Wed | 03.06.2020
Transport & Logistics
Business Lease Group is part of the Netherlands based AutoBinck Group, currently one of the main contenders in the European mobility market. Being a strong player in all their 5 markets - the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Poland and Hungary - Business Lease manages today a total fleet of more than 30,000 vehicles for both B2B customers, ranging from blue chip pan-European companies to small and medium sized enterprises as well as private customers in some markets.
Business Lease focuses its business upon consistent delivery of high-quality service and care to companies and their individual drivers in a cost effective and environmentally sustainable way.
They strongly believe that focus on high quality service and care is their differentiator in the market, placing mobility services at the heart of their business rather than the vehicle itself.
The company opened its office in Romania in 2014 and became very soon one of the best operational leasing suppliers on the market, providing cost-effective and environmentally friendly leasing and fleet management solutions to their customers. Responding to the mobility demand of companies and their employees by unburdening fleet managers and drivers – that is their mission. An approach reflected in the slogan: ‘Passion for Mobility’. Their portfolio includes besides Operational Leasing and Fleet Management services, Rent, Sale & Lease Back as well as Fleet Consultancy. A wide range of young used cars is also provided through their Auto Market, all in very good conditions, monitored maintenance and repairs and guaranteed number of kilometers.
Interview with Philip Aarsman - Managing Director of Business Lease Romania
An entire career built in automotive industry… and 31 years for AutoBinck and Business Lease. What is so special about this company?
I´ve been always into mobility and cars and I think I couldn´t have pictured myself doing anything else. I graduated from the Auto Technische School in the Netherlands and then attended the Institute for Automotive Business -VBBM with the idea to start my own car business.
But after graduating, Mercedes-Benz offered me a position in their internal training program as a job-rotator, gaining knowledge of all processes of an automotive production and distribution company such as Pre-sales, Sales & Marketing, After Sales, Logistics, Product Management, etc. In this period, I specialized in the sales of Commercial Vehicles.
After a total of 5 years I moved to the AutoBinck Group and became responsible for fleet sales to both rental- and leasing companies and this is how the Business Lease story started. Since then I´ve grown with this company, lived all the ups and downs and had the opportunity to be part of wonderful start-up’s, Greenfields, and interim management projects together with many nice people in various countries along the way.
There are many businesses out there in the automotive world, but what is different about Business Lease is the family vibe. Although we’re now part of a Group with 1.600 employees, the roots of this family-owned business are visible in our involvement, care, in the way we set expectations and provide guidance, in everything we do.
How is the Romanian experience?
We opened our Romanian branch in 2014 and we have built a great team here. Things have not come easily, as we were entering a market already split among our competitors and we had to work harder. But I think that our constant investment in doing things properly and caring and being there for our clients paid back and the fact that we’re among the top ten operational leasing providers is the confirmation that we’re on the right track.
In these over 5 years of Romanian experience I have had the opportunity to see this country and to meet so many wonderful people. I have visited many places and I am still surprised by the combination of wild nature, old sites and modern that Romania is about. I can say I have found myself a second home here. Travelling allowed me to understand the country and see how people approach opportunities. If in Bucharest the multinational companies have already set a rhythm and internationally known practices, in other parts of the country we can see Romanian entrepreneurs building very solid companies with a completely different approach. Their request for flexibility, adapting our products and services was our challenge and in the same time the key to building successful partnerships.
What sets Business Lease apart from the other competitors?
Cars are basically the same no matter where you buy or lease them from. What makes the difference in working with us is the customer experience, and this is where our people play an important role. It’s not just us saying so, but our clients whenever they have the opportunity.
What services can companies get if they want to work with Business Lease?
Our service range covers all fleet management related aspects. From operational leasing through which you completely outsource all the hustling and bustling associated with managing your fleet to other fleet administration types, such as: Fleet Management (through which you keep your fleet and just outsource car management), Short Term Lease solutions for temporary projects, Sale & Lease Back (for instant cash and pain free fleet management). But there is no one-size-fits-all product and we understand that each client is different and has different needs. That is why, our Mobility Consultants offer solutions to best suit our clients’ real need and help them optimize the costs for fleet management.
How do you adapt to your clients’ challenges?
Challenges are different and very much connected to the industry in which our clients operate. Economy these days has had many unknown aspects to deal with, the forecasts are on moving sands and it’s still hard to predict what is going to happen. So, there’s no plan to stand up to success. But our approach has focused first and foremost on our clients. It’s important to help them secure their business and provide them with useful mobility solutions. That is why for this period of uncertainty we recommend Short Term Lease or Rent solutions which are easy to adjust in terms of budget and timeframe. Also, in our Auto Market clients can find a wide range of young used cars available for ReLease or purchase.
Furthermore, we think this is a good moment for companies to focus on their fleet analysis and update, reshape or draft their Vehicle Fleet Policy. Our Consultants provide valuable Consultancy on that.
Also, for the same purpose, our Account Managers constantly monitor and analyze the portfolio and propose our clients plans to help them during this period. Our aim is to build profitable and win-win partnerships.
How does the X-Ray of this period look like?
The challenges we and our clients are now facing were unimaginable a couple of months ago. Nobody has foreseen this coming and planned accordingly, so what has happened lately was a fast reshape of our businesses and constant adjustment. The situation is even more complex as the impact worldwide can be neither quantified nor foreseen.
We are aware of the fact that things are not going to be the same and we are taking steps towards this new normality. We have seen companies reopening their business under the new social distancing and personal protection rules, we see that people started travelling again for work, kindergartens open, parks open… gradually we go back to our lives. What is striking is that back to our lives is no longer what we used to know as “our lives” and if the crisis in 2009 allowed us to take baby steps and be prudent, now, there is no room for hesitation. We are pushed to act fast and, most important, be precise.
What is future like?
There is a saying: You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. This crisis managed to make us behave accordingly. Furthermore, despite promoting social distancing, it brought us closer to one another… It forced us to find so many creative solutions to help and be helped. I think people have a different understanding of humanity now. It was an intensive course about kindness and flexibility, fast reply, and adjustment. I hope we go back to business with this lesson learnt and intensively practice it.
Find more details about Business Lease Romania here
Discover some of the services Business Lease provides:
Full Operational Lease: We arrange everything for you: car acquisition; car registration; maintenance and repairs; tires acquisition, change and storage; fuel card; road assistance; replacement car; insurances; road tax, pick-up and delivery; car wash, on-line reporting.
Fleet Management: keep your car fleet and outsource the car management. We will take care of everything, from purchasing to selling the car, insurance, maintenance and fuel administration, allowing you to focus on your core business.
Sale & Lease Back: for instant cash and pain free fleet management. A special form of lease, in which the car fleet that was already acquired by the customer is sold to Business Lease.
Short Term Lease or Rent solutions: easy to adjust in terms of budget and timeframe. Flexibility for a number of days up to one year. We will deliver the car where you want and come and pick it up again where and when you want.
ReLease: availability of a wide range of young used cars. Low lease costs, short contract term, no waiting time; we can deliver immediately!