Mogul Mom Spotlight – Syed Gilani

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Mogul Mom Spotlight – Syed Gilani

Jul 20, 2018

by  | May 3, 2018 | Mompreneur Interviews

WHAT’S YOUR NAME?

Syed Gilani

COMPANY NAME

SAFR

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS AND WHY YOU STARTED IT

Safr is a ridesharing startup focused on empowering women and families through safe transportation. Everything we do is focused on women empowerment, the mission that led us to create Safr.
Women not only get less opportunities than men in the workspace but also make 38% less than men and it was hoped that share-economy specially ridesharing may change these dynamics by providing equal representation to women. But women found little to no room to take their fair share of the market when it came to the market leaders in the ridesharing industry. Major ridesharing companies claim that 34-36% of their driver pool consists of women but in reality its somewhere between 15-20%. In addition, due to safety concerns, women drive or even ride with these ridesharing giants during daylight hours, which further reduces their potential to earn on equal grounds. Internationally, especially in South Asia, Middle East and South East Asia, the challenge gets even worse where either cultural or religious barriers discourage women to take rides with strange men and they have to rely on the male figure in their house for their transportation needs.
U.N. Declaration of Human Rights which has been ratified by the majority countries outlines that everyone has a right of free movement within the geographical boundaries of their country. Freedom of movement becomes a greater challenge in many developing countries especially for women as they fear for their safety.
Safr is created to meet the demand generating from this huge gap. Our mission of empowerment dictates providing safe transportation to women and children. From rigorous vetting to in-app features like color match etc, we are constantly innovating our services to meet the expectations of our target market. It is important to mention that Safr does NOT discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion or color but also pride itself with having 95% of its driver and rider pool consist of women.

WHAT DO YOU SELL?

We are a ridesharing startup focused on empowering women through safe transportation.

WHO IS YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE?

As a women-focused ridesharing startup, our target audience includes women in any stage of their life i.e. students, working professionals, mothers etc. With our “Mothers for Others” program, we wish to empower stay home moms by providing them earning opportunity not only as our drivers but also as our customer service ambassadors.

WHAT 3 PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

Life is very dynamic. With every passing moment you come across new accomplishments and failures. I think going through a very engaging and challenging process in launching Safr and bringing on board some of the best investors who not only brought their money to the table but also strongly believed in the mission of Safr, are two of my biggest professional achievements. Of course, we have a long way ahead and quite a challenging one, but creation and growth of a company that has a noble mission and a strong soul is something that any social mission mission driven individual would dream of. If by the end of the day, we can help 58% of the world population hold more part of the global wealth than before, I think we would be able to say that we have achieved our goal. I personally want to be able to truthfully say to all young girls and women when they enter the workforce that women can make equal or more than men and world is not bias anymore. I understand this may be a wishful thinking for some but its worth living for.

WHAT MAKES YOUR BUSINESS STORY UNIQUE?

I grew up in Pakistan in a political family which strongly believed in women empowerment. My father, as an education Minister, worked for women education and my mother, a former school teacher, always stressed on equal opportunities and respect for women. Having lived in the U.S., Caribbean and other parts of the world for a large segment of my life, I came to realize that challenges for women are not unique to South Asia or Middle East. Every part of the world has its own challenges when it comes to women empowerment.
Safr provided me the opportunity to make an impact while creating a value for all the stakeholders. For a person with South Asian heritage who worked hard in the U.S. in pursuit of his ‘American Dream’, Safr is like calling. I absolutely love what I do and work never came to me as a burden but Safr has taken it to whole new level.
Safr is not just a startup or an idea, its a mission and like any mission, it needs its champions and ambassadors. No matter how hard Safr team works, we know we cannot be successful without gaining active support from women from all across the U.S.
We are expanding and want to offer our services in every town, city and suburbs of the U.S. and around the world. To achieve this, we have created several programs including our Independent Empowerment Captain program that allows women to take Safr to their own zipcode. We encourage everyone to reach out to us, we are small and can use your ideas, passion, and support.