Bwala Africa Group, a Nairobi-based logistics marketplace has launched a fleet management company to facilitate users to hire cars, trucks and delivery vans and source for repairs, service and maintenance, and link them up to trusted mechanics and genuine spare part dealers straight from the comfort of their homes and offices.
With a database of pick-ups, minibuses, trucks, tours and delivery vans, Bwala Africa Group aims to take the pain of fleet management from corporate firms, SMEs and individuals so that they can focus on their core business.
“I’m a car enthusiast and at times my family is trying to get a good mechanic but we find them engaged. There are many other good mechanics too but the problem is accessing them. We will list those we vet and let the users rate them,” said Kennedy Nyabwala, the firm’s founder and CEO.
For truck owners, Bwala aims to be the go-to platform for more business especially on return trips when most of them are empty. The platform is also expected to help mechanics grow their client portfolio, become honest and reach more users.
Bwala’s key focus areas include vehicle leasing, light and heavy duty cargo haulage, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) distribution and fleet management and vehicle repairs and maintenance. The firm will also deal with insurance covers and claims and also has a segment for genuine auto parts dealers. Bwala will work with verified garages to provide its users world-class vehicle repairs, service and maintenance.
Now available in Nairobi, Kenya, Bwala.co.ke has been under pilot for the last one year but will be expanding rapidly to major counties and urban centres in the country this year then launch across East Africa followed by its expansion into Asia.
“We wanted to prove our concept and get customer validation before we go public,” Nyabwala said.
How it works
A vehicle owner takes a photo of his or her car, van or pick-up truck, signs up for an account then lists them for hire. Bwala verifies vehicle ownership through the National Transport and safety Authority (NTSA) portal then makes it available on its site for hire. A client then browses the site, searches for the type of vehicle they want then they proceed to pay. Bwala holds the money in its escrow payment system to make sure both are satisfied before funds are released.
Users pay a 20 percent to 30 percent commission to either lease or hire their cars, connect with verified mechanics or buy genuine spare parts. Bwala then takes care of vehicle servicing, insurance renewals, and lease contract renewal among others automatically.
Bwala has listed 50 vehicles on its platform which were part of its pilot but it’s targeting the over 1m cars on Kenyan roads daily which need regular maintenance and servicing irrespective of their make and year of manufacture. The self-funded company of six aims to make revenue by simplifying car hire, service and maintenance and repairs. The firm is also working with a local insurance company to give its clients a customized and affordable cover.