Edge Magazine interviewed John Macharia, the general manager at Holiday Defensive Driving School to get the inside story on the firm’s commitment to transform the industry and what it accounts for the firm going forward. The following is an excerpt of our conversation.
When was the firm established?
It was set up in 2009 as a subsidiary of Holiday Cars and Tours. Its parent company has been in existence for close to two decades now.
What is your main agenda?
We have a major objective of offering defensive and safe driving to Kenyans.
In which aspect?
Currently, there are very few schools offering defensive driving in Kenya, with sub-standard services. We want to change this whole experience and offer value for money.
We do that by training people on safe driving. We work with individuals, SMEs and corporates among other clients in the transport industry.
We have been fortunate to work with the youth and the general public. This is because we believe that road safety involves all road users; including pedestrians, cyclists and animals.
How has been the experience?
It has been exciting to say the least. We started with a first branch in Ruiru, then Githurai 45, Githurai 44, Ruaraka and Ngara, with Juja, Thika and Makongeni coming soon. Plans are also underway to have a branch network of at least 25 branches countrywide by the end of the year. We are fully licensed by NTSA (National Transport and safety Authority) and compliant with all other relevant authorities. We also have experienced theory and practical instructors, new and well serviced cars and all the necessary training equipment. We have full classes now with capacity to offer high-end executive driving.
What’s your competitive edge?
Our prices are very competitive. We also have good vehicles that are well serviced. Since the Holiday Group deals with a large number of vehicles, our turnaround is quick and steadfast in a competitive market. Thus, we have a stout operational capacity.
Any successes you can point to?
So far we haven’t had any cases of accidents or unsafe road practices from students who have graduated from our courses.
We have been able to examine and issue licenses to more 400 students within three months that we have been operational.
The road ahead?
We aim to be the market leader in defensive driving, road safety in Kenya and East Africa. We are looking to open more branches regionally. Because we want to be accessible to anyone who need our services.
We aim to provide our clients with the most simplified, accurate and personalized training. We work with NTSA to ensure we issue license to our students within the shortest time possible and look forward to have graduates with the safest driving records.