[Interview] Mobility and Digitization with Amovens
The sharing economy coupled with the disruption stemming from digitization and new technologies have caused a paradigm change in many respects. One of them that only requires a closer look at the types of vehicles on the streets of the world's major cities is mobility.
Shared vehicles, motorcycle rentals on minute time intervals, and electric scooters; with a wider variety of transportation options, it's easier than ever to get from one place to another. This is the fruit of not only a change in mindset but also the new technological solutions that let us connect with users that rent their cars when they are not used.
As this phenomenon has heated up, new enterprises taking advantage of this new revolution have popped up and have decided to change the world of transportation as we know it using technology.
Amovens: “People don’t look for cars as a product but instead as a means of transportation."
Amovens is a Spanish ride-sharing company that offers car rentals between individuals. Their aim is not only to make it easier for people to move around cities but to also help car owners lower the costs of having their own vehicles. In 2017, the firm saw earnings of over 12 million euros, which translated into a more than 600% increase in their monthly net profits. How did it go for them in 2018?
We sat down with Amovens’s CEO, Mario Carranza, to find out. At 32 years old, Mario has a bachelor’s degree in Law from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and has postgraduate studies Finance, Business Administration, and Management. Before joining Amovens, he worked as an analyst for UBS, was the Business Development Director at Cabify, and an Investment Analyst at Fon.
WAM: Could we say that mobility’s digitization is a new industrial revolution?
Mario Carranza: The automotive industry, over the years, has focused on innovating car manufacturing. It is currently experiencing a change in paradigm in transportation driven by digitization. The industry's primary challenge over the next decade will focus on reforming access to vehicles. We've discussed that the majority of people don't look for cars as a product but instead look for mobility itself. Digitization has undoubtedly driven the change in mindset that has made the auto industry take on this challenge.
W: What are the mobility challenges you see in the countries where you operate? Are they same in Spain as in the rest of Europe?
MC: The industry finds itself facing the same challenge on a global scale. There are 1.4 billion cars in the world. 90% of them are financed, causing 5 trillion euros in debt to be circulating throughout the financial system. If we add maintenance fees, gasoline, taxes, and all other associated experiences, that’s 10 billion euros.
Over the next decade, we’ll see car ownership fall drastically by 80%. We’re seeing that access to cars is suffering a radical change and this not only impacts Spain and Europe; it’s a worldwide phenomenon. The same mindset that we’ve seen in other industries, like Spotify with music and Netflix with cinema will see itself applied in auto. This is the significant challenge that we currently see on a global level.
W: How are you tackling the omnichannel challenge to create a smooth experience before, during, and after a customer’s trip?
MC: We’ve had a straightforward focus from the very beginning that stems from the idea that "the customer is God." In our case, we don't see being omnichannel as the challenge, but instead, it's showing impetus in our way of doing things. The most important thing is that we breathe our dedication to our customers flows inside our doors and continues to flow towards our community naturally.
W: Since your business model revolves around using a mobile app, what role do other tools have to unify the customer experience?
MC: We have an app and a website where we see 60/40 split in our traffic. We also use different tools such as email, the phone, or a CRM. These are vital for us since they help us stay in contact with customers quickly, something that would not be possible with newer channels. It’s clear that users demand efficient answers in a short amount of time and these tools allow us to meet that demand. The telephone lets us bring the efficiency and speed from the digital world into the traditional world.
W: How are you facing the challenge of maintaining and continuing to strengthen your brand visibility using digital communications?
MC: The challenge of strengthening our brand visibility is the same for all parts of our marketing and not just to digital communications. Our strategy is clear: we offer the best price with total transparency and the best experience. We manage communication naturally where we explain our day-to-day: an organic growth where we make our community of 1.5 million users happy. We translate the value of our company's culture directly in our content, and that gets reflected in our continuous growth.
W: In your opinion, what brings the best ROI to your business?
MC: Happy users are the best ROI we could have. In the end, our goal is to improve peoples' lives and make them happy. This gets reflected in the fact that 80% of the users that join the community are repeat users, while 60% of them come to us through a recommendation.
W: How do you work on internal innovations, meaning, how do you develop your technology?
MC: We listen to the user. We use our services to mobilize us, and we're always in contact with our community. 70% of the team is in direct communication and contact with the user through different tools. This lets us know what we should improve when it comes to our product or processes. We evaluate market demands and look for new ideas to develop our technology on a daily basis.
W: What new updates and trends do you expect for digitization in your industry in 2019?
MC: We’re currently seeing a lot of innovation in the industry. New projects are focusing on trips taking people from point A to point B every day. In major cities, we see streets full of electric cars, motorcycles, and scooters…examples of projects that are uniquely responding to a small section of what we can find in cities. The primary challenge for us to focus on in the coming years is in how the user can have access to fast and efficient transportation through the integration of services at any point in Spain.