We talked to Dolapo Pitan of LynkCity on how to link suburban communities through on-demand transportation. safe, quick and easy and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Dolapo Pitan: We are all well; we are doing our best and staying safe as much as we can under the circumstances.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded LynkCity.
Dolapo Pitan: I started my career in IT in 2006. I have worked in both the Public and Private sectors, from Local Government, Education, Pharmaceutical, Insurance and Energy Sectors, even stumbling into Investment Banking for a while. While I enjoy what I do, I see it as a means to an end and not the end goal of who I am. The idea for LynkCity as a Taxi App came up when several Transportation Apps launched with Private hire cabs. At the time, I wondered who was speaking for the Hackney carriage Taxis (i.e., Non-Private hire Taxis).
I had little knowledge of building an App ground up and a massive urge to quickly get into the business. I made mistakes, and my first apps didn’t cut it (I learnt a lesson there). There were several issues or bugs as we like to say. I had to go back to the drawing board and start again; I relaunched the app in January 2020. I am an outgoing and fun-loving person. I enjoy a good laugh, especially socializing with family and friends.
How does LynkCity innovate?
Dolapo Pitan: In the words of Charles Darwin – “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who survive, but the ones who adapt best to change”. As a company, our innovation comes from our willingness to adapt to the immediate and changing environment we find ourselves. To grow, you need to have a natural affinity for change. Change is good. Companies that don’t change and innovate die. The difference is at the heart of our company’s ethos for innovation.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Dolapo Pitan: A quick synopsis would be Transportation = Movement, and passengers do movement but the movement as it were, is currently restricted. We are a Start-up in the transportation business, and our key stakeholders/customers are passengers and Taxi Drivers/Taxi Owners.
The COVID-pandemic has restricted passengers’ movement, and subsequently, most of our customers are no longer spending on transportation. I understand the government is doing their best to support business and reduce the pandemic’s impact on the company. However, the effect felt on business, mainly the taxi Business is a lot more than anticipated. Nevertheless, we have decided to weather the storm by taking it a day and creating an environment for taxi drivers/taxi owners to get a chance to do the same.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Dolapo Pitan: We made a lot of difficult choices. We have learned that in business, always be prepared for all outcomes. We launched LynkCity in 2020, not knowing a pandemic was just around the corner. It placed a big dent on our projected financial forecast for our first year. It was and remains a difficult decision to keep the app, and the company is going, although some may call it financially crippling, we choose to keep going and adapt quickly to how we make it work. We are learning as we go along.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Dolapo Pitan: Honestly! We hope and pray. Stress is inevitable, and the pandemic has humbled us immensely. We have learnt patience, gratitude and thankfulness for the thing’s money cannot buy. As the saying goes, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Dolapo Pitan: Uber and Lyft are our competitors, but competition is always essential as long as the playing field is level for all. Keeping it simple is vital for LynkCity; we want to take you from A to B, nothing else. That remains our unique selling point.
Your final thoughts?
Dolapo Pitan: Keep on moving. Nothing gains by standing still.