Meet Gokada CEO, Fahim Saleh

Born in Saudi Arabia, Fahim Saleh moved quite a bit before settling in Rochester, New York.

From humble beginnings of a middle-class Bengali family with two sisters, he always had the dream of earning money with novel ideas and it was while attending eighth grade in Poughkeepsie, NY that his interest in computers developed from researching websites and reading about the Google founders and other players in the relatively new tech industry. He credits his knack for technology to the hours he spent playing video games.

Baby Steps

His first website started with his family with the name Salehfamily.com, and was hosted on AOL Hometown.  With just five people monthly visits, he started with baby steps as his father would encourage relatives to visit the website.

However, at the age of 15, Fahim began experimenting with programming and built teen-hangout, and on this he would ask friends to publish articles, and it became a community-oriented blogging forum. Through a lot of site trial and error, he started making $2-$3 a month.

By high school, Fahim was generating $100k-$150k in profit from websites that catered to a young demographic, such as AIMdude.com, iconfun.com, msndollz.com, icondude.com, and more. It was also around this time, he met Ohio native, Kyle Kapper, another tech savvy and ambitious young man and  although very different culturally, they found a common ground in their passion for creating websites and decided to work together, remotely.

Road To Success

Fahim’s pursuit for success began at Bentley University in Boston, Massachusetts where he completed his Bachelors in Computer Information Systems (CIS). His college gigs included starting a customized t-shirt company with his roommate and initiating menuvo, a Facebook application that students could use for food delivery.

During the economic crisis in 2008-09, it was hard to get any job let alone continue business, so Fahim tried his hand in making apps for the IOS app market. Fahim has a company in New York named TapFury and another one named Ninja Fish. TapFury is an entertainment company and Ninja Fish is a gaming company. Both of the companies are very successful in New York and they are generating enough revenue for them to sustain the offices there. HackHouse is a subsidiary of the company in New York. The major focus of HackHouse is to bring together smart and talented individuals, and have them work in prototype projects, buyable product primarily for the Bangladesh market. One of the ideas HackHouse is working on is missed call marketing namely CallSpring, it is very popular in Bangladesh and India. 

Gokada

Fahim co-founded the Lagos-based transport service app, Gokada, in February 2018. Gokada has since become an accepted and often-used means of efficient transport in the populous city. The company is funded through Adventure Capital, Rise Capital, CRE Venture Capital, First Midwest Group and IC Partners. 

Earlier this year, it was confirmed that Fahim was taking over as the CEO of GoKada after former CEO Deji Oduntan resigned on the 5th of March 2019. It said Gokada’s co-founder, co-CEO and lead investor, Fahim Saleh, will take over with immediate effect.

Fahim told Techpoint he will be moving fully to Nigeria to fully function in the new position. Gokada says it has recorded strong growth in its first year of operation, “securing close to 1,000 bikes, completing around 5,000 rides across Lagos’ Mainland each day and the Android and iOS app downloads have reached in excess of 200,000.”

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