IN THE FUTURE, TEAMWORK WILL BE EVEN MORE VALUED!
Sérgio Pereira, born in South Africa, is married, has 2 children and loves traveling, already having lived in 11 countries.
After achieving his Master’s Degree in electronic engineering at Imperial College in London, Sérgio started his career as an engineer at Toyota in Brussels. In 2008, he decided to deepen his studies as an MBA at INSEAD in France and Singapore. After this, he spent 6 years in strategy consulting, passing through Roland Berger and Boston Consulting Group in projects spread across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
In 2015, Sérgio started ComparaJá.pt, nowadays he is the leader of Chauffeur Privé in Portugal – the first market of the company outside of France.
His diversified experience, from engineering and processes, Brand Creation, strategy and management, as well as his international experience of managing multiple teams and cultures, gives him a comprehensive and embraceful approach to confront the challenges that the company has in Portugal.
We wanted to thank him for the opportunity and the challenge to ask about the current issues in the especially volatile world that we live. We started our conversation with his current challenges.
What are the main challenges of your current responsibility?
Individual private transport is a relatively recent segment. The proliferation of the offer on this services reflects on an increased demand for these products and the market conditions are ideal for it. We have a principal objective, being European leaders.
In the short to mid term, with the subsidence and solidification of the business in Portugal, we will fight for the leadership in this sector and we hope to achieve it through the elements that make us unique.
Portugal was the chosen country to welcome the expansion process of the brand and this investment will eventually serve as a reference for a global strategy of Chauffeur Privé.
In addition to being a great challenge, it is a big responsibility because we are working on the solidification of the first pillar of this international expansion and guiding the business with a success strategy to apply it in other countries. We will be the benchmark of how to start this service in other markets.
Another main challenge is to show the Portuguese the real differentials of Chauffeur Privé and its orientation towards greater value sharing, through a quality service, with a competitive value for both the drivers and users.
We want, and work every day, so the Portuguese appreciate us and see us as a relevant brand that has value.
Since we launched the brand in Portugal we are able to pass the brand values, either for the drivers or the users, and we are very happy with that.
We also have the responsibility to create partnerships with thousands of drivers, ensuring timely and quality service and giving them a supportive environment so they can work and be valued for their work.
Finally, and because the model of our business goes towards the proximity and the creation of local value, we want to ensure the structure of a solid and robust team, that can face the challenges of everyday life.
In this industry, right now, what big current trends would you highlight?
When the individual transport platform emerged, the user was typically a young person with high digital literacy.
However, given the fast evolution of the technology market, we see more and more users that learned to use our application and started to explore this new way of moving in urban areas.
The urban mobility paradigm is effectively changing and the sharing economy, added to the theme of sustainability, is undoubtedly the great trend of our sector. Portugal, with a high incidence in Lisboa, is joining and responding in a very dynamic and active way to this new concept.
Many other business models will emerge in the mobility sector and the evolution will have more and more offers for the “last mile.”
At the same time, we have to continue investing and improving the public transport services. The new generations do not have the ideal to have your car or your house. Their commitment is different. They want solutions adaptable to the needs at the moment, fast, efficient, uncomplicated and sustainable.
It was on the basis of these trends that Chauffeur Privé established it own model, oriented to the satisfaction not only for users, but for drivers too, that brings a lot of advantages for everyone involved.
The personalization and proximity, which identifies Chauffeur Privé, is undoubtedly one of its principal trends.
The relationship between businesses and clients continues to be a critical challenge in business, from people to people and organizations to individuals.
In general, what is the distinguishing factor that emphasizes the relationship between companies and their clients?
I would emphasize the proximity, flexibility and real knowledge about its true needs as key elements for a solid relationship between the company and its clients.
A company can’t hide and has to create relationships, regardless of the type of business.
It may appear contradictory, given that businesses are becoming even more digital, but the client knowledge, the fact we are offering a product or a service that truly fits into your needs, is and will continue to be fundamental.
After all, and despite all the technological advances, especially in terms of robotics and AI, companies are made by people, for people.
You recognize the daily challenges of companies in the areas of Business Analytics (BA) and Business Intelligence (BI), which is also the core business of REBIS, in the market and its one of the main concerns of CEOs worldwide.
In the context of BA and BI, what is the relationship between your company with the data and the critical information for the business?
Business Intelligence and Analytics play a vital role in our platform. We deal with hundreds of thousands of real-time data such as geo-location, addresses, available drivers, transaction history, loyalty program, etc. Not to mention the financial transactions in real-time, such as the collection of payments.
The management in real-time of this data, and the consequent decision making and analysis based on this data, are essential to ensure excellent service and to constantly improve our user experience.
The Big Data and machine learning may appear to be something from the future, but I can assure it’s the present, and without these resources and technology, a platform like ours could not compete in this market.
Where we find ourselves working now is thinking about how we can aggregate even more data, and how to assimilate this data into our algorithms to improve the service both for the clients and for the drivers.
It’s also important to highlight the fact that providing mechanisms of instantaneous payment to our users and partners means that we need to fight fraud and offer a safe and secure experience to our users.
To fight fraud, we use mechanisms in credit card transactions, either through an internal system for detecting suspicious behavior with an evolutionary algorithm or through the use of fraud prevention systems proposed by our payment service providers.
The role of Business Analytics/Intelligence in Chauffeur Privé starts the moment that the user downloads our app until requesting the service, and within seconds, a driver is assigned.
Whether or not the driver had passengers, how the traffic was in the city, the route, etc., all this data helps us get some insights that can contribute to possible improvements on the service.
A digital platform can only grow with real-time data analysis in order to make strategic decisions about new opportunities in the market, investments and corporate spending quickly and effectively.
What implications will such trends have on companies and people?
These trends were triggered by people’s real needs. The changes and transformations have always existed, what happens is that in the world we live today, the changes are incredibly fast.
The companies have to be prepared for this constant transformation and understand the future, and the present too, it goes by the complementarity and personalization.
The sector of urban mobility, for example, had to reinvent itself. We couldn’t continue with the old transport systems we had, because the needs are indeed very different from those that existed years ago.
The alternatives of urban mobility complement between each other. Public transport, new forms of parking in the city, platforms of TVDE, or solutions like scooters, electric scooters, bicycles, and so many other new ways that will appear, are complementary to each other and, although they fulfill the same objectives – in cities – present different solutions for different circumstances.
“Innovation cannot be seen as a luxury, it has to be seen as an essential activity of the day-to-day.”
For you, innovation is…
Making easy what is difficult…
In all my professional projects, innovation was essential to success, and in Chauffeur Privé innovation is a fundamental axis from which all employees are guided.
Innovation doesn’t always have to be a new product or company, but it can be a process, a model, an organizational structure, a concept of creativity or marketing or characteristic of a product.
In pure essence, innovation is everything that allows for reducing complexity/costs, or increasing benefit/value.
Innovation cannot be seen as a luxury, it has to be seen as an essential activity of the day-to-day.
It can’t be seen as a responsibility for the IT team or Product Team – it has to be done by everyone in the company. There are opportunities of innovation in everything we do daily, both in our professional and personal lives.
Today, innovation is imperative for every company to survive, and it is increasingly difficult to innovate given the abundance of technology and solutions that can be used in our own innovation.
In this sense, we must continue to focus on continuous training of employees and, at the same time, be very attentive and willing to learn and undertake, because only then can we ensure innovation.
“Teamwork is going to be more and more powerful and should be valued. Businesses are becoming more international, borderless, and the companies will become much more multicultural.”
And, in the future, in 2020, what will companies be like?
The business world is changing constantly, and in a year and a half there will be many changes.
I would say that companies will have more and more customized services tailored to each one, adapted in a measure that everyone is capable of anticipate the consumer needs, who will also be increasingly segmented and demanding.
The companies will be more flexible and active in civil society. It will be obviously more digital and technological, and I believe that the future will have more smaller companies/business, with less people, but with a great connection and complementarity.
Teamwork is going to be more and more powerful and should be valued.
I also emphasize the multiculturality, the globality and the values/purpose of the companies. Business in increasingly international, borderless, and companies will be much more multicultural.
As a consequence, they will also be more scrutinized and will need to manage different motivations – nowadays you won’t accept a job just for the money, there are many other factors that help a person make a decision, like the purpose, the distinguishing factor, or their values.