Cafu expects to grow business despite competition

24 Oct 2019

Fuel refill start-up app Cafu is thrilled rather than alarmed to have some competition in the form of the massive Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc).

The start-up enables users to have the gas tank of their car filled up just with the click of a phone button, and says that the arrival of a big traditional rival in the on-demand delivery sector is a form of validation.

However, the company was also forced to defend its standards of safety following suggestions that Enoc would deliver a safer option.

Cafu’s chief executive officer and founder Rashid Al Ghurair says that Enoc arriving in the fuel delivery space will be of benefit to both firms as it will only increase awareness of the existence of the service.

Al Ghurair made the comments following Enoc’s announcement earlier in October that it intended to launch a new app to allow drivers to have someone bring the fuel to them and fill up their car.

Talking to Gulf News, Al Ghurair declared that the growing awareness of the service due to Enoc will ultimately benefit Cafu in the same way that Uber’s arrival in the United Arab Emirates helped awareness of that industry and benefited Careem.

In terms of the financial impact, the customer base of the start-up is likely to have its growth accelerated with more customers learning about the service, according to Al Ghurair.

He also believes that stations are going to find it more and more difficult to survive with changing customer habits and cities becoming smarter as demand for such services grows.

Customers are already choosing e-banking over going to branches and more shopping is being done online instead of on the phone or at actual stores, Al Ghurair claims.

Cafu is the only on-demand fuel delivery app provider at present, with Enoc saying that it will first roll out its service to businesses before eventually expanding its service to individual consumers.

When Enoc Link was announced by the company, Enoc claimed that safety would differentiate its service from Cafu, because any risks are mitigated by trained staff and the company has been operating for a longer period of time.

Enoc’s chief executive officer Saif Al Falasi also hinted that new regulations would be coming that would restrict the sale of fuel in the UAE to just the primary three national oil companies: Enoc, Emarat and Adnoc.

However, Al Ghurair says that Dubai authorities have already been satisfied with the mitigation plans and safety standards of Cafu.

The company works alongside authorities such as Dubai Civil Defence and the Health and Safety Executive Council in the UK to ensure that they have the highest possible safety measures.

Al Ghurair claims that new regulations would be welcomed by Cafu and that the vision of the Dubai government to be one of the nation’s top innovators within two years is likely to be realised.

Anyone who makes use of the app and therefore drives a car is legally required to have taken out some form of car insurance coverage.

Car insurance can help to offset the financial burden of unexpected occurrences such as motor accidents or car theft.