UberEverything in Africa

Go Lean Commentary

UPDATED August 29, 2020 – Uber Technologies Inc. continues to change the Old World [economy] to a new world [economy]. This car-sharing service has already rankled taxi-limo companies and cabbies across the world, and now they are setting their sights on other industries.

They have dubbed this advance into diverse businesses as UberEverything. See the detailed news story / product announcement here of this launch in Africa, published by Quartz Africa – see Appendix:

Title: Uber Africa will diversify beyond car rides this year with its ‘Everything’ service
By: Yomi Kazeem

Having nearly perfected the business of moving people around on the continent, Uber is set to diversify the core of its business in sub Saharan Africa with the introduction of UberEverything, a division of the company with ambitious plans to plug its existing drivers network into the on-demand economy and provide services such as product and food delivery and courier services.

CU Blog - UberEverything in Africa - Photo 1

“The first market will probably be South Africa and we are pushing to make that happen before the end of the year,” said Alon Lits, Uber’s general manager for sub-Saharan Africa.

‘Everything’ is Uber’s strategy to build on its logistics infrastructure in the cities it operates. Once the company is at scale in a city with ride passengers it can develop other services such as UberRush, a personal courier service or food delivery with UberEats,(available in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York) . “Everything we’re building is on top of a platform that already exists,” Jason Droege, head of the UberEverything division, told the Los Angeles Times last month.

With the rising popularity and adoption of e-commerce shopping and on-demand services among a growing African middle-class who live on-the-go and increasingly value convenience, UberEverything could be a hit.

Logistics have been a big challenge for e-commerce companies in African larger cities, some of which have poor road networks and other infrastructure challenges. Major local players like Konga in Nigeria and African Internet Group’s Jumia and sister company Hellofood have had to invest heavily in developing their own logistics platform to get round the weak local infrastructure.

“If things go well in South Africa, there’s no reason why we won’t bring UberEverything to more markets.” One of such markets will likely be Lagos, which Lits says Uber remains “bullish” about despite Nigeria’s struggling economy. Home to 20 million people, Lagos’ infamous traffic jams and haphazard address system make it difficult—and expensive—for delivery services to operate but could represent a big opportunity for UberEverything’s goal of providing efficient logistics using its existing drivers network.

Aided by its recent $3.5 billion funding—its single biggest investment ever— from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Uber expanded to Kampala and Accra in the last week and Lits says a launch in Dar es Salaam is imminent. This follows plans to spend $250 million on growing its market across North Africa and the Middle East.

But Uber’s operations in Africa have not been without hitches. In Cairo and Nairobi, Uber drivers have been targets of protests and, in some cases, violent attacks. In South Africa, the company was forced to provide drivers with emergency numbers and also partner with a local private security firm.

Source: Quartz Africa Weekly Brief – Posted 06/13/2016; retrieved 06/18/2016 from: http://qz.com/703087/uber-africa-is-will-diversify-beyond-car-rides-this-year-with-its-everything-service/

In a previous blog on Uber, the Go Lean commentary identified how evolutionary changes in technology and modernization affects Old World taxi businesses. Now we see how evolution is changing all businesses … everywhere.

The challenge with technology, for the taxi cab industry and many other areas of life, is one-step forward-two steps-backwards. This point aligns with the book Go Lean…Caribbean which anticipates the compelling issues associated with Internet & Communications Technologies (ICT) and their effect on traditional commerce. The book prepares the Caribbean region to move to the intersection of opportunity and preparation. The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). This roadmap accepts the tenets of ICT, that it can serve as an equalizer between big countries and small countries, or big companies and small companies. So opportunities will come to the Caribbean region as a result of the advances in technology. How will the region prepare?

First, the book asserts that before the strategies, tactics and implementations of the Go Lean roadmap can be deployed, the affected communities must first embrace a progressive community ethos. The book defines this “community ethos” as the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of society; dominant assumptions of a people or period.

The Go Lean book stresses that the current community ethos must change and the best way to motivate people to adapt their values and priorities is in response to a crisis. The roadmap recognizes this fact with the pronouncement that the Caribbean is in crisis, and that “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste”. This ethos corresponds with the UberEverything motives. In a lot of urban communities around the world, Caribbean included, traffic is crisis-worthy. According to the foregoing article, this reality is creating business opportunities around the logistics of Uber.

Uber 2The Go Lean roadmap avails these opportunities, by strategizing logistics with a regional focus. The roadmap for Caribbean logistics is also our means for delivering the mail; this is the vision for the Caribbean Postal Union (CPU). The focus of the CPU is not just postal mail, but rather all the lean technocratic activities that make up logistics. Mail requires logistics, but logistics means so much more than just mail. So we would want to model successful enterprises in this industry space, like Uber. (The Go Lean book considers the postal operation of the US Postal Service – Page 99 – and rules it null-and-void for transforming e-Commerce). Other successful enterprises that provide good examples of lean technocratic efficiency include Amazon and Alibaba.

Modeling UberEverything, the Go Lean/CU roadmap will directly employ technologically innovative products and services to impact its own prime directives, identified with the following 3 statements:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The Uber model helps the CPU impact the economic, security and governing engines, like job creation. In the previous 2014 blog relating Uber, it was disclosed that Uber is responsible for 20,000 new jobs per month. The median income for drivers using the UberX platform, Uber’s low-cost service, is $90,000 per year in New York and more than $74,000 in San Francisco, the company said. How is this possible to make so much more money than traditional driving professionals? Uber is a sophisticated business model; one thing is Uber fully applies the laws of economics – supply and demand. Note the explanation in the VIDEO here:

VIDEOMake More $ During Times of High Demand – https://youtu.be/cHfWwnJwyOU

Professor Wolters
Published on Nov 20, 2019 – Ever wonder how Uber and other ride sharing firms calculate their prices? Or maybe how prices are made for airlines? Well to understand the pricing you need to understand what is called Dynamic Pricing, which is constantly moving prices.

Filmed in Watkinsville, GA. Copyright Mark Wolters 2019
#marketing #pricing #principlesofmarketing

Topic 4: Digital Marketing
Topic 13: Dynamic Pricing

Learn more at http://uber.com

This model is a good starting point for elevating the Caribbean. But this is heavy-lifting; notice in the foregoing article regarding the complex issues associated with Uber in terms of security and taxi-limo licensing (governance). The Go Lean roadmap conveys that heavy-lifting of logistical details are more of an investment. The community will enjoy the returns, with the optimized commerce deliveries.

The Go Lean roadmap seeks to change the entire eco-system of Caribbean logistics and resulting commerce – the interaction with postal operations. This vision is defined early in the book (Page 12 & 14) in the following pronouncements in the opening Declaration of Interdependence:

xv. Whereas the business of the Federation and the commercial interest in the region cannot prosper without an efficient facilitation of postal services, the Caribbean Union must allow for the integration of the existing mail operations of the governments of the member-states into a consolidated Caribbean Postal Union, allowing for the adoption of best practices and technical advances to deliver foreign/domestic mail in the region.

xxvii. Whereas the region has endured a spectator status during the Industrial Revolution, we cannot stand on the sidelines of this new economy, the Information Revolution. Rather, the Federation must embrace all the tenets of Internet Communications Technology (ICT) to serve as an equalizing element in competition with the rest of the world. The Federation must bridge the digital divide and promote the community ethos that research/development is valuable and must be promoted and incentivized for adoption.

The Go Lean book details a series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to foster the best practices for the logistics of the CPU and trade marketplaces in the Caribbean region:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – All Choices Involve Costs Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – People Respond to Incentives Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – Economic Systems Influence Choices Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – Voluntary Trade Creates Wealth Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – The Consequence of Choice Lie in Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Job Multiplier Page 22
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments – ROI Page 24
Community Ethos – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Help Entrepreneurship Page 28
Community Ethos – Promote Intellectual Property Page 29
Community Ethos – Ways to Bridge the Digital Divide Page 31
Strategy – Customers – Citizens and Member-states Governmental Page 47
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – How to Grow the Economy to $800 Billion – Trade and Globalization Page 70
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Postal Services Page 78
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Interstate Commerce Administration Page 79
Implementation – Year 1 / Assemble Phase – Establish CPU Page 96
Implementation – Anecdote – Mail Services – USPS Dilemma Page 99
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change – Group Purchase Organizations (GPO) Page 101
Implementation – Ways to Optimize Mail Service & myCaribbean.gov Marketplace Page 108
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Implementation – Ways to Impact Social Media Page 111
Implementation – Ways to Benefit from Globalization Page 119
Planning – 10 Big Ideas for the Caribbean – # 8 Cyber-Caribbean Page 127
Planning – Ways to Improve Trade – GPO’s Page 128
Planning – Ways to Improve Interstate Commerce Page 129
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Mitigate Black Markets Page 165
Advocacy – Ways to Manage the Federal Civil Service Page 173
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Cooperatives Page 176
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Technology Page 197
Advocacy – Ways to Foster e-Commerce Page 198
Advocacy – Reforms for Banking Regulations Page 199
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Main Street Page 201
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Transportation – Union Atlantic Turnpike Page 205
Appendix – Network of Ferries – Model of Marine Highway System Page 280

Issues related to the CPU business model have previously been detailed in these Go Lean commentaries, listed here:

Transformations: Caribbean Postal Union – Delivering the Future
The Future of Money
How to address high consumer prices
Truth in Commerce – Learning from Yelp
Net Neutrality: It matters here … in the Caribbean
Robots help Amazon tackle Cyber Monday
Role Model Jack Ma brings Alibaba to America
Where the Jobs Are – Computers Reshaping Global Job Market
Amazon’s new FIRE Smartphone
Grenada PM Urges CARICOM on ICT

The foregoing article describes Uber’s activities in Africa. The Caribbean is now ready, willing and able …

The Go Lean roadmap posits that the CU will incubate the e-Commerce industry, forge entrepreneurial incentives and facilitate the regional logistics so that innovations can thrive. As related in the foregoing article about impact in other regions, these efforts can elevate the economy, security and governing engines of a community.

The world is continuing to change; and ‘change’ is bringing great new opportunities.

We need to be prepared. This is the intersection – change and opportunity – that we need to position ourselves at. Then, only then will success is within reach. We can make the Caribbean, a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix – About Quartz

Quartz is a digitally native news outlet, born in 2012, for business people in the new global economy. We publish bracingly creative and intelligent journalism with a broad worldview

Quartz is owned by Atlantic Media Co., the publisher of The Atlantic, National Journal, and Government Executive.


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