Bolt: Standing up to the plate amid COVID-19 crisis

The advent of COVID-19 has shaken the very fabric of human existence. No longer are we able to move around freely or engage in the very things that bond us together as social beings.

Nonso Onwuzulike, Country Manager, Bolt Ghana

These challenges however provide an opportunity for us to think outside the box and innovate for humanity to survive, thrive and continue to exist. Companies have responded to the crisis with solutions that have helped sustain life and mitigate the full impact of the pandemic.

Bolt’s focus is to continue to provide innovative solutions to support Ghana’s businesses, and ensure that the micro-economy workforce has opportunities to earn an income during lockdown, while maintaining health and safety standards. As a response to the crisis, Bolt in Ghana has responded with the following innovations:

Bolt protect

Bolt Protect is our own way of offering an additional layer of protection for our drivers and passengers. Bolt Protect is a new ride type, where Bolt has installed protective shields between the front and back seats, limiting the risk of exposure between drivers and passengers.

The new ride-type also puts in place additional measures including proper ventilation of the cars throughout the trips as well as regular cleaning of the door handles and the backseat area after every completed trip. We are committing to installing these shields in over a 1000 vehicles registered on the Bolt platform whilst giving out nose masks and hand sanitizers to each of the drivers of these vehicles.

Business delivery platform

Whilst travel and movement have been limited amid the pandemic, businesses must continue to operate to ensure that the economy is not destroyed beyond rescue. One trading model that has come in handy is e-commerce which has been a real life-saver for many homes and businesses amidst the pandemic. We launched the Bolt Business Delivery service that connects businesses with a wide courier network on Bolt platform and allows vendors to place orders online to deliver products to their customers affordably within hours or the same day.

This is our way of leveraging our experience in operations and logistics and making use of our technology and the large network of drivers we have across Ghana to help vendors deliver their goods to buyers. Our business delivery service has a simple, easy-to-use web interface and vendors can upload deliveries in batches via CSV or can enter them manually using a simple form.

Orders can be set to be picked up immediately or scheduled to be collected within 48 hours.

Businesses can register for this service via an online form on our website. The real-time tracking features ensure that both vendors and customers are fully updated on the progress of the order.

'Sponsor a health worker' initiative

Ghana’s resolve to stem the tide and avert an uncontrolled spread of the virus led to a lockdown in selected zones across the country.

At the height of this lockdown, many were those whose means of sustenance and survival depended on the benevolence of corporate firms and well-meaning individuals and organizations.

Particularly hard-hit were health workers and other frontline workers who had to commute from home to work every day. We felt a need to support, and so, we rolled out the ‘Sponsor a Health Worker’ campaign through which well-meaning individuals and corporate bodies can sponsor frontline personnel to and from work. All one has to do is to sign up and opt for a package to sponsor a specified number of health workers within a specified period.

The bottomline

Our goal has been to provide mobility in a protected atmosphere amid the pandemic. Without doubt, these new products and services will be key in keeping Ghanaians mobile and protected whilst helping cushion a section of the populace from the harsh financial effects of the pandemic.

Credit: Nonso Onwuzulike

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