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Saudi Unicorns: Here's How Telgani Has Become A Leader In Saudi Arabia's Mobility Market Curated as a platform that allows users to compare than 50,000 cars in its catalog, Telgani promises a car booking time of under a minute followed by the car being delivered right to the customer's doorstep in less than 30 minutes.

By Aalia Mehreen Ahmed

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


This article is part of a series covering enterprises that have been a part of the Saudi Unicorns Program, a national program by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), National Technology Development Program (NTDP), and the Mohammed bin Salman Foundation (Misk), to enable and nurture successful and established tech companies to reach unicorn status in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

When Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 was drafted in 2016, one of the many economic facets the initiative aimed to focus on was tourism and mobility. Three years following that announcement, Abdulkader Almkinzy and Ali Alfehaid saw an opportunity that would not only align with Vision 2030's goals, but also reimagine the Kingdom's transportation industry: creating a more efficient car rental system. Telgani was launched in 2019 as a car rental app that significantly reduces the time and costs associated with renting vehicles. "As Vision 2030 aims to boost tourism, the demand for flexible and reliable transportation options increased," Almkinzy notes. "Telgani's services therefore align perfectly with this goal, offering tourists and residents convenient car rental and mobility solutions. By aligning our goals with Vision 2030, we have been able to capitalize on the opportunities it presents, driving our growth, and establishing Telgani as a leader in the mobility market in Saudi Arabia."

Curated as a platform that allows users to compare than 50,000 cars in its catalog, Telgani promises a car booking time of under a minute followed by the car being delivered right to the customer's doorstep in less than 30 minutes- a combination of services that the co-founders believe has "redefined the car rental landscape in Saudi Arabia." "Telgani was born from a vision to transform the traditionally tedious and time-consuming car rental process," Alfehaid adds. "Recognizing the frustrations faced by customers, we set out to create Saudi Arabia's first car rental and mobility marketplace. Our mission is to make renting a car as simple and swift as possible. At Telgani, we promise to deliver cars to our customers in under an hour. This is made possible through our cutting-edge technology, a robust network of rental partners, and an efficient logistics system. Whether it's a business trip, a family vacation, or an urgent need, we ensure that our customers get their chosen vehicle delivered to their doorstep, ready to drive. Our platform offers a wide range of vehicles and renting options, ensuring that there is something for everyone. By eliminating the hassles of long waiting times and cumber- some paperwork, we have made the car rental experience not just easier, but also more enjoyable."

But the reduced booking time isn't all there is to Telgani's offerings. "We also ensure cost savings for our customers," Almkinzy notes. "If the rental car price in Telgani is higher than the market, we give the customer the difference in their wallet, along with a 20% discount for their next rental. This guarantees the best deal in the market. Additionally, we offer innovative services like flex leases, allowing customers to lease a car and change it anytime without extra cost. This flexibility caters to the evolving needs of modern customers, who seek convenience and adaptability in their mobility solutions. Flex leases remove the long-term commitment and provide the freedom to switch vehicles as their needs change, making it an attractive option for many."

Telgani's ambitions to reshape Saudi Arabia's car rental market, however, aren't solely tethered to the customers of the sector- the platform has dedicated equal focus, and advantages, to the car rental companies themselves. "For service providers, we tackle high capital requirements, limited market data, and fleet management challenges by enabling a three times increase in demand, a 30% boost in car utilization, and easy business management via cell phone," Almkinzy explains. "This comprehensive approach enhances the car rental experience and drives efficiency and satisfaction for all stakeholders. By partnering with us, rental companies also save more than 20% on administrative and operational costs and see a 50% increase in their sales. This dual benefit helps our partners thrive in a competitive market while providing superior service to customers."

By thus catering to the mobility needs of a diverse customer base which includes individual customers, business travelers, tourists, corporate clients, as well as car rental companies, Telgani has established itself as one of the leading car rental platforms in Saudi Arabia. With a team of 94 employees, and several funding rounds being raised already, the company has now set its sights on bagging unicorn status. "Telgani is positioned for continued growth, with plans to expand internationally and offer comprehensive mobility solutions," Alfehaid says. "Aligning with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, we support economic diversification and infrastructure development. Our focus on innovation, customer satisfaction, and efficiency positions us to become a global leader in the mobility market. Telgani's rapid growth, strong market position, and innovative approach underscore our significant potential and long-term value. We are committed to shaping the future of mobility in Saudi Arabia and beyond! Ultimately, it is our combination of swift delivery, cost-saving measures, and flexible leasing options that positions us as a leader in the car rental and mobility market, with the potential to replicate this success on a global scale."

Related: Saudi Arabia Has The Potential For Incubating A New Breed Of Entrepreneurs

Image courtesy Telgani.

Such goals, of course, have found a welcoming environment at the Saudi Unicorns program- a place where Almkinzy and Alfehaid say they've been able to avail multiple benefits. "For starters, the most significant benefit was the 10X program to develop our objectives and key results (OKRs) and net promoter score (NPS)," Almkinzy says. "Over three months and eight sessions involving co-founders and managers, we implemented a robust OKR method. This now helps us track and improve company performance effectively. We also periodically apply the NPS methodology to gauge customer satisfaction, as our product is customer-centric. This allows us to understand customer happiness levels and pinpoint areas for product improvement. Additionally, the program also offered unique courses from leading universities and leadership institutions. These courses have added immense value to our product and business by enhancing our team's knowledge and skills."

But it hasn't been smooth sailing all along for the Telgani team either. When asked what the most challenging phase of their entrepreneurial journey has been so far, the co-founders recall a time when it felt nearly impossible to convince a major car rental supplier of the potential added value Telgani would bring. "They were skeptical about the benefits, and hesitant to adopt new technology, so we decided to organize a live demonstration at our office, inviting their top executives to see our system in action," Alfehaid says. "Our team worked tirelessly to set up a seamless presentation. On the day of the demo, we transformed our modest office into a hub of innovation, showcasing our streamlined booking process, the efficiency of our logistics, and the potential for increased sales and reduced costs. The executives arrived, and as they witnessed the speed and ease of our platform, their skepticism turned into genuine interest. By the end of the presentation, they were not only convinced, but excited to partner with us. This partnership became a cornerstone of our success, marking the beginning of many more successful partnerships."

Now, delve a little deeper into the company's name, and you will find that it carries the vision with which it was built. "The name 'Telgani' was inspired by our commitment to being available and accessible to our customers whenever they need us," Almkinzy says. "In Arabic, Telgani means 'you will find me whenever you want, and we are around and near to you.' This perfectly encapsulates our mission to provide swift, reliable, and convenient car rental services." And it is this drive that seems to drive forward the co-founders' upcoming plans as well. "After the Saudi Unicorns program, Telgani is poised for further growth and innovation," Almkinzy continues. "Through the further building of comprehensive mobility solutions, we aim to cover all mobility needs for our customers. This will include daily rentals offering a wide range of vehicles for short-term needs; travel services that provide tailored solutions for travelers, ensuring they have the right vehicle for their journey; introducing lease-to-own options that allow customers to lease vehicles with the option to purchase them eventually; and finally, transportation partnerships through which we will collaborate with ride-hailing services to offer comprehensive transportation solutions."

As Almkinzy and Alfehaid now look to the future, the co-found- ers move ahead content with how their journey has panned out so far. "Despite the challenges, Telgani's journey is a story of innovation and perseverance.," they say. "We overcame supplier resistance and resource constraints, reduced booking times to less than one minute, and offered competitive pricing. Today, Telgani is reshaping the car rental landscape in Saudi Arabia and beyond, thanks to our dedicated team and commitment to excellence. Looking ahead, Telgani aims to continue innovating and enhancing the customer experience. Our goal is to introduce new services and maintain our position as the leader in Saudi Arabia's mobility market. At Telgani, we are not just renting cars; we are shaping the future of mobility in Saudi Arabia!"

Related: Saudi Unicorns: KSA-Based Unifonic Is Offering A One-Stop-Solution For Businesses To Digitally Communicate With Diverse Customer Bases

Aalia Mehreen Ahmed

Features Editor, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aalia Mehreen Ahmed is the Features Editor at Entrepreneur Middle East.

She is an MBA (Finance) graduate with past experience in the corporate sector, and was also co-founder of CyberSWIFTT- an anti-cyberbullying campaign that ran from 2017-2018 as part of the e7: Daughters of the Emirates program.

Ahmed is particularly keen on writing stories involving people-centric leadership, female-owned startups, and entrepreneurs who've beaten significant odds to realize their goals.

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