Gokada’s new CEO on expansion, Okada ban and competition
Last month Gokada announced Nikhil Goel as its new CEO. He’s been responsible for leading the Nigeria-based last-mile delivery, logistics and transportation start-up since Gokada tragically lost its founder, Fahim Saleh, in July 2020.
According to Gokada, Goel has helped the company increase its revenue by 10X and grow its delivery order volume by 100X, enabling the company to reach profitability in the past 12 months.
In a conversation with TechCabal, Goel talks about what the company is currently doing and its future plans.
Does Gokada have plans to leave Lagos?
Goel started off by answering the popular question of whether Gokada has any plans to expand out of Lagos and why it hasn’t despite the Okada ban of last year.
“That question has been posed to us lots of times. Even when the ban happened, that was the first thing that came up. People were saying, Hey, you guys should go outside Lagos. The Lagos government is not ready to help you at all,” Goel said.
When the ban happened Gokada had almost a thousand 200cc bikes and the company couldn’t just take the bikes outside of Lagos according to Goel.
So they decided to launch the delivery business in response to market needs. Goel believes they’ve created a different delivery business, one that didn’t exist before. They want to focus on that and keep adding services on the back of that.
“When the ban happened, we didn’t have much time but to switch to the delivery business. The difference is that delivery is a regulated business. There are proper licenses in place compared to ride-hailing,” he said.
The goal has been to remain focused and face the challenges when they come.
“That’s what keeps Gokada alive. Instead of just doing too many things. We do a few things, remaining focused. Starting from doing like 50-100 a week in February, we’re doing thousands of deliveries every single day in Lagos.”
G-hub, Gokada business and other services
To reduce friction and wait-time delivery, Gokada launched G-hub. With G-hub, Gokada partners with underutilized venues and uses them as pickup and delivery locations for deliveries and packages. It recently partnered with Cars45 to use its showrooms. Instead of Gokada renting out these spaces, they agree on a revenue split with the owner of space based on how many packages are processed per location.
He said, “ If you look at our current model, instant delivery is the most important part. We want to make delivery as smooth as ordering an Uber or Bolt. When you want something to be delivered you don’t want to wait for five or six hours, you want it to be delivered within minutes.”