Advanced technologies have been developed in the UK to solve a variety of social issues. This time, for a lecture entitled “Hailo – Creation of Innovation through Service Integration of IT to Traditional Services”, we invited Kiyotaka Fujii, President of HAILO NETWORK JAPAN ASIA PACIFIC as our lecturer. The company launched an innovative application allowing its users to book and pay taxis via their smartphone. Integration of IT to traditional services is an important challenge to complete the internationalization of Osaka’s many existing industries. Passionate about its mission, Mr. Fujii taught us why such an innovation in the taxi industry was becoming a necessity.
“Many of the recent core technologies applied to personal computers, telephones or televisions were created in UK, mainly in Cambridge and Edinburgh”, said Hirokuni Miyamatsu, senior trade advisor of British Consulate-General. Recently, Tech City in London drew attention as the new sacred place for innovation. Tech City gathers more than 1,300 companies, including big corporations such as Google and Facebook.
Healthcare and energy companies have recently started to join them and are fostering new businesses development in Tech City.
After an introduction of British technologies and their current reality by Mr. Miyamatsu, Russell Hall, Founder of Hailo, and Kiyotaka Fujii, President of HAILO NETWORK JAPAN ASIA PACIFIC, gave a lecture coupled to a demonstration of their product.
As the internet environment improved in the recent years, it became easier to start a business, even for entrepreneurs who had innovative ideas but a restricted access to capital. IT can change the world these days. Hailo is one of those companies which started with small amount of capital and a good idea. Their service, aiming to eliminate mismatches between taxi drivers and customers, remained unbeatable for their competitors. They believe that providing the application for the drivers and not for the customers in the first place might be one of the reasons of their success. Since the launch of their service in November 2011, 60 to 70 percent of taxi drivers in the UK became Hailo users, and 7 million people from the 12 different countries are now using the application. Osaka in Japan is the next city on the list!
Taxi drivers make 40% profit on the traveled distance. This high percentage was an opportunity which Hailo didn’t miss. For Hailo, increasing the correct matching rate between taxi drivers and their customers was an important breakthrough for the taxi industry. Since neither cash nor credit card is necessary to use taxis thanks to the advanced registration of credit card information, this service is extremely user friendly. Global business is possible if you have good ideas and utilize existing infrastructures.
Hailo is trying to create more innovations using smartphone infrastructures. Thanks to internet and smartphones’ infrastructure improvements, a time has come in which even venture companies are able to change the world.
“To start a new business, it is important to gain speed by using existing infrastructures”. This could be one of the lessons to remember from this seminar. Along with changing times, the required abilities to become a successful entrepreneur might change as well.
Host: City Planning Bureau, City of Osaka
Co-host: British Consulate-General Osaka