The idea behind RedPlate was hatched somewhere around 2004, over 16 years ago, in an attempt to exploit the wealth of information and insight Jamaican taxi drivers had about the city of Kingston and St. Andrew. They by far knew more about the city than anyone else. So the idea for RedPlate Magazine “Nobody Knows the city better” was hatched. We started to engage the various taxi companies in a strategic partnership to get the magazine distributed freely within their fleet of taxi cabs and to tap into the information of the drivers for content.
As the discussions progressed at a very slow pace, we quickly realised that there were much bigger problems and issues facing the Taxi drivers, the companies they represented, and more importantly the general public, who relied on them on a daily basis to move around. The reputation of Taxis and more specifically the route taxi was really bad, and their attempts to secure much-needed increases in fares from the Government were met with political resistance. The Government could not face the public with an increase without a marked improvement in services and reputation of the taxi system.
As we looked further at the sector we realised that a more lucrative opportunity was emerging that if approached right, would solve much of the problems in the system for the Taxi drivers, the companies they represented, and more importantly the general public.
On the business opportunity side, the Taxi business generated a vast amount of cash each day and was ripe for disruption using available and emerging technology. This was way before Uber, Lyft, and all the rest, so there was no web application or anything like that at the time.
Faced with very limited financial resources and an investment market that would not even consider investing in such a venture, things started to slow down, as more pressing and existing business opportunities required our attention. But we kept the project on the table and kept fine-tuning the model as emerging disruptive technology came on the market led by Uber.
This was the game-changer for us.
The project was now put on the proverbial front burner, as we sought to emulate the Uber business model. We went back to the main players in the sector and met with varying levels of interest. But we kept pushing.
It was about two years ago (2018) we realised that we were only looking at the proverbial tip of the iceberg and that there was a much bigger opportunity to be pursued. Why focus on moving people when you can use the same platform to move goods and cargo around the country. It was some months after this we read that Uber was also moving in this direction. We were very encouraged by this development.
And so The RedPlate Company was formed.
Another major event further refined the business model and would now lead to a major realignment and expansion of the vision of the business… COVID19.
COVID19 caught thousands of retailers and merchants flatfooted, they were not ready for online shopping and delivery. With shutdowns and curfews, business nosedived, as the entire retail and distribution sector was pulled apart.
We quickly identified and formed four (4) key features of the current opportunity and what would be required to capitalise on it.
The Business Opportunity Was Simple – Digitize All Available Space And Capacity In Every Vehicle On The Road
We are now living and writing the next chapter… stay tuned………… RedPlate is “On The Move”
Aldo Antonio, Co Founder & Group President and CEO The RedPlate Group & Executive Chairman, RedPlate Technologies Jamaica Limited.
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Transport and Mining, Robert Montague, has commended RedPlate Technologies Jamaica Limited on the launch of the new RedPlate Transporter/ Driver App.
The app offers services to people in the trucking, taxi, bus and biker businesses, providing a platform for drivers and riders to subscribe to an all-in-one application for daily transporting, delivery, shopping and mobile money needs.
The transport minister lauded the introduction of the app, outlining that these are the steps needed to transform the transport industry into the dynamic industry he envisions it to be.
“What we are doing here tonight is opening a new chapter where technology meets transport,” Montague said in his address.
The minister said his ministry endorses and supports the endeavour, adding that it is wonderful to know we are progressing as a nation in the technological sphere.
He also encouraged cab drivers to utilise this opportunity as a means to maximise streams of revenue by not limiting services to simply transporting people in the same old fashion way.
“What RedPlate offers is an advanced improvement to what currently exists, and what is even more, is home grown,” he said.
Montague took the opportunity to once again challenge the industry to unify and develop plans that address the next chapter of service delivery, expressing pleasure that the RedPlate App provides another option for transport of both people and goods.
Meanwhile, President and CEO of RedPlate Technologies Jamaica Limited, Aldo Antonio said, “Passengers will have the option of paying cash, which we hope to move away from quickly, as well as debit and credit card.”
Under the RedPlate subscription plan each driver/vehicle will be fitted with one RedPlate smartphone with a 24/7 data and call plan.
“Passengers will have the option of paying cash, which we hope to move away from quickly, as well as debit and credit card.”
“We are of the view that we at the transport authority will have to first change ourselves in order to cause change in the public transport system. We have to pay keen attention to how our conduct affects the success of the industry,” said Managing Director at the Transport Authority, Willard Hilton.
Hilton commended RedPlate for the move forward and gave his commitment to supporting the app and what it stands for in Jamaica.
The RedPlate Group is a Caribbean-based, business to business (B2B) technology and data-driven, fully integrated fulfilment, logistics, and transportation solutions provider with backward integrations into e-commerce and mobile payments.