The Reggae Dancehall scene is experiencing a steady growth, and with this growth comes opportunities. If one looks beyond DJing, Promotions, Producing, Singing and Crafts, you will find a number of business ideas just waiting to be harnessed. Dancehall scene is a niche market, and just because is small it does not mean it is worthless, instead it provided an opportunity for a forward thinking person like Tsepo Muthambi, founder and owner of Rasta Cabs.
Many a time people have found themselves stranded for transport after a dance session and would have to wait until the early hours when the taxis start operating to get home. At times people miss out on dancehall and reggae sessions because they simply do not have transport. Having been in a similar situation himself, Tsepo decided to start Rasta Cabs, a chauffeur service that is available from dusk to dawn aimed at party goers to ensure that they get home safe. MzansiReggae had an opportunity to speak to the owner of Rasta Cabs, to expand on this genial idea and business model.
What is Rasta Cabs?
Rasta Cabs is an idea that came to reality by Tsepo “Rasta” Muthambi which is a fully black owned business that offers chauffeur and shuttle services for all of your transport needs no matter where you are and no matter where your destination is. Rasta Cabs is fully managed and operated by a full time student and the founder of Muthambi Holdings Tsepo “Rasta” Muthambi and with the support of friends, family and most importantly the Rasta Cabs loyal clients.
How did the idea come about?
The idea came from always struggling to get reliable transport after coming from Ragga nights. I would sometimes not attend events which took place at night or ended as early 10pm simply because of transport. Then in 2012 I resigned from my IT office job after realising that I wasn’t a yes boss material, that’s when I pursued opening up a business. I wasn’t really sure which business to go into until I remembered how my father used to be in the same business back in the 90’s before his death and how well he did so I guess his spirit revived me to follow suit.I had a lot of problems starting out I didn’t have enough capital for this business and didn’t know much about it. So I had to get a mentor from someone who was already operating within the business and fortunately I was introduced to Sabelo Shange whom I worked for, for a year and half until I had gained most of the experience and over standing about this kind of business. How to treat and retain customers which is the success into this business. Plus having raised capital to now opening my own establishment.
When did you start operating?
Officially I started operating Rasta Cabs in June 2015 but I have been in this business since June 2013 when I started under my mentor.
How does it work?
A person wanting to be chauffeured will need to book an appointment for a pick up. We normally advise a at least 15 – 30 minutes in advance depending on where they are. Upon the client giving us their pick up and destination addresses, we then give them a quote on how much it will be and how long it will take. We accept most forms of payment cash, E-wallet, EFT and soon will also be accepting Visa/Mastercard for swiping.
Which areas do you operate in?
Our offices are based in the Johannesburg CBD and we are mostly based around the Cresta area including all it surrounding areas. But we are not limited to those areas. As we are always willing to service a client no matter how far they are and of course depending on the feasibility of the trip booked. We also operate on events like Thursday’s/ Friday mornings we can be found at Baseline taking people home. We also cater for concerts in the different venues around Johannesburg and we do a door to door service so our clients get home safe.
Have you experienced any problems since you started operating?
Yes like in any other business we do experience problems. Some of the problems come from the competition who would give us trouble when we have to pick up a client who booked us from an area they operate in. We deal mostly with drunk people which can problematic depending on how you deal with them; some of them fall asleep en route to their destination when they had said they would give directions. Sometimes clients book a trip, get a quote then they travel more than what they have been quoted and still expect to pay the quoted fee. Or a client cancelling on us after we have traveled to their pick up point. We also experience problems with the police constant roadblocks next to pubs and clubs which delay us and thus have an impact on our trips.
Who is your target market? What are your fees?
Our target market is the young black professionals, students, party goers, shoppers, airport travelers, people needing to get to hospitals as we have transported more than 5 women who were in labour and countless other clients who have needed to get to hospitals as ambulances are not so reliable. We basically transport anyone who needs to get where they going safe and reliable.
Our fee structure is based at R50 for a trip less than 5 km then we charge R10 / km for trips more than 6km with discounts negotiated for longer trips especially if booked well in advance.
How does one get hold of you for a Rasta Cab service?
One can get hold of us through our 24 hours call centre and whatsapp number of 0613407121. Or our email address email@example.com. and through social media like Facebook :Rasta Cabs and twitter :@Rastacabs. That would be for clients who have used us before. Our cars are also available from our main point in the Hillcrest Shopping Centre where a cab is available on request. Our new clients find us via word of mouth through our happy clients. Others find us on the Internet a simple Google search of Rasta Cabs will give you our details. Otherwise one can search for a cab service around their area and if it’s the area we are targeting our details will also be available to them.
We have had many stories of people getting robbed, ill treated and many unpleasant things happening to clients who took a cab that wasn’t really a cab but just someone with bad intentions. This normally happens in places where there are concerts and night club where one would be drunk and most vulnerable. So I would like people to make sure that they arrange their traveling and use cabs that they can be able to identify and get hold of should they need to, and again and always have a friend or family member who will be there with them when going to get to cab as this will allow for their safety and that they should never allow for an unnecessary stops by the driver especially in places where one is uncomfortable. Lastly it’s very important that our clients take care of their possessions while in the cab and they should make sure that they don’t leave them in the car especially the back seat where it won’t be easy for the driver to identify and the next client may find them.