Five questions for: Karim Kaddoura, co-founder, Virtuo
MoneyWeek talks to Karim Kaddoura, co-founder of mobile-phone based car-rental firm, Virtuo.
What does your firm do?
Virtuo is a 100% mobile car-rental firm that removes the pain of traditional rental, including queues and reams of paperwork. The process is carried out via the Virtuo app, including booking a car, locating and unlocking it, customer service and damage reports.
What's been your firm's greatest achievement?
One of our key goals is expanding into strategic markets, so I was thrilled when Virtuo launched in London, which has the biggest car-rental market in Europe and is a hugely competitive arena. It was a really big achievement for our business and since then Virtuo has gone from strength to strength. The company has recently launched in Manchester and we will also be expanding our business to other UK cities in the near future.
What has been your biggest challenge?
It's been difficult at times to prove we aren't just another standard car-rental service. Fighting against typical industry stereotypes has occasionally stalled our progress when expanding into new locations, but we have really talented teams working together to help consumers understand the benefits of Virtuo.
What are your plans for hitting your targets?
We're still a young company compared with other players in the sector, but we have huge ambitions to transform access to car hire in rural areas. Not only are we improving the customer experience, but we're also establishing an alternative travel solution for city dwellers to explore inside and outside of their city's boundaries. As we grow, we will continue to bring innovation to our service and work with policymakers and authorities to expand Virtuo across Europe.
What's the one piece of advice you'd give to fellow entrepreneurs?
Be confident in yourself, and don't be afraid to try out new things. It's important to test ideas out, to see what works and what doesn't. It's the best way to learn, as you can better understand your failures and know what you need to improve on for the next time round.