing the technology enabled solution where that this system is really manual. The best idea is to help them relate to a problem themselves and say look we face these problems. To find solutions, they should start taking things online a little bit. With the introduction of this service, they are hoping to change that mindset
The online payment solutions are not bad. They are not highly adopted whether we like or not. That’s another challenge, another problem that they see, because coach companies or any business in Pakistan wants to see cash right away because of the lack of trust. So the lack of trust and the absence of the infrastructure for the startups to grow do not help much.
Their target market in Pakistan is everybody who travels by coach. The current best strategy to adopt for the target market is to look at the earlier adopters instead of focusing on the market which will take longer to board to acquire.
They are looking at early adopters, these are going to be the people, who want to use the internet and use the technology solutions for problems and second are people who travel a lot by coaches. There are two kinds of people who share these traits in Pakistan, we have on one side students who travel really quickly and are really tech savvy and they form the bulk of the 13 million of the internet users in Pakistan and secondly you have frequent business travelers.
“The main aim right now is to look at how we conduce the travel industry and increase the ticket sales of coach companies more sales. We want to help them grow. At the same time, we want to give customers more choices.” comments Hassan.
They are also boarding international companies to promote the much need tourism. Soon you will be seeing campaigns to travel to different parts of Pakistan on weekends. Through ClickBus. You can book online and also get a bit of a discount. Anyone searching to travel in Pakistan will see ClickBus automatically. They have a huge budget for search engine and media marketing to promote their campaigns.
“To make ClickBus a success in Pakistan, we have been working on adapting a solution which meets the needs of the people here. I chose Pakistan over the other countries because it’s a problem which is very close to my heart. We are going to solve it as it one of the most difficult markets to grab and it’s a big challenge for us and an amazing journey. We would finally be able to bring a product which we believe solves real problems.” Concludes Hassan, who is hopeful for the success of this new trend in Pakistan.