We are increasingly designing solutions outside the typical CFM scheme - Tomasz Piekarski tells us. We spoke to MHC Mobility's CEE Sales Director about the brand's development directions and the future of electromobility.
Could you explain your career path to our readers: has it been automotive from the beginning, since you started working at MHC Mobility, is motoring a job or also a passion?
I have been involved in the automotive industry since 1996. Until 2001, I worked as Head of Procurement & Logistics at the Daewoo Motors car factory and was in charge of organising the supply of parts for car production from many foreign destinations. In 2001 I co-founded a branch of the company Business Lease Poland and for the next 9 years I was responsible for the operational and commercial area. As a result of our activities, the company became one of the 5 most recognised brands on the CFM market. In 2010, I opened another chapter in my career, this time at Arval. As before, I was responsible for the development and improvement of operational processes, product development, commercial and marketing strategy. In 2017, I started a project at Fraikin, where, together with the CEO and CFO, we spent almost two years transforming the organisation towards greater operational and commercial efficiency. In 2019, another interesting challenge emerged - a new project with high growth potential in PL and CEE, namely MHC Mobility. Acquisition of new entities, consolidation of companies, organisational changes, recruitment of the best CFM specialists, development of cooperation in CEE, introduction of new products in the field of EV, mMobility or MaaS. Motoring was, is and will be my great passion. I am currently exploring the world of new mobility based on EV and MaaS.
It's getting louder and louder about MHC Mobility. After a fairly recent merger and rebranding, you have strengthened your position in the market. What do you see as MHC Mobility's competitive advantage?
The already strong position of the company has been further strengthened by the merger of two strong players with Japanese capital. This has created a very strong global organisation offering a full range of vehicles and solutions as part of a sustainable mobility strategy. Above all, we are an organisation whose growth strategy is based on tailoring solutions to specific markets and responding to the sophisticated needs of our customers - different types of vehicles from cars to EVs to HCVs and specialised heavy goods vehicles, quick responses to changing markets, advice, solution-finding, integration and coordination within regions, tangible quality in cooperation and customer satisfaction - that is what sets us apart.
Mobility is enshrined in the DNA of the company, as well as in the name itself. How would you define this broad concept in your terms?
Mobility- the ability to move to a predetermined destination at a predetermined time and in an optimal way, using different types of vehicles and available MaaS solutions, with the least possible environmental impact (no carbon footprint).
You have clearly set your sights on promoting electromobility. Is the Polish market ready for such an e-transformation?
Yes, the Polish market is fully ready. I think that after years of preparing solutions supporting the development, creating plans, as well as introducing appropriate legal acts and incentives, the time has come for the market to react. There is clearly a movement towards EVs. ZP customers have already moved into action and are ordering their first EVs. Due to the entry into force of the Electromobility Act. The Act requires parts of the market - row institutions, local authorities, public authorities - to have min. 10% of BEV electric cars. Multinational companies in other markets have already been moving towards clean, zero-emission transport for several years. Currently, their Polish branches are also introducing EV vehicles into their fleets in Poland.
Rising fuel prices, inflation, the uncertainty of tomorrow - how are these factors affecting Polish entrepreneurs? Do you see a slowdown in their business, or are companies looking for new opportunities to grow?
The economic situation for entrepreneurs in countries outside the eurozone is indeed difficult and requires constant monitoring of economic indicators and the introduction of measures to protect against the risk of overestimating the capacity of the market and the purchasing power of consumers-entrepreneurs. The fact is that economic instability, rising prices, lack of availability of components for production, creates uncertainty. We observe that in such a situation entrepreneurs adapt to the new conditions and are keen to optimise their business. They are increasingly taking advantage of MHC's advice on cost optimisation, mobility and transport.
During Mobility Day, in addition to cars, you presented a fairly wide range of other electric vehicles. Will employees of Polish companies switch to bicycles? Will their rental as part of CFM services grow? What market potential do you see in this area?
Yes, we have various micromobility vehicles on offer, including electric bicycles and scooters, and we see a surprisingly high interest from customers in other forms of mobility, including electric bicycles. We believe that the bicycle rental offer will be one of several solutions available to encourage cost optimisation and mobility for company employees, which is particularly important in the current complex market for traditional mobility, based largely on traditional cars. I think that large companies with office workers will be interested in introducing bicycles into their employee benefit offerings. And such an action by employers could translate into an increased interest in renting electric bikes. We predict that in the initial period, i.e. 2-3 years, the demand may reach the level of 3-5 units for every 100 employees working in offices located in cities.
What could others follow you in? What trends/solutions do you set in the market?
We would prefer that no one imitates us. MHC Mobility takes a unique approach. Our employees advise businesses on how to optimise the costs associated with mobility provision. Increasingly, we are talking and designing solutions outside the typical CFM scheme. In our project work, we draw on solutions successfully used by MHC clients in other countries, i.e. EVs, micro EVs, bikes, scooters, MobilitySpot, MaaS.
What kind of team do you manage and what kind of collaboration model do you have with your employees?
The best. Actually, the colleagues themselves manage their areas of responsibility very well. The team consists of 25 very positive people, specialists in their fields, committed enthusiasts, open-minded advisors. The colleagues are very familiar with the realities of the market, which enables them to respond to clients' needs in real time. The collaborative model is based on a strong link between the different areas in the sales department and the company more broadly. The team works largely on the basis of shared objectives. All units of the sales department work well together and carry out their assigned tasks with enthusiasm and successfully implement new interesting projects. The structure of MHC's commercial department includes: marketing & PR & products, customer service, sales, e-mobility, acquisition, legal consultancy, international cooperation office and CEE regional branches.
Nowadays, people and companies are no longer so attached to one partner. They are constantly looking for new solutions, more favourable offers, etc. So how do you keep your customers with you? What tips do you have for managers and companies regarding customer cooperation?
It seems that the times when cheap offers were the decisive factor, not quality, are over. With such a fast-changing reality, the best are still in the game - open-minded experts, ready with their commitment to help customers achieve their business goals. The MHC Mobililty team represents these values. As a result, we are seeing a growing commitment from clients to the solutions offered by MHC and its open approach to helping them achieve optimum mobility provision costs. In my opinion, the time has come to consolidate clients within one good business partner that guarantees quality, added value and certainty of cooperation. MHC Mobility CEE is certainly such a partner.