We talked to Thomas Kruyne, the Global Director at Driver Bubble on how to stay connected with the passengers and the following is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Thomas Kruyne: We are doing good, thank you. It has been a rough year for everyone, but it also has taught us some key life lessons, making us realize that we are more connected than we imagined and be thankful for what we have. I feel lucky to be in the position where I get full support from my family, partner, friends, and my team at Taxi Butler and Driver Bubble, whom I also consider my extended family.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Driver Bubble.
Thomas Kruyne: I grew up in Utrecht, the Netherlands, with my brother and lovely parents. I am passionate about building business, step by step, and at the right momentum. I have been with Taxi Butler (mother company of Driver Bubble) since June 2015, as the Sales Manager for Amsterdam, Netherlands office, and then took up the title as Global Director at Driver Bubble, since March 2020.
My goal at Driver Bubble is to provide drivers worldwide with the Driver Bubble screen for a safer ride. My wish is to make them feel safer every day they step into their car and start working with a smile again. This is through impact, and we are on a mission to reach there.
How does Driver Bubble innovate?
Thomas Kruyne: The company is constantly motivated to innovate by the pure excitement of working on opportunities that make people’s lives easier. During the recent pandemic, we witnessed how the transportation industry was battling a challenging situation. With the increased concern around health safety, drivers across the ride-share, healthcare, and taxi industry were hesitant to drive patients and passengers, resulting in reduced capacity and not able to provide the services that the industry once did. Similarly, passengers also needed to feel safe travelling in Uber, Lyft, or any other cab services.
We realized how important it was to provide that sense of security and assurance to drivers and passengers alike. Through this very thought, and hoping to prevent an economic disaster for the transportation industry around the world, we conceived Driver Bubble™: transparent protection and partition screen in the car that provides safer rides for drivers and their passengers whilst not isolating each other. At Driver Bubble™, we design and build the protective screens for the global taxi, ride-share, mobility, car rental, and healthcare transportation industry.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Thomas Kruyne: When the pandemic initially hit and with countries across the globe, started to go on lockdown, one of the key sectors that were severely hit was the global taxi, ride-share, mobility, car rental, and healthcare transportation industry, which then impacted our business at Taxi Buttler.
As a huge segment of the population heavily relied on this industry, we felt the need to address the uncertainties the drivers and the passengers were facing. We realized that the transportation companies needed to function every day to ensure that everyone could travel to their desired destinations (hospitals, schools, grocery stores, etc.). With the intent to help drivers get back on the road and provide a safer journey to both the drivers and the passenger’s Driver Bubble was formed.
Driver Bubble is a perfect example of innovation and of the saying ‘every cloud has a silver lining.’ Out of the health concerns and the financial challenges, we sought out on a journey to put creative minds at play and innovate a product that supports our company and helps our customers continue connecting and providing their services across the globe.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Thomas Kruyne: When COVID-19 spread like wildfire, we did face several challenging situations as the number of rides was dramatically decreased. With the hope to prevent an economic disaster for transportation around the world, and with a strong desire to keep everyone in our team employed throughout the pandemic, we came up with the idea of launching Driver Bubble, which is currently helping tens of thousands of taxi and ride-share drivers and fleets stay on the road and drive more responsibly.
The lesson we learnt is that we must believe in ourselves and our capabilities of adapting to change as quickly as possible is key to thrive in life!
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Thomas Kruyne: I have lived in the mountains on my own over several periods in past years, and this experience has provided me with new insights that have helped me further face challenges in life. I have also travelled the world and have undergone various mountaineering and endurance challenges. This experience has provided me with further depth into how my body & mind works and what matters in life.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Thomas Kruyne: There are well over 100 smaller competitors globally and a handful of bigger ones. With clear intentions as to why, how, and what we do, we aim to continue to help drivers and passengers alike to protect themselves while staying connected inside the vehicle with simple, cost-effective vehicle partition screens.
Your final thoughts?
Thomas Kruyne: The current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all spheres of society across the globe and has changed the way we live and work overnight. In my opinion, each individual plays a vital role in helping stop the spread of the virus. Nothing is more important than our community’s safety, and I request global citizens to play their part by doing what we can to come through this safely and stronger than ever.
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