Taxi Nobil: innovative mobility solution with unconventional business concept
Eugene Gurnik is launching the first service of personal drivers with premium vehicles in Ukraine, Nobil. Where the idea of this business comes from? How to plan a perfect launch for a mobile app with luxury taxis, ideal for corporate clients?
Service for those who value comfort in mobility
“When you travel often enough, you constantly look for convenient transfer services in every new place. In all the countries I visited, there is corporate taxi transport: business and premium-class cars, not branded, with excellent service and smooth booking process. In Kiev, there’s no such thing yet. We’ve decided to be the first local company providing such mobility solution,” — says Eugene.
_“Our main clients are top-managers now. Ideally, we’d love to introduce the service of personal drivers to the middle class as well — to all who value high comfort and innovative mobility. Nobil is there to prove: it’s more expensive to maintain an own classy car and a driver than to use our on-demand transportation services. Especially if you only drive from time to time: the car, together with the driver, just stands in the parking lots in the city center.
We only have Uber Black and Blacklane for competitors. But we work with a more specific segment: it’s important for us to develop an on-demand corporate private driver service and a reliable airport transfer. Next to that, both of these companies are foreign market giants. They know exactly how to represent themselves in the market, but they are much less aware of what customers really need here. Nobil has this knowledge.”_
The future of transport: Internet companies to replace fleets
“Nobil is our first step towards mobility systems of the future. In the developed countries, saying no to owning a car is a growing trend. Taxi companies do the same. Owning vehicles is simply too expensive and brings no profits. Car manufacturers will soon begin supplying cars as a service: for example, a subscription for an Infiniti.”
According to Rethinking mobility study by Goldman Sachs experts, ride-hailing companies with handy mobile solutions have 33% of the global taxi market today. By 2030, these companies have every chance to take a much larger market share and exceed the market share owned by classic taxi companies 5.3 times. There are several reasons for such market changes: the regulation of urban infrastructure grows stricter, institutions try to resist air pollution and traffic jams in cities, taxes for owning a car become higher. It is only logical that the “pay-as-you-go” model (paying for the actual time you travel) is becoming more popular.
_“We’ve seen a rather simple solution to it: stop owning fleets, just do the transportation. Since public transport will never meet people’s need for the special attitude, high quality, individual approach, Nobil is there to provide on-demand transportation services in the luxury segment.
That’s why we do not want to own a fleet. We provide a mobility solution and want to be a modern Internet company, not just another taxi company in this oversaturated market. On the other hand, we’d like to concentrate on the business development. That’s why we chose an on-demand platform instead of having a whole staff of in-house programmers.”_
Customer needs guiding business
For Nobil it’s important to provide services clearly more comfortable and attractive than a usual taxi. The company has learned from the potential customers what service characteristics matter for them the most.
- Unified business- and premium-class vehicles, preferably black and without taxi signs on it.
- A-level service during the trip. Friendly drivers wearing suits, umbrellas in case of a rain, other little pretty attention details.
- Round-the-clock support, by phone and via popular messengers.
- A convenient mobile booking application.
“If you take this business seriously, invest in drivers education (for example, teach them English), monitor all processes constantly, the quality of your business will stand out from the competitors. The customers will see it not even as a premium-class taxi, but as a mobility service with a personal driver,” Eugene believes.
_“For the first year after having our mobility solution, we plan to maximize the number of fleet-partners and to bring the volume of orders per month to 3,000. Very often, premium car fleets do not want to work with taxi tariffs (boarding price + price per kilometer + price per minute). Accordingly, for Nobil, the flexibility of tariff setting is necessary. Within the Onde platform, this problem is solved thanks to hourly tariffs. This makes the negotiations with fleets easier and so we can work as it’s planned.
Since we have a luxury-segment mobility service, there’s not need for us to achieve any cosmic volume of orders in order to get to the operational profitability. We plan to be there next year already.
The highest possible quality of service is our priority right now. We have developed short-term training programs for drivers, including testing the potential employees. The first test results show about sixty percent of the candidates successfully pass the exam.
So far, we are targeting Kiev and its area. After reaching the operational profitability, we plan to launch in Lviv, Odessa. Well, our “super-goal” is to expand to outside Ukraine, for example, to Istanbul, Warsaw, Bucharest.”_
Good marketing — the only way to survive in the market of mobile applications
_“Our budget includes serious marketing investments already. Without a good promotion channel, mobile taxi application cannot survive: there are plenty of applications out there on the market. It’s crucial to make sure the users think of your business first of all when they need to order, for example, an airport transfer.
We invest in the app store optimizing of the applications, maintaining pages on popular social networks (Facebook, Instagram), working with opinion leaders on Youtube and Instagram. We have also partnered with several fitness clubs and one premium restaurant. It is a great way to attract customers for both businesses.
We really like the idea of yachts and helicopters on-demand, via the same application. In the summer, in Kiev on the Dnieper, yacht trips are extremely popular. It seems to me that such a service will give our business the uniqueness it needs, and the ability to surprise is the best marketing tool for any brand._
Our entire marketing strategy works to ensure Nobil is associated with the status that the client feels by spending money more wisely than using a service by our competitors.”
Creating a business of on-demand transportation services requires a detailed market research and thorough planning of each step.
- Build your business as an Internet company providing innovative mobility solution instead of concentrating on fleet owning.
- Conduct a good research of the local market and draw up a detailed, realistic business plan.
- Take care to provide your target audience with a unique value proposition. Use a well-developed marketing strategy and investment in marketing proportionally to the business objectives so that potential customers will learn to know your business.