Ugochi Ugbomeh is a woman who thinks big and harnesses the power of technology to make a difference. Her entrepreneurial vision is for her company, Tranzit, to become a curator of truly world-class transportation, location based and mobility services in Africa, effectively moving people and things from one destination to another.
LoA chatted to Ugochi Ugbomeh, one of the co-founders of Tranzit, as part of our special Focus on Women in Tech feature, about her pioneering vision to use powerful technology solutions to meet the challenges of mobility on the African continent….
What does your company do?
Tranzit is a phonetic alternative to the English word “Transit” which means – “the conveyance of people and things from one place to another. Having this in mind, Tranzit is an IT based mobility service provider. Currently we offer two products: firstly, our most recent development, TaxiPixi Africa www.taxipixi.com, which is a taxi e-hailing and booking service, that helps you book a taxi in 30 seconds. Secondly, TranzitIT, a technology based delivery service that serves both e-commerce and brick and mortar merchant owners, as well as regular consumers - www.tranzit.ng/tranzitit.
What inspired you to start your company?
It was a joint decision. Tranzit was founded out of an identified need to build a better location based mobility service. It is still growing! Before Tranzit, I co-founded Taxipark back in 2012. There were limitations to this business as we were still understanding our market, and we were restricted to just taxis. At that time, I was based in the UK and my partners were based in Nigeria, and the app was still in beta stages with loads of bugs. However, once we determined what our model needed to be, and understood the nuances of the market better, we came up with the concept that eventually became Tranzit.
Why should anyone use the Tranzit service?
We promise value for money and we offer the most affordable service, in comparison to our competitors. We are also customer service oriented. Moreover, Tranzit is much more than just a taxi e-hailing service. Our focus is on mobility solutions, as opposed to just taxis, and this is a significant part of our differentiation. Tranzit is fast becoming the leading marketplace for the conveyance of people and goods within, and eventually between, urban centres.
"My personal aspirations for my company include: aggressively expanding into as many cities and countries as possible; and becoming the curator for world-class transportation, location based and mobility services. I want people to think mobility and see Tranzit!"
Tell us a little about your team
The Tranzit team is amazing. It started out as 2 guys, Muyiwa and Rodney, and a girl (me). We all have a knack for IT, and are gifted in certain specialist areas of IT. For example, Muyiwa is the Logic guy, Rodney is the design guy, and I am the De-bugger (that doesn't mean I don't also possess the other skills I mentioned!). We are all very driven and innovative people. We also have a devoted customer service team that goes above and beyond for our customers. Without this team, I don't think we would be where we are now.
For more information about our skills and educational backgrounds, you can check http://tranzit.ng/about.php
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
Hmmmm.......come to think about it, I do actually. My mum and dad both have businesses of their own, aside from their regular jobs. My journey so far has been an interestingly challenging one. The journey started from when I made my career switch from Geology to IT. At first I was scared, but I knew what I wanted, I was focused, and I was going to go for it with all I had, because it was something I had always wanted.
Being a female entrepreneur, especially in the tech world, you tend to be second guessed - everyone at first assumes you are a male until they actually see you. I can't begin to mention everything I have experienced throughout my entrepreneurial journey, but all I can say is that all these things have made me a stronger person.
"One of the main things I like about being an entrepreneur, is the opportunity to make a difference or meet a need, by doing something you enjoy and being paid for it. There is nothing more fulfilling."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
It's a pretty long list but I will summarise two key points for each.
My future plans involve: getting an MBA; and studying some professional courses.
My personal aspirations for my company include: aggressively expanding into as many cities and countries as possible; and becoming the curator for world-class transportation, location based and mobility services. I want people to think mobility and see Tranzit!
"Being a female entrepreneur, especially in the tech world, you tend to be second guessed - everyone at first assumes you are a male until they actually see you."
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
One of the main things I like about being an entrepreneur, is the opportunity to make a difference or meet a need , by doing something I enjoy and being paid for it. There is nothing more fulfilling. Also, the desire to learn, manage, control and be more responsible.
What are your top 3 pieces of advice for other women looking to start-up?
- Greater things come to those who do not wait.
- Just do it. If you fail, fail fast and succeed faster.
- Have a mentor or mentors, do not be shy to learn. No knowledge is wasted.
Why LoA loves it….
At LoA, we love women entrepreneurs who think big and who have big entrepreneurial dreams they want to realise in life. Ugochi Ugbomeh is not just a woman with a big vision on how to harness of the power of technology to make a difference in Africa. She is also a genuine solution provider to the continent’s transportation challenges, and who thinks on a large scale to make real change happen. Watch this woman techpreneur shake up the mobility sector on the continent and beyond over the coming years - she has the potential to be a real game-changer. --- Melanie Hawken, Lionesses of Africa founder and editor-in-chief