Travelling from city to city in Ghana
By bus, or by plane for that matter, is an ordeal. You have to buy a ticket in person days in advance at the bus station or, in the case of an airplane ticket, through a travel agent. On Point, a start-up specialising in mobility solutions, is going to streamline the process by allowing travellers to purchase tickets
with an app.
Bus operators and airlines will benefit, too; tracking sales will be
transparent and easy and analysing readily available consumer data will help in
developing a long-term strategy.
How did this concept start?
Younes Douari, entrepreneur: ‘Having a background in urban mobility, I immediately saw that there’s huge potential for improvement in Ghana. Being used to Dutch efficiency in public transport, I saw a marketing opportunity offering both travellers and transport companies an easy-to- use alternative to the current paper-ticket system. I was thinking about developing this concept into a start-up business when I was informed by the Dutch embassy in Ghana about the Making Africa Work programme. I met incubator specialist Jan Jongbloed when he visited Ghana and got excited about its opportunities, especially in terms of getting access to coaching and business expertise.’
How did MAW help in developing the concept further?
YD: ‘I got in touch with Jan Booden, a senior IT expert who is volunteering for PUM Netherlands senior experts. He really functioned as my mentor in the past year and has helped me tremendously in structuring my business plan. Together we broke the concept down into separate steps, and his advice both on business issues as on IT matters was very helpful. That really helped translating my business concept into a practical plan with hands-on approach and dealing with all the challenges along the way.’
What is your vision for the future?
YD: ‘Together with my team in Ghana, we are making travel arrangements easy and help everyone save time. Easier access to travel is an important step towards better infrastructure, and thus creates a boost for the local economy. Our company generates direct work for developers and related staff and puts bus operators and airlines directly in touch with their customers. Mobile phones are a great way of making life easier for people in Africa; with the right apps we can bring IT solutions and its potential to everyone, not just the rich. It will be a big step forward for local transport in Ghana.’
Together with my team in Ghana, we are making travel arrangements easy and help everyone save time. Easier access to travel is an important step towards better infrastructure, and thus creates a boost for the local economy.