The founder of the “Gruzovichkof” and “Takawiki”, and also co-owner of food delivery “Dostoevsky” and other companies of St. Petersburg Igor Ruzi told vc.ru about his business, leaving in Moscow and the regions, the crisis of growth and competition with Uber. How did you get into business?.
I finished the Cadet rocket-artillery corps and the Mikhailovsky military artillery Academy. Then he studied at St. Petersburg state University of Finance and Economics is a University, which is then combined with Ingecom, specialty “Finance and banking”. And immediately realized that banks are not for me. Many graduates realize that the specialty they have chosen, they are not very interesting, and begin to look for employment in other directions. So since graduation I have been doing business.
There have been various projects in the field of trade and construction, but the first public project that has become a recognizable brand, it is a “great car service”. Why become involved in the transport business?. Its not that we fell in love with “Gazelle”, in transport — I still do not understand this.
For me its the dark forest, I do not climb in it, dont know the makes and models of cars. Only understand something in the operation and management of transport enterprise. We were brought into the business only need of money. Started without any major investment, almost zero. And, of course, looking for niches in which it can realize itself with the developing, semi-market, which was not present serious competition and was the low entry threshold.
A niche was found and began to develop it. It was transportation. The market was attended by a large number of private traders, but the visible company, there was only one “Gazelkin”. The market of transportations and transfers to individuals were not developed. I remember in the early 2000-ies I had a friend with something to carry, and we were looking for uncle Bob with the car, which was supposed to make a left flight for reward, not necessarily monetary.
If people went to the cottage, then carried the couches on the roofs of their cars like the Bedouins. Therefore, it was necessary to shape the demand and consumption pattern. We have to do it. That is, now the market is already developed?.
Over the last 10 years the market of private transport has increased greatly in volume. Now everybody understands that if you need something to carry from the store or just need transportation, it is not necessary to think. There are companies, they provide services, come quickly, there are all necessary services, just call or use other communication channels. Further we have already started working in b2b segment.
Our clients are those who do not actually own the Park, small and medium business. They need to deliver goods and products. As outsourcing company we provide group use of resources — as it is now fashionable to say. Still have large and medium-sized business that has a fleet of vehicles but during peak periods or in periods of abnormal activity, there is a need for additional machines. The drivers out or the demand increased, New year, some holidays, self Park is not enough and here we are.
“Hello, were ready.”. Then came to the cab is already a horizontal diversification in the transport sector. If we are developing in transport, why not develop in a cab, and in other directions. Moreover, the market started to tell us about it, we started asking customers if we have a taxi.
Conducted research and realized that this will be popular, and began to prepare the launch of the project. It was in 2014?.
A “Gruzovichkof” in what year started?. We have been trucking a long time, but “Gruzovichkof” has become a recognizable name somewhere in 2008-2009.
You say “we started”. It you have someone in mind?. I and a group of my like-minded co-founders.
Who are they?. Neednt worry about that. This information is not public and we do not make public.
In addition to the transport sector you have something started?. Transport is a complex direction. First, it is changing the competitive environment. Hes not the same margin as other segments of the market, so we need to diversify to offset any seasonal factors. We are ready to develop, we have the necessary expertise for the development of other industries, but they are still more commercial. Its not always high-end technologies.
We understand something in it — on the one hand, we have our own fleet of vehicles, but we still slowly go to the model aggregator. I believe that our internal development is already close to the average quality, they can be called semi-professional. Therefore, we tend to consider themselves in some degree it company. You said that you become more like an aggregator — will connect third-party fleets?.
We connect for several years. The model is the same that “Yandex.Taxi” or Gett. We work with hundreds of different third-party taxi services that come for the execution of orders “Takawiki” is their own cars or surrenderance under us. For the end user is unnoticed, but our model includes the model of the cab company, dispatch, which attracts private carriers, and a model aggregator that attracts third-party taxi service.
We work with 70 per cent of services in Saint-Petersburg. This small businesses with three to five machines, and large cab companies that also bring to the line of cars, including for us. They work with “Yandex.Taxi”, and Gett. That is from the same “Yandex” in its model, we are not much different in terms of the aggregator.
But we are including more and dispatch service, classic taxi company, so developing the hybrid model and think she is the only true. How much the market has changed over the last few years under the influence of Uber?. The taxi market is different.
As the consumption model. If people used to stand and vote at the curb or ordered the car by phone, and now mobile audience is growing, and in the next 10 years, 90 percent will be spent on mobile platforms. The world especially including in the regions. So, of course, Uber is affecting the consumption pattern. Not only he, but also other services — basically everything goes in mobile platforms, so Yes, Uber greatly affect this.
Market size increase due to availability. To some the phenomenon mass, it should be made available. Someone refuses car and began to drive a taxi because it becomes accessible. To your car youre going to go far, and a taxi will arrive very quickly. And it is not so expensive.
You need to create an attractive self-service, and your service will be first class. Out the human factor and errors. Through the application increases the awareness of customers about the services, because you get a notification youre following every step. So the technology, even not only Uber, change to all markets and redraw them far and wide.
Uber, when they came to the market has greatly brought down the price. There is still room to fall?. No, the bottom has been reached. The decline is likely to be – we expect this and are prepared.
In any case, there will be consolidation of the market, some carriers will sell each other and aggregators. In the end it will come down to the big three or four big players, as we do today with cellular operators. Since I started talking about the big players — who do you consider your main competitors?.
Were two segments are present. Aggregators known to all, it “Yandex.Taxi”, Gett, Uber. In the segment of taxis, if we talk about Saint Petersburg, is a large company.
“Lucky”?. Its more control, you can call it the third segment. If we talk about taxis— “777”, “068”, “6000000”, “5000000” — here are services that we all know them, they have work in our city. If we talk about control, it “Lucky”, now on the market was “Maxim”.
In St. Petersburg?. Yes, the “Maxim” in St. Petersburg, but still slightly. Cant say that they have already achieved some success.
Probably just test and see how they can develop. Maybe it wont happen, because it is hard. The market in St. Petersburg is saturated?.
I would not say. We now have the number of transport companies and vehicles which should. But the market is growing, so if it is saturated today, tomorrow it is not enough. And watch abnormal activity vehicles is not enough, the wait time increases. Soon will have the world Cup.
The city issued about 40 thousand permits for taxi, its not much, and not enough during peak hours. In normal weekdays, there are delays and increased waiting time. Like the world Cup can affect the price or market condition?.
All taxis will raise prices, and all the aggregators a bit Ill try to earn it. And it may be that they will not raise prices for the sake of image component. Traffic in St. Petersburg will increase, will come a lot of tourists, and the demand is speculative. There are some distinctive features of doing business in St. Petersburg?.
I never thought, but I think more or less all the same. In Moscow, foreign technologies and business methods come faster, there is development. Maybe there are experts more qualified. But they then with a more expensive payroll.
And so I, large differences do not, as it is not puzzling. Something the staff in Saint-Petersburg is stronger than in Moscow. Cant make any definite statements. You are billing at a fixed rate — I know in advance how much will be spent on travel.
Some of your competitors are billing by the minute or by kilometers. Do not plan to change the scheme?. We changed it before the New year. Also introduced billing per minute and kilometers. It was true then, because of the bursts of client activity.
But after the New year we decided to clean it up, because many clients complained. They want more certainty, want to know that when I sit in the car, you will pay the price. And competitors are already on the contrary, are beginning to abandon dynamic rates. For Example, Uber. Yes, Uber has refused to do this, Gett has long imposed tariffs of Economy a fixed payment, now many are waiting for his response of “Yandex”.
I think well be in the market. How are you doing in Moscow. You announced hes planning to run.
We plan to go out there, did the tests and was advertised in Moscow for some time. I watched how the market will react to our brand, what are the user patterns and demand. Understood that, in General, in Moscow it is not so, as we are told some of the participants.
The market before the end has not been developed and is ready to receive additional transport companies, the new aggregators. Trends suggest that the market will remain only aggregators. But what will be their number — time will tell. In any case, it will not be the “big three” — can be both “two” and “five”. And we expect to be among their number.
What about the other cities. I heard you start the franchise. Yes, I would.
Now we need to concentrate on Moscow and other cities will follow the franchise looking for General partners. This model of “Yandex”. But the franchise “Gruzovichkof” develops actively. This year lets megacities and small towns. Now we have five cities in the work.
Franchise taxi ready yet?. It is designed. Behind it platform. How much is the franchise?.
It all depends on the city. Royalties will be 5% of turnover. Available lump-sum payment. We dont want to earn some money. Our main goal is to allow the General partner was able to provide the required number of transport.
Let him better the money from the lump sum will be invested in transport. The quality of service will directly affect your brand. We know what to do. We have a quality control Department that calls and communicates with a large number of clients. There is a rating system for managers.
Get good feedback and use a variety of tools to the left as to the right level. I wonder what tools. A secret shopper?. For example,. This is when we sat down and swept.
We have many employees speaking mystery shoppers. There are forms of control of the crew, which they must complete during the trip. Such check-lists. This goes to the quality control. Then he calls, takes incoming calls from customers — if they had any problems.
Quality control making the calls in random order on a different client bases and explains what feedback is given one driver, as he serves customers. And in the regions who are the main competitors. “Maxim”?.
“Maxim”, “Lucky”. The “big three” is already in all regions, that is, “Yandex”, Gett, Uber is present in the megacities and smaller cities, so they can be called competitors. By the time when we go out there, the main competitors are already aggregators. Although the percentage of use of mobile platforms in the regions is still low coverage of the Internet is bad, so a new aggregators think about the fact that other channels of communication to connect, including phones, because I understand that in the regions with the app not much in the fight. Well, in order to fully enjoy all the services that they provide, for example, tracking the car, you need a normal Internet connection.
While this is not in the regions, even in the twentieth century, not that in towns with smaller populations. If to speak about Moscow, what are the main problems need to be addressed, to activities to deploy?. The main problem is the number of the fleet.
It should be great. Vehicles should be dispersed throughout the city, so we can provide the same fast car, as suggested by other aggregators. This is the main problem. Other issues some system or administrator, I do not see. We have to exit to Moscow all resources, from our business model and ending with various applications, marketing support, necessary knowledge, competencies.
How do you take so many cars at once?. Going to buy a large quantity until you know what and use all the same tools and models in Saint-Petersburg.
Private public transport companies, partners, its own fleet. In Moscow you need to go with a large amount of the fleet and serve the car quickly so no different from our colleagues. How are the orders from online and from offline?.
The number of orders in St. Petersburg online we have 32% — this app and website. Via the web a small percentage. Everything else comes through the contact center. In Moscow, about 40% via mobile, 40-45% is online, everything else is a contact center. This is according to our tests and studies.
And whats the trend. People have become more ordered through the app?. The number of orders through the app grows.
In Saint-Petersburg on the half cent, cent per month or even per quarter. Growing, but not as quickly. Launched the app almost two years ago, at the start was about 13-15% of the orders through the app. Now it is about 29.5%. For two years, two times increased almost.
But its not as fast as we expected. In Moscow the situation is better, everything is more technologically advanced. But evidence that orders through the app, someone from the competitors reach 70-80% of total orders in the market, we believe it is unreasonably high. Most likely, these statements are made to attract investors.
How are the costs of offline advertising, for example, outer — and the one that you put online?. Most of the audience goes to the Internet. Online promotion gives a smaller percentage of the total number of customers, but it takes the media a large share of the costs. Some channels offline generally fall off.
Of course, some channels work better, some worse, but this is not due to the fact that the tool itself works worse. Just maybe we have organized something better or worse on the contrary. We make a big bet on digital communications, we are able not only to meet the basic trends, but also to predict the main directions of development of the industry. Now even rethink all of our Internet presence, I think, than our sites can be helpful to people as they simplify their lives. They have to carry for the user payload, and not just to do lead generation.
To study the user behaviour on websites and other resources begin to use the technology of eye-tracking, that is, not only the standard metrics that provide a variety of services, but the study of the behavior of the pupil of the eye. Of course, use traditional SMM SMM has reorganized our Department of Digital PR 360, they now do not only attract a loyal audience, but also use of promotion mechanics in social media. We put in the forefront now of the content. It is clear that we also use media and contextual advertising, mobile tools are special programs that help us analyze big data from the largest providers of used and programmatic purchases. Recently Vkontakte announced the launch of widgets for websites, and we are the first among the competitors is introduced.
The audience of instant messaging is growing very actively. Now test the chatbot in a Telegram for “Gruzovichkof-Takawiki”, users will be able to order and receive the notification via a convenient platform. In addition, we develop our own SOFTWARE, we have separate division, it is both here and in Belarus. Create ERP systems to their businesses, integrate them with various CRM, logistics, and write integration modules. This gives us a competitive advantage because we are not restricted to the already created software and look beyond the business models that we call someone else ON.
And write it IN based on our current operating needs, the needs of the business. Implemented BI right now, we plan to introduce soon the neural network. Therefore, all of us this is very interesting, and that is why we believe that well versed in digital, it, and begin to consider themselves an it company. We have a small business unit — while this is more, of course, a venture that develops a few match3 games. Lets see how successful it will be.
The company quickly grows. What problems growth you face, how to solve them?. Like all the problems of growth is a process.
The company grows, processes change constantly, they need to describe, regulate, and its not easy. Just like any growing company, we have a crisis of growth, and we need to deal with it. Sometimes it turns out successfully, sometimes not. That did not work?.
This small tactical tasks. Somewhere staff can be a problem where the processes are organized is wrong, we do wrong analysis and wrong made a step back to change the competitive environment. Its more tactical shortcomings. Of course, the problems are everywhere — staff competencies.
The frames we have decide everything. It, you know, its a narrow bottleneck, which may not always meet the needs of the business.
Im here, of course, went on “Takawiki”, and halfway tried to learn in the call center, as during a trip to switch method of payment from cash to card. To me there is no one able to help — in the end had to give almost all the money that I had. How do you solve such problems?. If such problems arise, we must eliminate the human factor.
Order to help and were competent. Now the operator has the ability to change the payment method, it have no driver. It is a technical task that needs to be added to the list — we have a lot of things that you want to automate and leave it to the drivers ability to control it. The taxi driver needs to solve the clients problem independently.
We are lacking developers, so here we are lagging behind. You mentioned that you are actively working with innovation, and recently slipped the news that you are planning to invest in the development of unmanned systems. This is such a PR move or a part of the strategy?. Of course, this PR-move, and our desire to delve into this topic.
We in any case have to buy these technologies is very expensive. If we could enter some kind of partnership with these developers, it would have been likely. In Russia, for example, Cognitive Technologies, they cooperate with KAMAZ.
Yes, there are still design Bureau “Aurora”, they just do a drone strike on the basis of “GAZelle”. This first puzzled not a design Bureau or a similar organization, and the automakers themselves, because in the future the cost of the car is the cost FOR. The consumer will choose the software, not just the car. If “KAMAZ”, “GAS”, or some other automaker can offer in your car high-quality software that will drive this car, it is likely that the user will choose another.
And if the carmaker will not develop its software, it will be forced to their cars to buy it — Apple, Google or Uber. These companies will embed their software in their cars, and the rest to sell expensive, and the price of such cars is not in the market. Well, probably these brands will have to leave the market.
Therefore, the automakers at the moment, just puzzled by the development, are all now investing in the development of unmanned vehicles. In Russia, because there are legislative barriers to the introduction of unmanned vehicles?. While the drones cant even even 50% to recognize traffic signs.
It is clear that the status of such a vehicle is also not defined. What it is, what will be the liability if he gets in an accident. He will be riding on roads where there is no markup. We have not so developed as in Europe or in the United States, so roads are poor in many regions. So, I think the legal status of the unmanned vehicle will not soon be issued in Russia.
Someday, Yes, we will all go in silvery suits and to communicate without words at the level of telepathy, within ten years we will have all sorts of built-in technology. Drivers, too, of course, will be replaced, but not soon. Since I remembered about the law — what kind of help you are missing from the state. Or some initiatives, on the contrary, the way?.
We have little hope for the state and much puzzling. There are initiatives on the legislative regulation of our market. On the one hand its probably okay. On the other hand, there are some amendments that we will interfere.
What?. This is due to the color scheme.
In St. Petersburg also want to make yellow cab?. Want to make white, gray or black. There are three colors, is currently discussing a bill on the introduction of colors.
And dedicated lanes-that will give?. The fact of the matter is that I want to regulate the market, but any additional preferences for taxi companies do not. In Moscow something did, Parking at the airports. And in St. Petersburg — no, not planning anything and no such discussions, although the law want to take.
We are all puzzled, as is fashionable to say, import substitution of goods. As our market foreign aggregators that are gaining market share, we have to think about import substitution of services.
If they adopted the amendment for the colors, then many Russian taxi companies, including “Yandex”, it is harder to differentiate from the competition, it is difficult to promote the services. We lose and any import of services will not be. For the population it will be more expensive because of price wars first, there is an active dumping for conquering the market, the competitors either are leaving or konsolidiruyutsya, and in the future is raising prices, even higher than those that were.
In other words, in the beginning, the consumer wins, and in the end he loses. If we talk about the group of companies who come up with the name for brands. Why did you choose such a scheme, with “PF” at the end?.
I think I invented it myself in 10 seconds. The name was successful. Now for the new business units we refer to specialized branding Agency who are engaged in this task on a professional level. That is the new “Limuzinai”, “Courierimap” it will not be?.
Under the brand platform much intelligence and creativity it is not necessary to invent something. Need concrete. No need to go to any branding agencies, everything is clear, it will be “Batanovci”. But for our other brands outside of the platform we turn to the specialized agencies that are already developing naming, corporate identity and web platform.
How do you choose a new niche. Take whatever gets in your eyes, or conduct market research?. Now a little research, write the business model, financial model and decide what to do next.
The Agency “Granat” yours, too, right?. Well I would not say that it is our. This Agency, with whom we already work for many years. It does not belong to you?.
And working with him for many years. They are our General partner regarding advertising, marketing, PR and everything connected with it, so it feels that it is our Agency. Ive seen mention of the fact that it belongs to you. We once invested in it, but in General it does not belong to us.
They are great well done. Make a quality product. But the group companies are not included. Do you have another meat processing plant and something to do with the concrete?. Concrete is our plans.
In some editions, we have stated that we want to develop this platform. She is a successful us a copy, so Yes, we will develop in the concrete. Launched meat processing. Plus we have now the service is food delivery, he also goes to Moscow this year. We have a system integrator, who serves us, and third-party clients.
Call center “Biznesman”, which also serves all of our incoming lines, and all third-party telemarketing clients. We have “Passazhirskii”, “Blinchiki”. A separate business unit “Gruzovichkof-outsourcing”. It serves a large number of Federal DIY-networks. From the outside it does look a bit unusual.
Like you are engaged in the transport, and then suddenly concrete, meat or something unexpected. Well, we are not limited to. For me there is no such binding. I cant call myself a motor transport worker. You can call yourself just an entrepreneur who can these business models to apply to other segments.
I more, probably, marketer, and businessman, rather than the Director of the fleet. For the development of new segments you attract external expertise?. No, we have within management company has a Department of investment analysis with analysts who are experts on financial modeling, and outsourced project managers, experts. Do it yourself.
As you build your day?. Day planning my assistant Anna. I have more Cabinet style of management. More and more I would like to go on a strategic level, but due to some reasons, defects management, sometimes you have to go on the tactical level.
You much time on operational management in each of the areas?. Not every. Transport — Yes.
In other businesses — no. And all this time?. Only delegation.
The basic principle is to delegate everything you can. What to drive in the city?. Mercedes GL.
Black. Do not use “Takawiki”?. Enjoy.
In the economy?. Sometimes I go, of course, in other classes, but only for the purpose of quality control, not more.
Drivers will not be recognized. Yet.
So you can roughly understand that this is the level of quality which get other clients. We only for this purpose and do. Approximately every two weeks we have a management drives. In service, leave the car and go by taxi.
And write the conclusion. Yourself behind the wheel of a taxi stand to the drivers side is more experience to evaluate?. Begin now to use it.
You are not going to ride?. No, because I have enough information. I can normally to perform.
And those leaders who are unable — they have to be put behind the wheel.