Episode 028: Karan Singh -- Going Beyond a Platform Play with Rwanda's Yegomoto
About Karan Singh
Karan Singh is the founder and CEO of Yegomoto, Rwanda’s motorcycle taxi ride-hailing startup.
You can connect with him @yegomotoafrica on Twitter.
Karan is a successful entrepreneur who grew flourishing businesses in both India and Singapore. In 2015, he travelled to Rwanda on business and saw an opportunity to use tech to organize the informal motorcycle taxi sector, which is prone to road accidents and associated with theft and crime. The Rwandan government had even banned, albeit briefly, motorcycle taxis from Kigali around this time, but as the main means of transportation, they had to let them back onto the streets.
He set up Yegomoto which mounts a IOT-enabled device with a point of sales terminal onto all of its bikes, which helps drivers, who are earning better wages and avoiding deadly accidents, and riders, who no longer have to haggle for fares and are safer.
And the exciting part of Yegomoto’s business model is that it can use the reams of data on its bikes, including the speed, location, fare costs, for other businesses. In fact, Karan, who is quite the ambitious and forward-thinking entrepreneur, doesn’t see Yegomoto as just a platform play but rather an infrastructure play, which he explains in fascinating detail.
We talked about Karan’s long-term vision for Yegomoto, why it’s different from other ride-hailing apps like Taxify and Uber, and the four questions he asks every aspiring entrepreneur.
Without further ado, here’s my conversation with Karan Singh.
What We Learn from Karan – How to Go Beyond a Platform Play.
Karan’s vision for Yegomoto goes beyond rail-hailing. Yegomoto isn’t just a platform play; it’s an infrastructure play. Yegomoto can deliver many critical basic services (education and power) because it solves the distribution problem (the motorcycle taxis can deliver services directly to end-users) and the payment problem (point of sales terminals are mounted on the bike).
Karan always asks the same four questions when he meets a budding entrepreneur with a good idea:
What is the problem you’re trying to solve?
Are people willing to pay for it?
If it’s so great, why hasn’t somebody already done it?
Are you building a solution that can scale?