InDrive Nepal Recognizes the Enormous Potential of a 30 Million Population
About a year and a half ago, the foreign ride sharing platform Indrive was launched in Nepal. The platform, which has its head office in California, USA, is gaining popularity in Nepal. Currently, the platform takes commission from the drivers, but the plan is to only take commission after registration. This unique feature allows passengers to set fares for their chosen routes and send counter offers directly to nearby drivers, using the Real Time Deals (RTD) model. Roman Ermosin, the director of the Asia Pacific region of Indrive, visited Nepal to further explore opportunities for the platform. In an interview with Sneha Jha from ICT News, Ermosin discussed various topics, including the platform’s performance in Nepal, the reasons for choosing Nepal, the current number of users, the commission system, and the competition with other ride sharing platforms.
Ermosin mentioned that Indrive is currently the largest mobility platform in Nepal, operating successfully in Kathmandu and expanding to cities like Pokhara and Bharatpur. He explained that the company launched in Nepal because despite being a small market, the country has a population of around 30 million, making it an attractive emerging market. Ermosin also acknowledged the rapid growth of Nepal’s information technology sector and the eagerness of its users to adopt new apps and technologies, which has contributed to the success of Indrive in the country.
Regarding the legal registration of Indrive in Nepal, Ermosin assured that the company has started the registration process and submitted the application last year. They are actively seeking legal recognition and aim to be legally registered by the end of the year. Ermosin also mentioned that they face occasional challenges from the police, who sometimes stop their drivers for operating without registration. However, he expressed gratitude for the positive response from the Nepalese people and the drivers’ dedication to the platform.
In terms of commission, Ermosin clarified that Indrive has been operating without taking any commission from the drivers for over a year and a half. After registration, they plan to start taking a commission, which will be less than 10% and primarily used to pay taxes and improve the app. He emphasized that the commission will be lower compared to competitors’ ride sharing platforms.
Ermosin highlighted some unique aspects of Nepal’s ride sharing market, such as the preference for cash payments and the limited use of electric vehicles. He mentioned that Indrive is in discussions with local online payment systems to accommodate cash transactions and also emphasized the importance of the government’s support in promoting the use of electric vehicles and developing necessary infrastructure like charging stations. He noted that bike ride sharing is more common in Nepal due to traffic congestion in Kathmandu and suggested that improved road infrastructure could facilitate intercity connectivity.
As for the competition, Ermosin stated that while there are other ride sharing platforms in Nepal and new ones are emerging in global markets like India, Indrive stands out due to its unique business model. By functioning as a technology intermediary between drivers and passengers, Indrive allows for negotiations and setting fixed prices, providing a distinctive bargaining tool for both parties. Ermosin emphasized that competition is beneficial and drives the platform to constantly evolve and improve its service.
In terms of daily rides, Ermosin mentioned that the number fluctuates due to factors like weather, traffic, and festivals. However, in Kathmandu alone, Indrive witnesses around 50,000 rides per day, contributing to over 4 million rides globally on the platform. Ermosin expressed satisfaction with Indrive’s performance and its position as a popular ride sharing platform in Nepal.