The transport startup faces mobility constraints

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Georges royeca

George Royeca is the co-founder and lead transportation advocate of DBDOYC Inc., best known for its Angkas racing bike service in the Philippines. George received The Outstanding Young Men Award in 2020. In this interview, he shared his thoughts on differentiation and strategy as a startup.

Q1: Can you tell us how many Angkas services you have offered and in how many metropolitan cities so far? What other off-road calling services are in preparation?

George: Currently, transportation is our biggest service. We also have logistics, which is our padala service, and concierge service, which is our pabili service, both in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. Recently, we have successfully completed the pilot and are commercially launching the Red Cross Home Service Partnership for RT-PCR (COVID-19 test) saliva.

Going forward, healthcare will be an important part of our content pipeline or our service pipeline: providing home services for labs, blood tests, etc., even telemedicine. But also, to a very large extent, we want to be able to really optimize or maximize the deliveries and logistics for the country.

Q2: What is Angkas’ vision? Are you going to go the Gojek Road as a super app in Indonesia, or will you also evolve, like Grab or Lime Bike Rental in the US, or transform into something else?

George: Angkas’ vision is mobility on two wheels. We want to be able to do everything around the two-wheel ecosystem. Our stakeholders are of course our customers or passengers both for transport and logistics, and possibly for food.

Our other equally important stakeholders are our bikers, among whom we are creating new two-wheel entrepreneurs. The hope is to be able to provide mobility and alternative transportation options for everyone.

Q3: What are the main challenges in providing a racing bike service in the Philippines? What about non-trip call services? How do you solve these challenges?

George: The main challenges in the Philippines right now are related to the pandemic. I mean, the market is down and a lot of people are working from home so there aren’t a lot of people leaving their homes in need of transportation and mobility. Since the majority of our services are passenger transport, this has really impacted us quite significantly. But all the same, we are very confident that when the economy starts to recover, especially with vaccinations, the need for public transport will still be there.

The current challenge is how to expand into various verticals that will allow bikers to earn money throughout the day in transportation, logistics and other services, such as healthcare.

Q4: There are now other racing bike service providers. Why should consumers choose Angkas? Why should drivers choose to work with Angkas?

George: I think being the pioneer we had a good head start. The Angkas brand is very strong and we pride ourselves on safety. And we have the highest safety record, not just in the Philippines, but I believe in the entire region, with a safety record of 99.997% (accident rate 0.003%). We are not a purely commercial enterprise, but also an advocate that continues to fight for the rights of ordinary Filipinos to care for their families by using a motorbike. It’s impacting millions of Filipinos across the country, and I think it resonates with a lot of our customers. We’ve really built a community around it. So if you use the Angkas service you are somehow supporting our cause to generate meaningful and worthy livelihoods for many low income families.

Safety has always been the most convincing aspect of our service and we have made sure that our standards are the highest in all areas in terms of insurance, customer service and rider training. If we were a school, we would be the biggest motorcycle safety training school in the whole country. With more than 150,000 bikers trained for free and only exceeding 30%, this shows that Angkas bikers are among the best in the metro.

Q5: If you had to start all over again, which part would you have changed before or during using Angkas?

George: Interestingly enough, I can’t change a thing. The challenges of Angkas have also been the strength of its brand. The way we persevered also inspired a tight-knit community born out of our collective struggle. So I think that feeds both sides, the good and the bad, so to speak. The challenges created opportunities for us and without these challenges these opportunities would not have been made available.

If we weren’t so controversial, we might not be as important or relevant.

-Contributed

Josiah Go is President and Chief Innovation Strategist of Mansmith and Fielders Inc. His work can be viewed at www.josiahgo.com

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