Gokada, the Nigeria-based last mile delivery, logistics and transportation start-up has formally unveiled Nikhil Goel as its new CEO, as it continues to evolve from a riding-hailing company to becoming the leading food delivery, parcel delivery, and last-mile ecommerce fulfillment solution in Nigeria. Goel first joined Gokada in 2019, bringing with him extensive experience in the global last mile logistics space, first in India as General Manager of unicorn food delivery start-up Zomato, and then as Head of New Verticals at SafeBoda in Kenya.
Goel’s transition to CEO is a natural progression as he has been responsible for leading the company since Gokada tragically lost its founder, Fahim Saleh, in July 2020. In the past 12-months, Goel has helped Gokada increase its revenue by 10X and grow it’s delivery order volume by 100X, enabling the company to reach profitability. As Gokada expands into new geographies and verticals, Goel’s strong track record of prior success in the sector is poised to be a big advantage for the company.
Gokada’s business model is a unique one. The company uses a ‘Business-in-a-Box’ approach to empower its drivers to build their own enterprises, which in turn provide key services to the city of Lagos. This model enables Gokada to contribute to the cycle of business growth and job creation in Nigeria’s largest city. Gokada’s impact-oriented approach has been a core facet of the company’s strategy since its founding.
Commenting on Gokada’s current business model, Nikhil Goel said, “Gokada now serves thousands of individuals and businesses across Lagos. Our range of delivery solutions now span across a number of sectors such as food delivery, grocery delivery, parcel delivery, ecommerce fulfillment, and more. What makes me so proud of Gokada is the company’s Never-Give-Up attitude. Even in the midst of the pandemic which shortly followed the ride hailing ban, we were able to bring most of our pilots back to jobs while in parallel launching reliable logistics solutions to support businesses in Nigeria, which allowed them to continue to provide their services to their customers.”
While the company began as a ride-hailing service, it has since become a leader in food delivery, parcel delivery, and other “last mile logistics” solutions throughout Lagos. With a growing fleet of over 1,000 pilots and thousands of SME customers, Gokada plans to expand across other states in Nigeria in 2021.
In the last year, Gokada has had to contend with the okada ban in Lagos, the untimely death of its founder, COVID-19 restrictions on movement and the ‘EndSars’ protests in October 2020. The company has tackled each challenge with swift action – leading to accelerated growth.
“It is a real honour to continue Fahim’s legacy as CEO of Gokada.” continued Goel, “Fahim’s passion for entrepreneurship in Nigeria was infectious and inspiring. I was fortunate to have worked very closely with him. Together with Fahim’s family and Gokada’s investors, our incredible team here in Nigeria will continue to build the vision Fahim created to make a great impact on businesses and lives in Nigeria and beyond.”
Fahim’s elder sister, Ruby Saleh, who is now a Gokada board member, said: “Nikhil is a natural successor to Fahim as they worked so closely together to set the direction of the company’s current trajectory. Nikhil really understands Fahim’s mission in founding Gokada and I am fully confident in his ability to lead the company to great success. Fahim had a passion for technology being used to scale access and create lasting impact and his brilliance lives on in Gokada. Nikhil has done an incredible job leading the company since Fahim’s passing and we believe he’ll continue to take Gokada forward, just the way Fahim envisioned.”