Yaw Odoom and his TroTro Diaries team are using social media to bring a unique experience to passengers of Ghana’s trotro (shared passenger buses). From what started as just a Facebook group for members to share their experience whenever they take trotro has transformed to be a website and soon, a mobile application will be launched, providing even more opportunities for passengers.
I had a quick interview with him and here’s what he had to say.
What is your start up about?
TroTro Diaries is a startup focused on improving the public transportation experience for commuters in Ghana/Africa. With a key focus on giving commuters a voice, helping improve road safety in a unique way and helping commuters access trotros/buses for their rides
What made you get started?
Frustration! Anybody that takes trotros (danfos, matatus) knows how stressful it can be, so I would usually arrive in the office already tired which would affect my productivity. So the idea started as a way of reducing stress by using humor so as to ensure I would get to work in a sound mind to work.
Any challenges? How are you managing it?
Hehehe certainly! Our major challenge now is migrating to our new platform as most people are already used to Facebook. However, Facebook limits us on some of the things we would like to implement. So we are re-strategizing to see how best we can achieve that to be able to grow the experience.
What is your vision for your start up?
Our vision is to transform the public transportation experience for commuters using technology and projects in a way as to inspire other young people to pick any sector in society and help improve it instead of just talking about it.
Tell us about yourself (and your co-founders if any)
I am Yaw Odoom and I grew up watching movies like Sarafina and Lean On Me, so from a very early age I was passionate about society and how to make it better. And thus my mantra which is “the ultimate purpose of our lives is in the hope we bring to others”. Initially I wanted to be president but I gave up that ambition as I realized one doesn’t need to hold a position to make impact. Beyond that I love to dance, read and do some public speaking from time to time so feel free to invite me some time.
Any awards won?
The best award we have won so far is the hearts of members who send us messages to tell us about how TroTro Diaries takes them through tough times and puts a smile on their faces. To us this is the most important, as we get to impact the lives of people.
As a start up, what do you expect from government?
startups in some countries are significantly transforming their society, and this is possible because their governments understand their potential. Startups in Ghana simply need government to have policies that will make it easy for them to start and grow while remaining attractive to investors.
Author: Prince Baah-Duodu