The symbiotic relationship developed between e-commerce businesses and taxi motor operators has empowered the recovery of many small and medium enterprises.
As the e-commerce businesses expanded in the past two years, especially during the lockdowns as the government limited movements of people to control the spread of Covid-19, these businesses sought services of taxi motos (Boda Bodas) to deliver goods at merchant’s doorsteps.
The e-commerce players have found reliable, cheaper and efficient partners in boda boda operators, which has in turn proved to be a rewarding revenue stream for the riders whose businesses have suffered greatly in the last two years. Every time the government announced a lockdown often due to a surge in cases, these taxi motor operators have always the first target, which left them reeling, affecting an entire industry.
But since many went beyond transporting passengers and forayed into delivering purchased goods, packages and other items, many players got a lifeline to stay in business and take care of their families.
Before the pandemic Andrew Gatera ran a tour and travel business, when the pandemic hit and tourism came to a standstill he pivoted to opening up a pizzeria to stay afloat as he waited for tourism to recover.
For his pizza delivery business he depended on motorcycle delivery services to get the pizzas to his customers around Kigali. A year later he has built a clientele base whose orders keep increasing thanks to these boda boda deliveries.
Most businesses that sell goods online,from burger sellers like ballistic burgers, shoe makers like Uzuri K&Y, to restaurants that at one point only depended on deliveries, all used and continue to use taxi motos to stay in business. Local delivery businesses like Vuba Vuba have built their entire business models on taxi moto deliveries.
The taxi moto ecosystem continues to midwife many new businesses in the economy.This past week Safirun logistics launched its safi run app meant to facilitate offering of green-transportation solutions where they use electronic motorcycles for delivery of goods to customers.