Malaysian Car-Sharing Platform For Gig Economy Workers

Back in the fourth quarter of 2013, Hazim and 2 friends had just started their career in the corporate world.

However, they had always wanted to start a business, but had no idea what to sell.

Not to mention, they had little capital and no exposure to the business world.

But one day, in a mamak in Wangsa Maju, the three made the decision to start a car rental business for college students.

“Why? Because the business allowed us to start with almost zero capital, just using our loan facility to buy a car and put it in a university, a market we were quite familiar with,” Hazim said.

They did not have clear expectations on how the business might evolve.

However, a year later in 2015, they were surprised at the amount of hefty profit they had made from this car.

So they took it seriously and ventured into the open market with The Carpedia.

It all starts with understanding your customers

“In car rental companies, getting a long-term lease (3+ months) is a blessing,” Hazim said.

“We found it very difficult to get long-term leases with businesses, governments and tourism customers, but it was almost easy for us to get long-term leases from phone drivers. electronic.”

In fact, they have drivers who have stayed with them for even 4 years.

On average, a driver stayed with them for about 6 months.

Hazim attributes their accomplishments to date to getting that personal touch with their clients and collecting data to better understand them.

From there, The Carpedia got more creative with their offerings tailored to their needs, and they evolved from a traditional car rental business to a car-sharing platform for gig workers.

Now, if you don’t know how The Carpedia differs from other email or car sharing platforms, let me try to break it down.

First, the cars. Carpedia’s fleet is made up of idling cars owned by those who have little use for them and see them as a financial burden.

The Carpedia fleet / Image credit: The Carpedia

They also have guest cars that don’t own additional cars but instead buy new cars to place on The Carpedia to generate passive income each month.

These cars are then rented out to gig workers who could use a car to make electronic calls, deliver goods, and other transportation-related tasks.

Diversifying in this way was not really in The Carpedia’s plans, although they have been running similar small-scale projects for traders since 2018.

Rotate just in time

But then COVID-19 and AGC arrived; this had an impact on e-mail activities.

“Driver incomes are at an all-time low. Most gave up and the number of idling cars in our garage has increased significantly.

“That’s when we realized we were too dependent on email activities. There was a great urgency for us to pivot quickly, ”recalls Hazim.

Carpedia’s basic income still comes from their car rental expenses, so they felt it was a good move to help their drivers earn an income by doing other car-related gig jobs.

These included parcel deliveries, personal grocery shoppers, and car wrap ads.

The rest of the Carpedia team / Image credit: The Carpedia

“We started to initiate a collaboration with these related merchants and we were doing it as a charity for the drivers. We did not take a single penny from the employment boards, ”Hazim said.

“The idea was that if we helped drivers earn enough income for themselves, they would in turn have enough money to pay for car rental costs. The plan ended up working pretty well!

Work smart after tough lessons

When Hazim and his co-founder saw their good growth progress in 2016, they got too ambitious.

They wanted to develop aggressively in 2017.

“We wanted to grow the fleet too quickly without realizing that we had a fragile base for our business operations.”

“Come to think of it, we weren’t quite ready to increase the number by looking at the readiness of process flow, manpower, resources and cash management. But we did it anyway.

And everything changed.

Their field operations went haywire, they were bleeding money and, due to poor governance, one of their cars was even stolen.

It was an expensive lesson. Carpedia spent the whole of 2018 to recover from the impact by carrying out major corporate restructuring.

Do more than business

The competition from other concert platforms does not scare The Carpedia. It motivates them to innovate.

Above all, the team wants to prove that their drivers are also highly qualified and educated people.

Carpedia has launched a learning and development (L&D) product for its drivers and job seekers.

Through this, they can improve their skills and increase their employability in line with the current demands in the labor market.

“In addition, we are also working to ensure a comprehensive driver assistance package which includes insurance, savings and investments, which definitely adds value to our offerings,” Hazim said.

Over the next 5 years, their ultimate goal is to grow their revenue 40-fold by becoming the preferred lightweight asset logistics service provider.

They would also like to have a fleet of 2,100 vehicles.

In the meantime, to support growth, we are building a sustainable ecosystem for the business by setting up digitization initiatives and strategic partnerships with players in the early childhood industry.

Hazim, CEO and co-founder of The Carpedia

  • You can read more about The Carpedia here.
  • You can read about other articles related to the odd job economy here.

Featured Image Credit: Hazim, CEO and Co-Founder of The Carpedia

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Jothi Venkat

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