Photo by [Twitter]
“The concept of Hike was to create an affordable service for both users and drivers”, says the founder and CEO of Hike, Owen Lekala. Hike is an e-hailing company inspired by existing e-hailing companies such as Bolt, Uber and Lyft.
The goal of the company is to oppose the high commission rates on drivers and to bring a much safer, better and more convenient travel experience to users.
As specified by their website, Hike intends to build a future for the South African transportation service. A future in which public transportation is not only a means of travel but where people can choose the best vehicle for each occasion on demand.
Hike App Safety Feature
Some of the critical safety features of the app include preventing users from requesting rides in high-crime areas. The user can block or reject a driver with whom they were unsatisfied. The user has access to an SOS button that will alert necessary individuals.
Other safety features of the ride include a kind of black box which records audio for the duration of the trip. Lekala said Hike’s app safety and user-friendly features are unlike any other e-hailing apps.
“The app prioritises the safety of the user and the driver … Those are things that make us different from others. [Our] safety, affordability and our [app] features”.
Hikes Public Reception
Hike has activated the driver app and is still in its recruitment phase. Hike is recruiting drivers from around the Gauteng province. Currently, they have been receiving a substantial amount of sign-ups.
Lekala said the target is to reach 200 drivers around Gauteng before they activate the user app, which would hopefully be up and running in the upcoming weeks.
“The app has been receiving positive feedback from users and drivers”, said Lekala. “Users can’t wait to use the app. Many have installed it. They’ve shown me that they’re proud, and I’m inspired by that. They love what I did and are willing to use what I did”.
A Dollar and a Dream
Lekala lived on a farm in Ogies, Mpumalanga. His love of technology and underprivileged background inspired him to work hard in high school and to achieve the grades needed to apply for IT software development at the Tshwane University of Technology.
During his foundation year, Lekala got interested in business and entrepreneurship. He began businesses which ultimately failed. However, he said those failures were lessons from which he gained the necessary experience that helped him on his entrepreneurial journey.
One of the staples of Lekala’s success is the amount of time and money he invested in his company. He said he saved his NSFAS allowance for six months to fund his dream. He advises young entrepreneurs to sacrifice and invest every resource to achieve their goals.
“They shouldn’t be dependent on other people or the government. They should just use whatever they have … They shouldn’t just sit down and expect someone to come to save them …They could use every resource they get, every little money they have to pursue their goals and dreams. And it’s possible if they believe that it’s possible, and why couldn’t it [be]? As long as they believe that it could change their lives, it will change their lives”.