Sergio Studer tells us how CARIFY offers sustainable and flexible mobility for the future.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded CARIFY.
Sergio Studer: After my master’s degree, I joined a start-up of one of my colleagues as a sales manager. My friends from my studies all went to big companies, banks or consulting firms. However, I have always been interested in and fascinated by entrepreneurship. I have also come from a family of entrepreneurs. That’s why I made a conscious decision to work in a start-up.
After six months, I already had the opportunity to move up to management and then build up an international sales team. The company became the fastest growing company in Switzerland in 2017, and we were very successful.
Then in 2019, I had enough, and together with my co-founder, we looked for a new challenge. We saw that the whole mobility market is undergoing major changes. New technological developments, drive systems and a strong change in user needs and behavior are ideal prerequisites for new, innovative business models. This is why we founded CARIFY (www.carify.com), with the aim of offering sustainable and flexible mobility for the future.
We are now a team of 30 people and the largest car subscription platform in Switzerland. And all this without owning a single car ourselves. With our asset-light approach, we are super scalable and highly focused. We work with the market and create a sustainable ecosystem.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Sergio Studer: I think everyone should have little habits that make their lives easier. In general, I believe that the more disciplined you become, the easier your life gets. Self-discipline means establishing authority over your own habits, routines, and priorities and not being under their control. I try to be on time for every meeting, finish every meeting on time, stick to time constraints, and deliver on what I promise to other people. This is the only way to trust and rely on each other.
How does CARIFY market its product/services online?
Sergio Studer: We are a digital marketplace for car subscriptions. Most of our marketing spend is on online advertising, organic and paid search, and social media.
What specific tools, software and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Sergio Studer: We use different tools and software for our marketing and always try to use the best and most innovative instruments. As a company, we are always trying to automate our processes as quickly as possible so that we can focus more on our customers and their needs.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Sergio Studer: I think hiring the best people is the most important task of every entrepreneur. Smaller companies depend on great people much more than big companies, as their impact is much higher. I also strongly believe that quality is much more important than quantity. We are looking for people who are motivated to achieve more together with us and ready to take on responsibility and learn quickly.
How are you funding your growth?
Sergio Studer: Through our own cash flows as well as through selected investors who are equally motivated to change the world together with us.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Sergio Studer: Since we are in a new and rapidly growing market, we have no direct competitors. Every company that enters our market helps us to make the overall market bigger and increase the awareness of our service. We are not overly oriented towards the others but are aware that we are in an infinite game, where the goal is not to win but to stay in the game as long as possible. We try to achieve this by hiring the most motivated and best people with the best ideas and the will to execute them quickly.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Sergio Studer: Thanks to our service, we make it possible for thousands of people to have access to individual and new mobility that they did not have before. From the young apprentice who needs a car for the daily trip to the company where he is being trained to the 75-year-old retiree who, despite his advanced age, is still fresh in his mind and wants to test out the technology of electro-mobility that is new to him.
Your final thoughts?
Sergio Studer: My goal is to motivate young as well as older people to have the courage to go their own way and make a difference. Search for change, respond to it and exploit it as an opportunity. Everyone can tell you the risk. Look for the reward!