In less than five years, Ivo Aulik has built up one of the most successful minicab firms in London’s prosperous Canary Wharf business district, favourably rated by local corporations and hotels alike. His company is called Carrot Cars and although its cars are not sharing their colour with a vitamin rich vegetable, they offer sharp and highly sophisticated service otherwise.
Their call centre is using latest state-of-the-art technology to constantly track the movements of “carrot cabs”, and is therefore able to offer their clients precise timeline, from call out to driving from A to B.
Ivo Aulik is typical of a new breed of cosmopolitan Estonians, who left the country after the fall of Iron Curtain, and is making the best of it. After starting in the UK at the hospitality business, he quickly worked his way up, and first experiences in entrepreneurship soon followed. Using latest IT solutions and state-of-the–art technology is just another part of being a “typical Estonian” – birth country of Skype.
Ivo says that he was always confident that his taxi business would be a success. “It’s not a rocket science. Give a good service, control your business and make sure the drivers are not overcharging or doing anything improper. Working in the industry we saw the mini cab sector is failing in customer service and we thought that was something we could provide. I think we are now the biggest firm in both fleet and business in the area.”
Ivo has found that the most difficult area is hiring suitable staff. The average recruitment campaign sees him and his business partner speak to 50 applicants and inviting five for interview. Three make it through to the training programme and two would be taken on. “We have to be very selective. We need drivers with big smiles because they are the ones who earn the company its reputation.”
Ivo does not feel that his nationality plays any part when it comes to deal with business partners or employees: “London is a cosmopolitan city, there’s no sense here that you are a stranger.”