By Theodore Opara
BORN in Saudi Arabia, Fahim Saleh, the son of a Bangladeshi immigrant, started Gokada business in Lagos State in 2018 and raised $5.3 million in venture capital in June 2019.
The 33 year-old technology entrepreneur who was murdered by assailants had a big dream for Nigerians when he overhauled the company’s operations in August 2019 with the aim of revolutionalising the entire ride-hailing business popularly known in Nigeria as Corporate Okada transportation.
In August, 2019, Gokada, a company co-owned by Fahim Saleh relaunched its motorbike hailing service in Lagos with new motorcycles and improved equipment with well trained staff. The staff were well trained in safe driving standards, GPS navigation and customer service.
Explaining his plans to make transportation more comfortable and enjoyable, Saleh had told journalists at the relaunch: “Gokada has the standard in the market for safety and service. Hairnets, DOT certified helmets, extensive training these are all reasons safety on our bikes have been consistent and how we were able to convince so many to give this new age bike taxi a shot”.
Continuing, he said “As we scale, what we have now would be a template for what all our future pilots will follow. As we took the risk to pause for a moment and improve on that template in order to provide our customers with exceptional service at scale.”
However, his plans could not last as a new policy by Lagos State government on Okada operation killed the dream the young man had for Nigerians which was to create employment and revolutionalise the corporate motorbike business in the country.
The company which hinted them that it planned to raise about $10 million for the business before the end of 2019 could not achieve the dream with thousands of motorbikes already injected into the business.
It, however, channeled its resources into okada courier service which was not as rewarding as the commerical okada business.
Saleh had then hinted that they were looking into air, marine and other modes of transport before the axe fell on the business in the country.