Uber got über-famous worldwide for the controversy it has created among angry taxi-drivers, on one side, and happy users, on the other. Through an app and online payments, people can experiment being a VIP with a personal driver in a fancy car (Mercedes, Legacy and BMWs are among the available vehicles) for rates that are as low as a cab ride (or sometimes even lower). It also allows private drivers to increase their income by carrying Uber users in their own cars, which is generating a buzz on the streets of the largest cities in Europe.
Uber is an undeniable world phenomenon, and it is currently quickly expanding across German largest cities. The tech platform that started in San Francisco only five years ago has beat the mark of 100 cities earlier this year. According to Fortune, the company is worth over 17 billion dollars.
This week, Immigrant Spirit interviewed Mr. Fabien Nestmann, General Manager of Uber Munich, who explained how Uber works.
“We set each city with three people:
1) A Community Operations Manager, who is responsible for interacting with the users and needs to be open, communicative and interested in knowing everything about the city;
2) An Operations and Logistics Manager, with a more analytical profile.
3) The General Manager for each city, who also needs to be open and perform communications on policy.”
With an open environment and being considered the tech company of the year (2013, by USA Today`s Michael Wolff), Uber is an interesting place to work.
In Germany, Uber is currently hiring people to work in Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Frankfurt. There are available positions for Community Manager, Operations & Logistics and General Manager.
With this fast growth, there are also some challenges on the way. “We are hiring like crazy”, pointed out Nestmann. “Every month, 30-40 people join the company, and we need to bring them on board properly, helping them to find their place in the company and giving guidance to them.”
If you are interested in working for Uber, Nestmann gives you a few tips: “We are very strict in who we are looking for, and we prefer sometimes refusing hiring a few candidates to maintain the company culture and grow together. People at Uber have to have a self-starting attitude.”
“We try to be very local in each city we are operating, and it helps if they know the area or have the willingness to know the area”, complemented Nestmann.
Nestmann explained: “The keys to our success are three things: First, the focus on doing one thing, and doing it very well. We are specialists in supplying a platform where users and providers can meet, and we are focused on doing it the best way we can. Second, we are expanding our customer service, listening to feedback we get from users and improving our service. Lastly, the drivers are also very satisfied, as they can watch live for people demanding on our platform.”
In Germany, Uber is expanding quickly. After its debut in Berlin in February 2013, the company has started this month its activities in Düsseldorf. Uber, that borrowed its name from the word above (Über), is growing quickly. “We are currently operating in 169 cities in 43 countries worldwide”, said Nestmann. “We are noticing such a fast growth it is hard to follow.”
The idea of the company, however, is to expand even further: “The plan is to be in every big city in the world”, affirmed Nestmann. In Germany, Cologne and Stuttgart are in the immediate plans of Uber, although the official launching dates have not yet been confirmed.
Regarding its people, Nestmann commented: “Every start-up will mention these qualities, but you need to be self-motivated, entrepreneurial and act quickly to be successful in Uber. Sitting and waiting for work won`t work in this fast paced environment.”
A great differential of Uber`s people is, according to Nestmann, the openness of the business. “Every employee is encouraged to share their successes and failures. Information is power, and every employee of Uber has a good view of the whole business. Empowering people and sharing information is in the heart of our company.”
Concluding the interview, the General Manager of Uber Munich talked about the future of the company. “The goal is being present in as many cities as possible, being in every smartphone and delivering the best quality services.”