As Afrinection has entered its second year, our membership database is growing strong. Every week, new African entrepreneurs, startups, business leaders and professionals are joining our ranks. Their objective is to connect with like-minded individuals, find employees, rack up investment, get business advice, and more importantly: foster real connections to drive their business and the continent forward. Kenyan entrepreneur Emmanuel Macharia of VelaAfrica is one of them. His goal is to expand his footprint across East Africa. Our editor spoke with him about his latest venture, transport and security company Driver Reference Bureau Africa.
1. Tell us what your company does?
Driver Reference Bureau Africa in Kenya is designed as an online platform whereby transporters and other stakeholders in the transport industry can access a database when recruiting drivers. They do this by providing the system with the driver's ID number and assessing his/her reference, previous driving history from uploaded data.
We offer driver-centred solutions to ensure discipline, safety, security and accountability on our roads. With our offices based in Nairobi, Kenya, our services cut across East and Central Africa.We partner with stakeholders to enhance implementation of road safety and security strategies, with the capability to provide real-time information on the status of the driver in question. Our application is very easy to use. With our comprehensive database, employers have the opportunity to access and share drivers’ information based on their conduct and performance and provide recourse to employers for acts of gross misconduct through systematic reporting to our database accessible to fellow employers in the industry.
2. What has been the company's biggest achievement?
Our partnership with Metrologistics Kenya was our biggest achievement in 2017. That and the fact that we have over 600 drivers on board. We are growing every month.
3. How does your venture contribute to the development of Africa?
The challenges facing Africa's transport industry and the high accident rates are amplified by cargo theft and syphoning of fuel while in transit. The need for a focused Driver Training and skills upgrade and behavioural measurement is paramount to drivers, transporters and Africa's overall economy.
The problem is that many good and experienced drivers are unemployed. Driver Reference Bureau Africa links them to employers via our user-friendly website. Drivers of good standing, by so, have an opportunity to grow in their careers and negotiate for better terms with current and potential employers. DRB has come in at no better time to bring about discipline, security, accountability and safety on our roads.
4. What has been one of the challenges of setting up your company and how did you overcome these?
We still have a challenge In getting all transporters to embrace and allow their drivers to register on our platform. Change is difficult.
5. What makes your company stand out from the crowd?
Driver Reference Bureau Africa is designed as an online platform whereby transporters and other stakeholders in the transport industry can access a database when recruiting a driver by inserting an ID number and assessing the driver reference, previous driving history from uploaded data
6. How can we find you online?
Our website: www.drbafrica.org
Our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/DRBAfrica
Our Twitter account: https://twitter.com/DRBAfrica
Our LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drb-africa-577a14147