Careem signs up nearly 1,000 Saudi women drivers

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A Saudi woman registers to take part in a training program for new female drivers at Careem, a chauffeur driven car booking service, at their Saudi offices in Khobar City, some 424 kilometers east of the Saudi capital of Riyadh, on October 10, 2017. (AFP)
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An employee of Careem, a chauffeur driven car booking service, talks during a training session for new female drivers, known in the company as “captains” at their Saudi offices in Khobar City, some 424 kilometers east of the Saudi capital of Riyadh, on October 10, 2017. (AFP)
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An employee of Careem, a chauffeur driven car booking service, talks during a training session for new female drivers, known in the company as “captains,” at their Saudi offices in Khobar City, some 424 kilometers east of the Saudi capital of Riyadh, on October 10, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 12 February 2018

Careem signs up nearly 1,000 Saudi women drivers

DUBAI: The UAE’s Careem, a ride hailing application, is set to sign up around 1,000 Saudi women drivers for its expansion plan in the Kingdom, according to its co-founder, Thomson Reuters’ Zawya website reported.
“We foresee very strong growth in Saudi Arabia, both in the cities where we already have presence today and in the new cities we plan to expand to as well,” Magnus Olsson, co-founder of Careem, told Zawya in an interview.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman lifted the de-facto ban on women driving in the Kingdom in September last year, with the decree set to be implemented on June 24, 2018.
“We are very excited about this June, it is a big milestone for the country. We have already started training female captains and we hope to get up to 100,000 female captains on board within a year from June,” Olsson said.
Olsson also said that nearly 1,000 Saudi women have already signed up and are currently in training.
The push also aids Saudi women’s struggles in the job market, with 80 percent of unemployed citizens comprised of women, according to the most recent official figures.


Google Cloud prepares for Black Friday ‘peak on top of peak’

Updated 04 August 2020

Google Cloud prepares for Black Friday ‘peak on top of peak’

  • Cloud technology, used to host websites and store data, is a key part of many retailers’ e-commerce operations

OAKLAND, California: Alphabet’s Google Cloud unit is poised for a surge in fourth-quarter sales from US retailers, as they brace for record online shopping during the holidays because of COVID-19 lockdowns.
Cloud technology, used to host websites and store data, is a key part of many retailers’ e-commerce operations. As fees are often pegged to site traffic, a jump in activity will drive up revenue for the unit.
Carrie Tharp, vice president of retail and consumer at Google Cloud, said that her team had this year tossed out its linear growth model to predict how many servers it will need to process web orders for retailers around Black Friday.
“We’re planning for peak on top of peak,” she said on Monday. That could be a boon for Google Cloud, which has generated about 30 percent of its revenue during the fourth quarter the last two years.
Stores such as Kohls Corp. and Wayfair Inc. lean on Google months in advance to ensure it has enough servers to withstand increased shopping during holiday discount days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday in November and December.
This year, Black Friday-style demand has flooded shops since March, when the United States began lockdowns, Tharp said.
Holiday shopping is expected to boost demand further, as retailers including Target Corp. and Walmart Inc. have said they will reduce in-store hours because of coronavirus concerns.
Tharp said the pandemic has already benefitted Google Cloud, with some retailers adopting its predictive algorithms years ahead of plan to help them work out the most efficient way of fulfilling orders.
Electronics retailer Best Buy Co., for instance, announced on Tuesday a multi-year deal to centralize customer and product data with Google Cloud to improve its loyalty program and online ad campaigns.
The companies declined to elaborate on the deal, but Tharp said she hopes it leads to Google eventually powering Best Buy’s web ordering system.