Soham Shah, CEO of Selfdrive.ae, explains how the great app is the spearhead of the digital transformation in the field of mobility.
Please introduce Selfdrive to our readers.
Selfdrive, is a great smart mobility app, which allows users to rent a car on demand in an easy, safe and flexible way. The app is built on a proprietary technology core concept known as search-select-pay, which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to match user profiles with the cars they drive. want to drive. It is currently available in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain, and we plan to add new markets in the near future.
How did you come up with the idea of Selfdrive and how do you compare it to a traditional car rental service?
The idea to start Selfdrive came about when we realized that automakers and dealerships had a unique problem: they had a lot of unsold inventory. This led us to come up with the idea of having a platform that facilitates transactions for consumers and gives them direct access to dealership vehicles.
Compared to other car rental services, Selfdrive is a great app, which basically means it’s integrated end-to-end. The app offers a convenient 3-step SEARCH – SELECT – PAY process with flexibility to subscribe from 1 day to 36 months.
Additionally, our AI integration helps us profile customers based on their specific needs. For example, if you are a registered customer on our platform and have driven a certain segment of a vehicle, say BMW – each time you return to the app, the appearance of the app usually changes to based on your customer profile. This helps us better understand that this customer belongs to the luxury segment, so they don’t have to waste their time navigating through the entire app.
How was this disruptive idea initially received in the frenetic GCC market?
The UAE has always been open to digital transformation, which has kind of helped us establish our presence in the market. Our rental service is simple and straightforward and comes with its own benefits such as –
a. You can drive the latest model cars across the block
b. You do not need to be eligible to be approved for a car loan – (No Loan = No Financial Commitment)
vs. You don’t have to worry about maintenance or insurance (because it’s all included)
D. You also have the option of exchanging the car monthly or annually
e. You also get 24/7 roadside assistance, so in the event of an incident, you’re covered.
F. Invest that money rather than paying for a depreciating asset.
Car rental has come a long way since its beginnings, the way it works now is a seamless car ownership experience without the need to own it. – It just takes all the hassle out of owning a car, which has allowed our business idea to fly with this market.
What were the first obstacles you had to overcome to get where you are today?
Every business faces initial hurdles, but our persistent efforts to provide customers with service excellence, cost-effective rates, and access to cars direct from the dealer through our awesome app has seen us solidify our position in the industry today.
Please share with us your plans to expand Selfdrive into new markets
As a pioneer in the digital car rental industry in the GCC, we seek to lead the digital transition/transformation in the mobility space by delivering a seamless customer experience and ease of access to mobility on the GCC, Europe, UK and Western markets.
Currently, we provide an all-in-one service portfolio ranging from 1 day to 36 months. As we see exponential growth in the mobility space – we plan to be a global leader in the mobility industry and plan to launch electric vehicles, a digital charging network, electric scooters and a network of integrated mobility on all channels.
What advice would you like to give to budding entrepreneurs looking to embark on the adventure of their dreams?
• Start with a goal: Identify a gap in the market, then capitalize on it
• Build a strong team: A company is as good as a team
• Look at competitors: Focus on creating the best and bringing real value to your customers
• Keep exploring: Innovate, develop and repeat
• Never stop learning: Be open to suggestions and ideas. Be inspired and continue your journey to excellence.