We talked to Phillipp Müller of DRIVAR about the carsharing marketplace, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Phillipp Müller: COVID-19 is the greatest challenge this year for all of us. Coping with the pandemic situation became an everyday obligation and crucial to overcome it. When the panic broke down, the priority was the safety of the close people around. Safety and avoidance of contacts are right now the synonyms for health. As a digital company, we were already working remotely for a few years, so it was really not a big deal to cope with the situation in the office. So I´m happy to claim that we passed the hardest outbreak stage bravely, and no one was infected with COVID-19. The preventive methods, staying at home, helped not only protect ourselves and our co-workers but to reduce risks for our families.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded DRIVAR.
Phillipp Müller: The foundation year of our first car rental enterprise Motion Drive was 2009. At this time, I did not know that Motion Drive would become the largest car rental service in Germany, but I believed that it was possible. Now 11 years passed very fast with the endless hard work put into the development of Motion Drive. But I did not want to stop on what I had achieved; thus, I decided to launch the digital DRIVAR platform as a carsharing marketplace to connect luxury car owners and renters. Right now, people all over Europe have easy access to the cars of their dreams at reasonable rates and including reliable insurance.
However, all of the projects were not possible without the professionals in our team. I entrust my dream in their hands and my life. We launched all digital projects created by high skilled professionals of the startup-loft.com, an incubator and company builder we launched right together with DRIVAR. It is specialized in developing high-efficient digital platforms and digital business models in general.
How does DRIVAR innovate?
Phillipp Müller: Innovation for us means to never rest on achievements but to set new goals daily. To be innovative is a daily challenge; even though we´re working on a digital business model, you have to re-invent yourself as often as possible. Otherwise, others will do and disrupt your business.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Phillipp Müller: At the time when the outbreak happened, we experienced the difficulties as all enterprises. We experienced some losses, but they seemed insignificant compared to the safety issues of our clients and co-workers and coping with the pandemic. Nowadays we gain profit as we´re a digital company with the lowest possible fixed costs – An advantage now every business car participates from these days.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Phillipp Müller: Building an enterprise is a remarkable thing until you are not faced with choices that might be very difficult and burning from inside. The hardest choice is between family and work. This is the most significant challenge for me to stay with my family and invest time in developing my dream. I attempt to stay flexible, but sometimes work takes too much time from me, but the result cannot be reached without this time. The road to the dream cannot exist without sacrifices, and sometimes I am coming to the edge point where I wish to stop. But the support from my family and friends, thankfulness from customers turf out all of the negative thoughts and keep me inspired.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and your company in the future?
Phillipp Müller: Definitely, the best choice is a sport. It does not matter if it is the gym, jogging, or bike riding; it helps to relieve the inner stress and keep my head fresh for the new day. During the working day, great advice is to listen to neutral music. There is a stereo system in our office that allows everyone to enjoy the music during the working day. It could be techno or instrumental music; right now, it is music with Christmas themes to create a warm atmosphere. With the music flow, intensive work becomes easier and does not take that much emotional effort from everyone in the office. With the current development of the pandemic situation, the prognoses could be unclear. My vision for the future of the company is to become tomorrow better than we were yesterday.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Phillipp Müller: There are lots of strong competitors in the market, such as Turo, which is a digital marketplace for private cars as well, but not only luxury cars. And of course, we have to compete with traditional companies like SIXT, Hertz or Avis.