Women of this country often hesitate and feel unsafe on the thought of using a motorbike ride-sharing service because the rider was a male. Some of us might have thought, “What if there were female riders?” For them, there is good news.
On December 2, 2017, “Lily”, a tech-based service platform dedicated to women, was officially launched on the Google Play Store. Team Lily has begun working their way to initiate a female-friendly ride-sharing service in the Dhaka city.
When asked about the journey to creating this app, Syed Md Saifullah, one of the Co-Founders of Lily Technology and Services Limited, narrates how one day in early 2017, his wife was in dire need of a motorbike ride to reach her university on time. She was stuck in traffic. Feeling uncomfortable to share a motorbike ride with a male, Saif’s wife sadly expressed how things would have been better if there were female drivers too. “That’s when the idea came to my mind. I asked myself, if such service can exist in Indonesia, then why not in Bangladesh?”
However, Lily does not want to restrict itself by only existing as a female-friendly ride sharing service.
Team Lily plans to offer sought after services like home tailor assistance, where a female cutting master would visit a female customer’s home accompanied by an executive from team Lily to take the customer’s measurements, then take back the cloth or material of the customer’s choosing to design the clothes. Once the clothes are made, they would then be delivered back to the home of the customer.
They further aspire to introduce professional beauty services at home, for women who can hardly make time to visit parlours.
Many a times, we face the challenge of mustering the courage to purchase undergarments from a male shopkeeper. Bearing that in mind, the Lily Courier Service plans to home deliver undergarments according to the choice of female customers as a way of eliminating such awkward moments. Moving forward, they also plan on installing vending machines in different parts of the city that would sell sanitary napkins and other feminine products.
By the end of 2017, team Lily finished developing the app and launched it officially in December. In the meantime, the team promoted their upcoming service on social media and saw a surge in the number of females looking to take lessons from the team to the different aspects of working with a motorbike or scooter, like how to ride it, how to take care of it, how to change a tire, and so on. So, team Lily thought that the best way to handle such requests was by creating the Lily Training Club, which was launched towards the end of December 2017. Any female can join the club and get trained in their Mohammadur training center by filling out their online registration form. “We hope to broaden our training and operate at least six centers in Dhaka,” informs Saif.
On asking how the venture supports itself financially, Saif explains, “On completion of the first quarter of Lily Technology and Services Limited, we would get an idea of the full investment required. We then hope to start actively seeking for investors. Until then, we hope to rely on the financial support from ourselves, family and our friends.”
When asked to sum up Lily’s vision, Saif explains, “We want everyone not to mistake Lily to be just a ride-sharing app, but also, the first tech based revolutionary platform in Bangladesh dedicated only to women.” Female-oriented platforms like “Lily” will hopefully inspire different industries and everyone will start to think, “Let’s look at it through a female lens.”