Hello! Could you tell me a bit about yourself and what DART does?
Sure, my name is Zul Amali Dato Paduka Hj Idris. I’m the founder and CEO of DART Logistics. I’m also a registered architect. DART is a startup and we’re looking into helping with some of the transport problems that Brunei is facing.
So what does the company focus on? What’s the goal for you?
It’s a ride booking service based on a smartphone app. Right now, the culture of using [devices] is everywhere. Everyone has one and all the tech they need in each smartphone so we capitalised on that and using Brunei’s existing network connectivity and GPS, we basically have an app that gets you to where you want to go by matching drivers and passengers.
How is DART different to the existing ride-sharing apps like Uber or Grab?
ZUL IDRIS: Essentially, it’s the same model but we want to make an impact addressing local needs. We’re going to have a service where it is ladies only (women drivers for female passengers and kids). We’re incorporating local taxis into DART as well. But it’s not just about taxis and private cars/drivers. We’re looking at trying different sorts of products down the line. These things need to be tried and tested.
The market in Brunei doesn’t exist so it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation; we’ve got to have the service to see if it’s viable. It is a big gamble but we think that there is a market. We just have to find what fits.
When you started the company, what was your main motivation? Was there a moment that sparked this idea?
Yes. Right now, the rate of unemployment is on a high and the economy is on a low. We’ve been thinking about this for a while since the service doesn’t exist in Brunei. It would also solve a lot of the [transport] problems in the process.
Honestly, the first thought was always having difficulty finding parking. Whenever you go to the malls or to town it’s hard to find parking. This is one of the motivations that kicked the whole thing off. The other one is of course, getting stuck in traffic jams while driving back home and picking up kids. By having a service like DART, we could potentially alleviate the pain that we go through every day and make life easier.
That sounds like a great idea. What are the next steps for DART and how soon are we seeing this launch?
DART Taxi’s was launched on Friday May 5th, 2017. DART Car is potentially two months away. We’re going to roll out hard and fast so hopefully the market is ready!
How does it work and what do I have to do if I want to be a Driver or a User?
If you are a rider/user, you just download the free app. Drivers need to apply to register, and go through thorough background and medical checks to qualify. There’s also a ratings system which keeps quality standards high for both drivers and users. Right now, we’re offering cashless payments and we’re the first app in Brunei to have an integrated payment gateway.
We can say that DART is a first in a lot of areas. The payment gateway is one and the service itself is another. We had to overcome lots of obstacles to launch the app. But the main message I want to share is to not to give up. You can do it – just keep persevering. If you do get stuck it means something’s wrong on your side so you must find how to address that and make it work in the Bruneian context.
It sounds like DART is something we need! So what does Progresif mean to you?
The world is full of problems. What being progressive means to me is to preempt solutions to address the problems now and ones that may happen in the future. It’s about thinking long-term and addressing [problems] before they happen and learning from champions as well.