Zain Group has entered into a joint venture with YOYO, a digital startups in Turkey, to bring a car sharing club model initially to Bahrain, to be later expanded across the Zain regional footprint and the MENA region. The agreement was signed during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona attended by Zain Group CEO, Scott Gegenheimer; Zain Bahrain GM Mohammed Zainalabedin; Emre Gurkan, Zain Group chief strategy and development officer and Berkman Cavusoglu, co-founder and CEO of YOYO.
YOYO is a vehicle sharing club in which registered members, via an app on their smartphones, are easily able to reserve and use vehicles as they require, even for an hour or as long as they require. Doors of the hired vehicle are unlocked by the customer’s membership card or mobile application, with the vehicle’s keys found inside. The members can return back their cars to another parking station and leave the cars by locking again from their smartphones; without any hassle.
By participating in the 'shared economy' vertical, Zain aims to bring new services for the customers. The ease-of-use of the YOYO application and the logistical convenience of the service are key features that Zain is banking upon.
Scott Gegenheimer, Zain Group CEO said: "It really is a special case when a service can be delivered that makes people’s lives easier, while at the same time having a positive social impact on issues such as pollution and congestion. We already have a successful agreement in place with UBER, and we believe this latest arrangement with YOYO has every potential for rapid adoption across our markets and beyond."
"For the last three years, we have been very heavily focused on younger demographics of people aged between 25-35, and now we are keen to also explore foreign markets and move into the B2B space. We feel our joint venture with Zain Group will help us achieve both of these strategic objectives, and we are obviously very excited to be partnering with a telco with the reach and reputation that Zain possesses," said Berkman Cavusoglu, co-founder and CEO of YOYO.
It is being forecast that the total car sharing market globally could reach as high as $30 billion in 2020. That brings to fore words of Ford's executive chairman Bill Ford: “The future of transportation will be a blend of things like car sharing, public transportation, and private car ownership.”