Will Airlift & Swvl cannibalize the local transportation services?

By: KSBL Editorial Desk

With evolving initiatives of transportation services in Pakistan, Airlift and Swvl are talk of the town!

While some people are aware of how significantly they are making a difference in existing commutation scenario; there are some who are still confused if either it will cannibalize the existing local transportation system or not.

Dr. Shoaib Ul Haq (Associate Professor-Research Track) from KSBL recently shared insights on impact of the launch of these soaring facilities on Pakistan’s economy. Stating unique aspects of Airlift and Swvl in Pakistan, he quoted the comment of Mr. Zeeshan Baig (General Manager, Careem) from recent O21 Disrupt Conference:

“If we observe the ratio of Karachi’s bus seats with total consumers, there are about 45 people struggling for a single seat on a public bus in Karachi.”

Considering that, Dr. Shoaib thinks that these app-based automobile services were the need of an hour and are a remarkable addition to local business landscape.

From dynamic navigation systems to the intricately designed routes for pick-ups and drop-offs, these automobile services are here to stay for long term sustainability of economy. However, it will only support the existing transportation ecosystem in Pakistan rather eradicating it; by offering utmost convenience and explicitly security to consumers, a vacuum that was left neglected before.

On state level too, such mushrooming start-ups are evidently conducive for government. Through their unique measures and initiatives, they have not just drawn attention of international investors towards local market, but are also bringing international funding to grow their businesses further. Airlift & Swvl with their launch have unleashed relatively cheaper mediums of conveyance for a common man, which is another treat for consumers.

The existing local transportation system that was unserved previously – with quality services offered by these companies will be completely revamped. If these businesses successfully sustain and expand in the local market, they will pave great employment opportunities and many new investors will also pool in to support their long term growth. The competition in fact might lead the existing players in the industry to improve their quality of services, because eventually if services become successful, they will certainly dominate the industry.

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