Tora, a startup based in Lagos, Nigeria wants to help ride-hailing platforms in Africa to recruit, train and verify drivers as the ride-hailing revolution takes root on the continent.
Founded by Roseline Ekenimoh (Chief Executive Officer), Ized Uanikhehi (Chief Marketing Officer) and Charles Avackaa (Chief Operating Officer), in March 2019, Tora conducts a rigorous verification check on drivers including verifying their address and other relevant details they provide.
The firm started out with a short-term goal to train and deploy between 1000 and 2000 drivers and riders. It emerged to do two things: provide jobs for Nigeria’s unemployed youths, and to tap into the country’s transport business. But after establishing its business model, the company is thinking long term.
According to Uanikhehi, Many of Tora’s drivers have little to no driving experience prior to joining the training. Tora doesn’t collect fees from prospective drivers before they join the programme.
“Drivers do not pay to be trained, to be honest, we even lend them fare to come for training,” she said. Instead, Tora absorbs the cost of driver training and recoups its investment when the drivers are deployed to companies through an agreement with the requesting party.
“Like an Andela for drivers,” Uanikhehi said jokingly.
The company houses potential drivers and trains them on proper road practices, safety issues and customer engagement skills. Drivers are also taught basic comprehension skills, proper hygiene, and how to navigate using Google Maps. Psychometric testing is also included to evaluate driver intelligence, skills and personality. The training period varies from one week to 4 weeks depending on the driver’s prior experience level.
Tora opened its first campus in the Mushin area of Lagos, which had 40 rooms to house trainees for the duration of the training. It has since opened campuses in more locations across Lagos and Ibadan in Oyo State.
The training runs for one to four weeks, depending on the driver’s level of expertise.
As a human resource and outsourcing company, Tora is competing in a crowded space with multiple companies are already serving different clients with drivers as part of their broad recruitment services. However, Tora is counting on its niche offering and is relying on two key things for growth: the bike hailing market and driver management.
ORide, the bike-hailing service from Opera, is Tora’s biggest client.
Tora has played some part in ORide’s growth but says it has been fueled by ORide’s growth and expansion across the country and the recent launch in Ibadan saw the Tora expand their too.
At the moment, Tora is working on an online driver management platform to allow users track drivers in real-time, monitor their driving and speeds as well as instruct them on best practices.