Hidden Champions & Business Heads » Limousines at the Push of a Button – An Interview with the Chief Operating Officer Robert Fahrun of MyChaffeur

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LIMOUSINES AT THE PUSH OF A BUTTON

Imagine high-ranking guests of the state arriving at the airport to find that no transport arrangements to the embassy have been made. No problem – MyChauffeur, based in Berlin-Mitte, has developed a new app to provide just the right service. Diplomatisches Magazin spoke with chief operating officer Robert Fahrun, a seasoned expert in passenger transport.

Mr.

Fahrun, can your chauffeured limousines be conveniently booked online on the website or via the smartphone app at all hours? How did you come up with the idea of providing this service?

We have been making inroads, in the literal sense, into exclusive passenger transport for years. After creating the order forms on the mychauffeur24.com website, we developed the brand new My- Chauffeur app for Android and iOS devices in order to meet the increased demands of our customers and make the service faster and more convenient. Not only does it make it easier for customers to order and track the vehicle (they can view the location of their personal driver), but it also enables easy cashless payments. This is especially useful for business customers, diplomatic missions and for events that would otherwise incur administrative costs. And the initial results have confirmed our approach.

What is special about your service?

Our customers are our priority. Our goal is to bring our customers safely and stress free to their destination, regardless of the distance, and we accomplish this with the help of our attentive chauffeurs, all of whom have completed driver safety training. We cooperate with our partner companies MyConcierge and MyButler to respond to our customers’ every request, whether it’s shopping, medical health, city tour, finding a nanny for the family, booking a hotel, making a restaurant reservation, or getting theatre tickets. All in all, you could say that we want to simplify our customers’ lives with our services so that they can give their undivided attention to whatever it is they need to do. And Marine Security special protection is also available for guests who would like to use this service.

What are the various models in your portfolio?

We have a wide range of models for our guests. In addition to Berlin, we also operate in Hamburg, Zürich, Istanbul, Frankfurt, Vienna, Warsaw, Dubai and Munich. Each location has its own special requirements that we address accordingly with our fleet. With vehicles from Tesla and Hyundai Ioniqs, we have very environmentally friendly vehicles. They complement our ‘classic’ chauffeur fleet, which includes Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series vehicles for our business class customers and various Mercedes S-Class models (AMG features, long version) for our first-class customers. We also have Rolls-Royce and Bentley models for customers with special requests. For bigger events or groups, we provide our partners with vans (Mercedes-Benz V-Class) and Mercedes minibuses for up to 21 passengers. All vehicles are up to date and have all the latest features.

You have a lot of embassies among your regular customers. What are the special advantages your company offers for diplomats?

My dear Dr Ernst, I cannot reveal the individual names of our partners from the diplomatic sector for reasons of confidentiality. But, I can confirm that we like working together with diplomatic missions or individual diplomats and their families. The special challenge in working with diplomatic missions and foreign customers is to understand the cultural differences. We see it as a positive challenge in that these differences enrich us as a group of companies and allow us to find out a bit more about the world nearly every day. Our drivers come from all four corners of the world and speak many different languages, so they feel comfortable dealing with other cultures and languages. And they can always speak English or German if necessary.

MyChauffeur goes to some lengths to use eco-friendly vehicles and has acquired new electric cars from Tesla. How much further do you intend to go in this direction?

We have only one planet, which is why we care about it so much. We want to leave behind a better world our children, or at least one that is not worse than the one we have now. So, we will be increasing the number of electric and hybrid vehicles in our fleet. In addition to the Tesla and Hyundai models we already have, we are considering alternatives, given that other automakers will have to meet the same mobility standards. Still, the customer always comes first – however we do it, our goal is to deliver our passengers safely and comfortably to their destination. Because the topic of sustainability is particularly important to us, with the Equ Shuttle GmbH we have a fleet of ecological vehicles which can be used for a w ide variety of applications.

You are now also cooperating with companies in the hotel and sporting goods sectors. What is the nature of your collaboration?

Again, I can’t name any customers for reasons of confidentiality. But, at the very least I can say that we work together with premium hotels and both big and small companies in the individually listed locations in Germany and abroad. We cooperate with hotels for transporting guests from A to B, organising events for companies of all sizes – with our partner companies MyConcierge, MyButler and Marine Security, as I’ve already mentioned – obtaining theatre tickets, and providing security, with armoured vehicles if necessary. We provide these services, which can also include organising events or national holidays, exhibitions and more, to our friends from diplomatic missions in addition to traditional chauffeur services. Our employees are experienced in planning and providing these services without external resources.

How important is overseas marketing to you?

Let me put it another way. My- Chauffeur is an international company with headquarters in Berlin and Zürich. We focus a lot on marketing our services in Germany, but foreign markets are not only special for us, they are also profitable from a business point of view. Chauffeur services have long been the norm in other countries, and there are fewer constraints and obstacles abroad than there are here. Germany also continues to develop this sector and we are quickly gaining more German customers.

What are your plans for the future of your company?

MyChauffeur has been growing in Berlin, and will continue to do so – hopefully faster in future, but still at a reasonable pace. What does that mean specifically? Our goals for the next year are to expand the fleet with more vehicles, with our customers’ needs in mind, and to develop our international subsidiaries. It’s no secret that we are planning to launch new subsidiaries in Prague, Budapest, Rome and Moscow by 2018 - 2020. We are especially excited to make the leap across the big pond – we have our sights set on New York and Las Vegas. But, above all, we value our guests and employees, and we want to maintain their loyalty over the long term through special offers. That’s why we’re not afraid of the future.

Interview Dr. Irene Ernst

Bilder: 1, 2, 3 = MyChauffeur GmbH