RIDE-SHARING FOR RICKSHAWS
“Oh, my God, we won.” Those were the words of Moneeb Mian, chief financial officer of Roshni Rides, as he approached the stage at the UN headquarters in New York City to accept the coveted $1 million Hult Prize.
The Hult Prize was created in 2009 to generate startup ideas from young people to sustainably solve the world’s most critical social challenges. This year’s Hult challenge was to improve the well-being of one million refugees by 2022.
Roshni Rides, created by four Pakistani-American students and alumni of Rutgers Business School, provides a ride-sharing service for auto-rickshaws. Currently operating in Orangi Town, a slum of 2.4 million people outside Karachi, it allows drivers to follow set routes and passengers to easily share fares. The drivers ferry more passengers and earn more money, but passengers spend far less than if they had to travel alone and independently negotiate with drivers.
“[The company] has an immediate impact and addresses one of the greatest needs, which is mobility,” Ahmad Ashkar, founder of the Hult Prize, told NPR. “If you can’t be mobile, you are a prisoner.”
Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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