Every week, ILQ features a different Qatari startup in our ‘Startup of the Week’ segment. Qatar has some of the most creative, unique, and impactful startups in the region, and we cover them all across a variety of industries in Doha, from fashion and beauty to food and dining, health, education, and more!
This week, we are featuring a new startup company in the transport and service sector - Roaa Tech. It is a developing company that opened in May 2019, and is made up of a team of experienced professionals aiming to build simple and effective solutions for schools. Roaa Tech has just launched its Gbus solution!
The Gbus idea was conceived two years ago but was only made into an existing business this year. It's a special kind of system that was built for school transportation management and is run by downloading the application using mobile devices. It was developed by a strong technical software development team.
According to Abdou Bakr, co-founder and business development manager of Roaa Tech, the team that created the app is coherent and has been working smoothly together for many years. What started out as a just small idea, says Abdou, is now a big reality for them.
ILQ Team: "Did you seek help from any startup incubation company in the development of Roaa Tech? What was their role?"
Abdou: "We applied to the Qatar Business Incubation Centre (QBIC). Then, we started forming our team of co-founders who have the same passion. QBIC provided us with a lean startup programme training which helped us refine and enhance our ideas and strategies. Then, we won a pre-seed fund of up to QR 100,000 and rent-free office space for two years, in addition, to continuous coaching and mentoring to help support and grow our business."
ILQ Team: "Do you think startups like yours are beneficial to Qatar's economic growth?"
Abdou: "Yes. Qatar is one of the fastest-growing countries right now, and the market in Qatar has a potential opportunity for active business entrepreneurs.
Currently, most of the schools in Qatar provide transportation service to their students. In a feasibility study done by Roaa Tech regarding this, they found out that there were safety concerns and problems that needed to be addressed. They also discovered issues concerning parents, passengers, and drivers. They classified their findings into three main problems:
To provide concrete solutions to the above-mentioned problems, the Gbus app creates ways to eliminate these issues. The solutions are as follows:
When it comes to safety concerns of parents for their children, Gbus provides a special tracking device to monitor the route of the bus from the house to the school. Information between drivers, school supervisors, and parents are seamlessly shared in real-time. Just in case a problem arises during the trip, parents and school supervisors are notified on their mobile devices about the current situation. They will be updated constantly until the problem is solved.
Regarding the problem with bus drivers, Gbus addressed it by having them assessed on a regular basis to ensure they are fit to continue driving or not. In the app, there are guidelines that drivers need to follow. If these rules are not followed, the parents are immediately notified. Examples of these are overspeeding and sudden change of route. When the driver violates them, parents will be informed. In return, if excessive violations are made, recommendations can be given to school authorities to change the driver. In this way, parents and school authorities are assured that their children are always safe and are with drivers that follow the rules.
To solve the last problem, Gbus created a management system in the app for bus fleets owned by various schools. In the system, preventive maintenance of the vehicles, assessment concerns, and fleet costing are included to guide the clients along the way. They can use this system to ensure that their buses are properly running and that they are safe to use.
Although Gbus is only new, the app has gathered positive reviews and comments about the efficiency of the system.
Abdou: "We had presented our solution GBus to over 50 schools and transportation companies. Most of the schools and companies we visited are very interested in our solution - GBus. We hope to finalise some of the agreements with the schools at the start of the school year."
ROAA Tech plans to expand its Gbus programme in the months to come. The system will operate on an integrated and interconnected technical platform that will combine the following technologies:
ILQ Team: "What is your advice for young entrepreneurs who are interested in establishing startups of their own?"
Abdou: "Believe strongly in your idea, Start your business at the earliest. Don't be afraid to fail. Work hard to reach to your goals."
Mostafa Alsayrafi, CEO
Rabie Alghali, GM
Abdou Bakr, BDM
When riding a school bus, the safety of our children should always be the number one concern. It's good that there are companies like Roaa Tech (Gbus) who take their social responsibility of having safer rides for our children seriously. For your comments and suggestions, you can write it below. Also, please like and share this article - it keeps us going!
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