By Crusoe Osagie
The Simba Group recently launched an initiative to support and empower women seeking to take up gainful employment as riders of three-wheeler vehicles, commonly known as ‘Keke’. The company represents TVS Motors of India and is engaged in the assembly, distribution and servicing of TVS King – the leading brand of ‘Keke’ in the country.
Speaking at a recent event held for women in Eleyele, Ibadan, Mr Vijay Patil of Simba Group explained “increasingly we are seeing more and more women showing interest in driving three-wheelers due to the attractiveness of this form of employment, and it is our goal at Simba to create and develop the ecosystem necessary for women to be empowered and feel safe and welcome in this industry”.
The purpose of the event was to bring together women who from part of a growing demographic who are already driving the vehicles and women who have an inclination towards joining them. For those who already own or operate the TVS King, Simba Group representatives were available for promoting safe driving and training the users on how to keep their vehicles on-road longer. Mrs Lawson Titilayo Adewola, one of the women drivers of TVS King attending the event, explained that economic hardships facing her growing family had prompted her to seek this opportunity, and that this business allowed her to save money whereas previously all profits were being reinvested into her shop. She further explained, “Since the start I have only been using TVS and I am happy with the company and I am proud to be a women driver. When men see me driving they are very encouraging and women see me they can hardly believe it. Everybody prefers to come into my tricycle”.
For new, and aspiring, women drivers Simba provided basic operator training and shared details on how to maintain vehicles and access genuine spare parts which are available nationwide. The company acknowledged the foresight of these women who had recognised the potential opportunity in the industry and who enjoyed the flexible working hours the job provided.