Exclusive interview with Ryde Founder, Terence Zou, on Ryde thriving through the Circuit Breaker
McQueen Rentals had a virtual interview with Terence Zou, founder of Ryde and asked Terence how Ryde was copying with the circuit breaker. Terence explained that Ryde is going through the circuit breaker well, and that Ryde is very positive on its business going forward.
“In this reduced transaction volume of COVID and circuit breaker, ride-hailing transaction volumes may have dropped by up to 80%, but Ryde’s transaction volumes have increased by 100%!” This actually means that Ryde currently may have more than 10% market share of the total ride-hailing volume in Singapore.
Terence started by highlighting Ryde’s unique system: “We broadcast to the nearest driver, so that no one has an unfair advantage. There is no queue per se. There is no bias allocation of jobs to "favored" partners. Jobs are slightly cheaper, but Ryde takes lower commission which can be as low as 0% for RydeX and 10% for RydeFlash.”
In a COVID situation, Ryde’s broadcast system is arguably appealing to drivers. When there are a lot of jobs and there are assignments, all is fine. In contrast, when demand drops significantly, assignment leaves out a lot of drivers who are outside of the favored group. Terence reiterated “We believe in building a transparent and fairer system for drivers”.
Terence notes that under Ryde’s model, Drivers are free to choose who they drive for, without being tied to any incentive system and this allows more flexibility for Drivers to drive stress-free. “Drive for the fares and not for incentives” he says.
In COVID, Ryde says they “still have strong demand from essential workers”. A lot of riders are a little more price conscious and want to find a slightly cheaper cost of point-to-point transport. Ryde reminds McQueen Rentals that it is ok to have prices slightly cheaper because Ryde’s commissions are also lower. The other advantage of having cheaper prices is that it increases repeat demand from riders. This is especially important in a down market; and helps Ryde’s business to increase.
Terence explained that one of the reasons ride-hailing volume has been down so significantly is that Taxis and other ride-hailing companies are more dependent on tourists. There used to be 1.8 mil tourists a month in Singapore, he says; and the #1 destination for ride-hailing is Changi Airport. Other companies such as Grab and Go-Jek are also regional, so SE Asian tourists use them. In contrast, Ryde’s business is 99% local and has been least affected.
One of the biggest factors leading to Ryde’s recent success is that Ryde responds faster because it is nimble and is a pure platform play. Ryde has always operated on a virtual basis. Ryde is completely digital: “we have no physical assets, no driver centers; all our support, clarification is digital.” This was opportune when the circuit breaker hit. Ryde had zero problems in its operations and operated 100% as per normal. In fact, Ryde’s employees were completely able to work from home.
Ryde comments that Drivers will have to “re-study the market”. Drivers will have to think more flexibly: the aftermath of COVID will see changes in demand patterns going forward. More people will work from home, and work hours will be staggered. CBD surges will not be as high as before. Ryde also suggests that perhaps demand will resurface elsewhere with more people working from home – e.g. industrial areas / hospitals / schools / neighborhoods. In addition, Ryde says that Drivers will increasingly have to consider taking delivery jobs such as RydeSEND.
Finally, Terence was also asked how Ryde will grow going forward? He explained that Ryde will concentrate on mobility and focus on ride-hailing. “We will focus on ride-hailing and other mobility related services such as disposals, pets and deliveries.”
We hope you have a better understanding of Ryde after this article. Please like our Facebook Page. Do also consider McQueen Rentals at www.mcqueenrentals.com for your car rental needs. We help our Drivers succeed!