How mobility apps capitalize on the need for resilient, flexible transport solutions in rapidly growing EMs
How mobility apps capitalize on the need for resilient, flexible transport solutions in rapidly growing EMs: Low-tech transport apps that cater to “the realities” of infrastructural challenges in emerging markets are a key solution for EMs that need to rely more on resilience than smart city grids, Swvl co-founder and CEO Mostafa Kandil writes for the National. “Cities in emerging markets do not need to become ‘smart’ cities, relying on the latest state-of-the-art technologies. Rather, they must become resilient cities and be built on three pillars of frugality, flexibility and inclusiveness.” EMs have highly unique infrastructural challenges (many in Cote d’Ivoire, for example, don’t have formal street addresses), and the flexibility of tech-driven local transport companies makes them able to adapt to the specifics of each market they operate in.
These transport apps have a huge window for growth in offering intermodal transport options for commuters in emerging markets, where a lack of central urban planning and a highly fragmented transport network means commuters often have to switch between different modes of transport for a single trip. This reliance on intermodal transport is only expected to increase as urban growth in emerging market cities — much of which is occurring at breakneck speeds — continues to spur decentralization. And this growth is also happening in tandem with a significant rise in smartphone penetration, which has reached 47% in emerging markets, meaning mobility apps have a chance to tap into an ever-growing consumer base.