Alkilautos, web platform innovates the way to rent vehicles in Colombia

Silvia Castro Betancourt

December 27, 2017

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NsntqbjbThe old adage says that “no one is a prophet in their land,” perhaps, for this reason, many leave their country seeking fortune and success; some find it and despite that they decide to return to challenge the providence.

This is the story of Martha Juliana Rey and José María García, a couple of spouses who after having their lives, perfectly organized in Australia, the country of dreams for many, decided to pack their suitcase and return to Colombia to embark on a journey nothing easy: do business.

And how to understand that this couple decided to leave their dream life in the distant country of Oceania, where, among many other things, they had great jobs, he as financial planning manager of a brewer and she in a position, too, important in the corporate sector. The answer can not be other than the persistence and stubbornness that characterize true entrepreneurs.

So, they landed again in Colombia in 2015 to give life to Alkilautos, a digital venture that with only two years in the market, is one of the leading platforms in the country in the vehicle rental industry.

But why rent cars? Very simple, Martha Juliana knows about this industry, almost, since she has the use of reason. The car rental was the business with which his parents, back in his native Bucaramanga, managed to get his family forward. In fact, Alkilautos is the original name of the family business of the King.

The great innovation that Martha and José decided to impress on the family business was to change the traditional way in which people requested a rental car; that now and through its application is minimized to a simple click.

The husbands Rey García also understood that in this new business model the other car rental companies were not their competitors, but on the contrary, they had to become their allies. So they invited them to become part of the project and become its main suppliers.

“The reality is that the rental market was always alien to technological development, this motivated us to create Alkilautos.com, a virtual solution that integrates the offer of rental cars nationally and internationally with the end customer. Our goal is to put an end to the myths that rent a car in Colombia is difficult, expensive and requires a lot of paperwork, “said Martha Juliana Rey, marketing manager of Alkilautos in an interview with Colombia-inn.

At present, Alkilautos groups the offer of the main growers of the country and maintains alliances with important international firms such as Localiza, AVIS, Budget, Hertz, Dollar, among others.

This universe of suppliers allows you to provide services in 13 cities in the country and in 45 nations around the world, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Argentina, Spain, London, and France. The whole operation is handled from Colombia and with national talent.

“Each provider has a private virtual account, easy to manage or with direct connectivity through API for the assembly of information, which is immediately updated to our customers through the portal and without waiting times. All our processes are automated and we guarantee car availability instantly,” the manager said.

During 2016, Alkilautos served more than 1,500 customers and expects this figure to increase exponentially given that the passenger market is growing rapidly. “Only in Colombia there is an average of more than 1,000 web searches a day related to car rental,” said Rey.

The founders of this enterprise know that, at present, the use of the new technologies of information and communications, are, perhaps, the greatest factor of competition that has a product within the market, however, they maintain that these new advances they must be accompanied by the provision of an excellent service, which must be clear and transparent.

“That is our great promise, to offer transparency in prices, guaranteeing zero hidden charges and calculating the minimum detail so that they meet and surpass all the expectations of the users and their experience is the best,” he added.

Since her arrival in Colombia, Martha Juliana and José María understood that the only way for their enterprise to take off and start showing good results, as indeed it is happening, was to rely on the different entities, both public and private, that facilitate the birth and consolidation of business ideas.

For this reason, they recognize the contribution that the Apps.co initiative of the MinTIC, which promotes the development of mobile applications, offered at the beginning of the project. Now, in a more mature stage, Alkilautos is part of the cycle of companies supported by Wayra Colombia, the startup accelerator of Telefónica Open Future.

With the impulse of the accelerator, they are looking for in 2017 to continue expanding their coverage in the rest of the country and offer their portfolio of services, also, in the intermediate cities. The idea in the long term is to make a greater presence in other Latin American countries such as: Mexico and Chile.

Currently, after two years of venturing to return to Colombia to start over, they do not regret the decision they made at the time. They wanted to show what they were made of and, without a doubt, the results say it all.

The above article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English. Click here to read the original article.

Silvia Castro Betancourt

December 27, 2017

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Acerca de Lucas Vargas:

  • Empezó en Grupo ZAP como el VP de Sales y en 2016 cuando la empresa tenía 60 empleados. Fue nombrado COO de VivaReal tomando el mando de Brian Requarth el Co-Fundador. VivaReal lanzó en Colombia y se trasladó a Brasil. En 2017 se hizo CEO del Grupo ZAP.
  • Ha trabajado en Mexico en PWC y en el Banco Santander
  • Tiene un Master de Business Administration de Harvard
  • En noviembre este año después de la fusión de OLX Brasil y Grupo ZAP fue nombrado el CEO del OLX Business Unit. Lidera la empresa junto con Andries Oudshoorn y Marcos Leite
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Simon Baker is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Online Marketplaces and Property Portal Watch. Involved with property portals for 15 years, he’s a well-recognized expert and industry consultant.
As former CEO/MD of the REA Group for 8 years, Simon led the group to its current market-leading position. When he joined REA Group in 2001, it had $4m in revenues, $6m in losses and an $8m market cap.
By 2008, the company presided over $155m in revenues, $35m in EBITDA and enjoyed a peak market cap of $1b. Simon is currently Chairman of the Mitula Group and Real Estate Investar and a serial portal founder and, investor.