TowMyDrive is the brain child of CEO & Founder Khurram Sheikh, he started to develop the application in September 2015 with help of his family and friends.
Khurram has been in the IT industry for over ten years and his forte is in mobile applications and product development. Prior to Xpertogo, he was at Careem as an infrastructure manager, he was also with Creative Chaos where he was instrumental in setting up the Support Department for Face-to-Face, a product of Proximate Global US. His skill set includes designing innovative mobile applications and tools as well as specialized products. His role will be to drive the innovation team forward with application updates, oversee all technical inquiries and manage service provider relations.
How did you start your business?
I was driving up to Abu Dhabi and our car broke down. We were stuck mid-way between Dubai and Abu Dhabi and I knew it was going to be a long wait no matter which Emirate I called for a tow truck service so as I sat, I realized that very few options were available in UAE. It came to mind to find a way to find out what tow trucks were closest driving down Sheikh Zayed Road/Abu Dhabi Road. Then it was all uphill from there. So, why not develop a network of service providers who can be contacted based on GPS-enabled software?
Why did you decide to go into this line of business in the UAE?
We were really excited that we are starting something new in UAE and we are the ONLY one doing it but we didn’t know that starting something new could be very difficult, As people were used to tradition method by calling the providers, even after 6 months in operations we are still educating people to the app and convey our message. We are currently doing that through social media.
What were the highs and lows of setting up your business? High and Low Moments
I think the ‘high’ is when you get positive response when servicing a client and they are all grateful for your service. Once, we did road assistance or car recovery close to midnight at a record time of 9 minutes and 11 seconds and the client were very surprised how fast our response team showed up. That is definitely a high for us as well.
What was your best day at work?
To play hero to those who needs assistance in towing their truck even at the most untimely time – it makes you feel good that you are there to help them at their situation.
What was your worst day at work?
When there are too many calls for recovery and we can’t service everyone. We try as much to answer or respond to every call – but yes it happens.
How did you manage to fund or finance your business?
I self-funded it. I really just wanted to create a product that makes road side assistance safer, easier and less stressful – that is why i get up each day, hoping to turn around someone’s stressful situation, making breakdowns a little bit easier.
Who has been your greatest influence in setting up this venture?
This was all about solving a problem since I have faced similar situation several times. I guess I was ‘influenced’ by my frustration that there are really not many choices out there and that there is also a slow and terrible service of car recovery that is every vehicle driver nightmare.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs when setting up their businesses?
Its OK to make mistakes, infact its good to make mistake while your entrepreneurs, its the mistakes that drive your business to the next level.
Describe any amusing or strange experiences, or interesting moments (an incident that happened that you will never forget) that took place while establishing or running your business.
I don’t know if you find this amusing but we did road side assistance to another road assistance company that is not our service provider. They are a big company so when they called, we found it quite strange (and funny).
Describe any challenges you experienced and how you overcame them.
Since we are still very new, establishing the brand TowMyDrive would be the challenge right now. Expansion would be a challenge too like covering not only the entire UAE but GCC.
Outline the reasons why your business succeeded and any particular factors that influenced your success
We are solving a current problem that exist in UAE and this shows our good intention to be able to help. Thus, this is also our hope (and best bet) for TowMyDrive to be successful. Technology also plays a great part in the business since merging our service with technology, we change the way how road side assistance used to work traditionally. Now, they can track movements of their road side assistant and just wait for them to arrive till they get rescued.
Did you ever think you will be what you are today?
I guess no.
Outline your future plans for your business
We see Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah being completely covered within three months. The rest of UAE including all off-roading incidents to be covered in six months. We want to see TowMyDrive in most of the GCC by end of the year, it is a product that I believe is scalable and a service that is needed in every market.
Outline any important lessons you learned along the way or ways in which you would have done things differently.
I would have started this business TowMyDrive earlier that I did.
Describe the defining moment that made you feel certain that your business is going in the direction you want it to go
I will put that in perspective through Dubai. According to RTA (Road And Transportation Authority), for every two people in Dubai there is one vehicle. Their statistics even shows a little more as number of car ownership varies. Some owns two, three, even ten cars or more. This is the UAE. That puts vehicle density at 540 per every thousand people in the city and that is higher than some of the biggest urban city in the world! I think that alone tells us that we are in the right direction because somehow somewhere, some of these cars will need roadside assistance at some point.
Explain why you set up your business in the UAE.
I have considered Dubai as my home so I think anyone who wants to start a business should start their business where they are based.
What is the single most important decision you made that contributed to your business?
Putting the business where I see it is most needed, in Dubai. Fact check: the number of vehicle registered here in Dubai doubled in the past 8 years. The figures are 740,000 to 1.4M at the end of 2014. And that is just Dubai.
Anything you want to add or tell us?
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Founder and CEO
Office Address: Dubai UAE