CAPE TOWN - Soweto-born Fezile Dhlamini turned his rejection from ride-hailing services Uber and Taxify and founded his very own ride-hailing service, Green Scooter.
Dhlamini was born and raised in Soweto and says that he always had an interest in learning new things.
“I was about 6 years old when I got my first computer. I then taught myself everything about computers”, said Dlamini.
When he was completing his Undergraduate Degree in Strategic Communications at the University of Johannesburg, Dhlamini said he applied for a job at Uber. To his disappointment, he was rejected.
However, the young student then persevered, adamant to land a job at the ride-hailing company.
“I applied for back-end work from digital strategy to operations at all of the Uber branches in South Africa and London”, said the 26-year-old.
After being rejected by Uber and Taxify for three years, Dhlamini then decided to found his own start-up.
Picture: Founder of Green Scooter, Fezile Dhlamini. (Supplied).
In December 2015, the idea of Green Scooter was born. The founder says that he was on holiday in Richards Bay and he noticed how everyone was walking to get to their destination. He then used the commuting concept and decided to realise his dream.
“I realised my own dream and that I can make it happen myself. No one owes you anything and I used my rejection to fuel it into fire to start my business”, said Dhlamini.
“I did a lot of research on marketing ideas and at the same time, I was also heavily invested in tech”, adds Dhlamini.
Dhlamini then imported electric scooters from Sweden and founded his own ride-sharing service, Green Scooter.
Green Scooter uses the same model as Uber and Taxify, says Dhlamini. However, it is 30% cheaper.
Green Scooter will function as both a ride-sharing service which will transport two people at a time and in the long term, it will transport cargo.
The service will function via a mobile app, which will be launched on September 1st in Johannesburg. In its pilot phase, Dhlamini will deploy 10 electric scooters around Johannesburg to test it and ensure that it serves the desired function.
“People want convenience and a personal experience and what better way to get that without paying a large amount of money”, says Dhlamini.
When asked what advice he would give to aspiring entrepreneurs or individuals who are facing a deadlock in their job, Dhlamini says:
“People invest in entrepreneurs and that is how businesses make sense. If you are passionate about something and believe that it will work then you will succeed”. However, the entrepreneur adds that it is important to note that not everyone is going to be an entrepreneur. “You need to find your fit”.
Dhlamini says that rejection is also not a bad thing. It is one of those things that happen but you can learn from it. He admits that he nearly went into business with certain people. It later turned out that they were not the right people to go into business with.
“Rejection is one step closer to what you are trying to achieve”, Dhlamini says.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE