The new CarGo Butler service is a premium service that will not be cheap, but we reckon that there are people who will appreciate that quality and will be willing to spend a little more money for a higher level of service than the average delivery we are all used to.
We talked with Vuk Guberinić, CEO of CarGo, about the new services the company is developing. In this interview, he spoke about a specialized, recently launched service called CarGo Butler: “CarGo Butler is a new project that was officially launched two months ago. We signed a contract with almost 200 restaurants. On the one hand, we work in partnership with restaurants, pharmacies and retail chains, and on the other, we engage our partners – the Butlers – to be personal assistants to customers, to deliver higher quality, as soon as possible, at the address where the customer currently is, “ Mr Guberinić says.
How far have you come with the implementation of the CarGo Butler project, which you told us about in late August, and which has been advertised with through a fantastic campaign in recent weeks?
The goal is for all users to be able to rely on Butler when they need a product, and that is in the comfort of their home or the comfort that using a single application for multiple services provides. Our goal is to become one a fintech platform which will assemble several service providers, and where, in one place, the user, once registered, can buy something with one click, be it the best burger or sushi, and for that to be delivered to them within an hour or two, at the address they say. Unlike before, as it was the case with some courier service, when you, for instance, buy an armchair online, courier service arrives at 14:55 to pick it up, the store is open only until 15:00, you are in your office and still have to wait until Monday for the armchair to be delivered.
Is there room in Serbia for services like Butler? Can courier services in Serbia keep up with the development of e-commerce and did you see an opportunity for yourself there?
We see a great opportunity for us, for the CarGo Butler service, i.e. in the premium or ultra-fast delivery. We focus on hyperlocal and we want to see over 1,000 Butlers on the streets of Belgrade. A lot of people are dissatisfied with the courier services they are using since they couldn’t keep up with the development of the E-commerce market as they were unprepared for it. Our service will be a premium service and we will set a new standard, starting from uniforms to speaking to customers, i.e. the way our Butlers are addressing them. We see an opportunity in ultra-fast delivery or same-day-delivery service. All our customers need is laptop cable. With several clicks in the application, they can buy what they want and have that delivered to them in one or two hours to any address in Belgrade. This service will not be cheap, but we reckon that there are people who will appreciate that quality and will be willing to spend a little more money for a higher level of service than the average delivery we are all used to.
Has this crisis perhaps accelerated the development and application of new technologies, new services, and the development of new partnerships?
It has. The crisis has drastically accelerated development. We had an idea of which direction we wanted to go. It all started with the mobility sector and the disruption of an industry that did not use any technology. That was our starting point and we have accomplished great success later on. I am proud of the company and all my colleagues because we implemented this.
We are one of the e-commerce pioneers in Serbia and we entered this business without compromise. We did not accept mediocre solutions or old-fashioned payments, or the situation where you just click on something and buy it, which, in all actuality, just means sending a signal to the postman to deliver it to you and you pay for it. Even today, I think we are the only company in Serbia that operates exclusively online, and we are proud of that. We process a large number of online transactions, millions, in fact, and that experience takes us further. We learn from people from both the West and the East, we do something they have already done there, which is something that millions and even hundreds of millions of people are already using.
Nothing would be possible without our partners to whom we are grateful. We are doing our best to provide them with the best conditions possible and we have a lot of novelties for them that we are preparing in the future.
A year ago, did you even anticipate that you will enter into a partnership with restaurants?
As a platform, CarGo has entered a new segment and that is a partnership with restaurants. Obviously, we are not going to work with every single restaurant in Belgrade, but we are strategically and carefully choosing restaurants that are worthy of attention and have quality products. As everyone is now affected by this crisis, we are looking to act as a proper partner to them from the very beginning and through promotions and our campaign to help them to survive these difficult times. As a result of reduced working hours, the people in the catering business are facing a growing problem and uncertainty. We understand that, and we are trying to act as a good partner and together, to reach more than a million of our registered users online to offer them something that nobody else is offering and by doing so, to help our partners.
The response so far has been good which is very important to us. This campaign has demonstrated the power of our brand and everything we have done in the past five years has yielded results. Of course, we have our partners, who are on the Belgrade streets every day, and without whom nothing would work. We are grateful to them, we are doing our best to provide them with the best conditions possible and we have a lot of novelties for them that we are preparing in the future.
Is it too early to give a forecast for next year? Some people are saying that this crisis will be perhaps worse than the 2008 one?
It could be worse, but we are not stopping. We are trying as hard as we can to maintain the existing business and improve everything we want to implement, as well as to create a serious fintech application for our platform. Our idea is to offer users 6 to 7 services in just one application. We are now in a transit period, so to speak, i.e. a period of user education because we are focusing hard on educating people that they can find everything they need in just one application. In the beginning, the users’ feedback was mostly about why we were not making a completely new application. So, we did that, but the idea is to act strategically and tell the user “OK, you maybe don’t need food delivered today, maybe you won’t need it tomorrow too, but one day you will” or “One day, you will need the Butler service for quick delivery. We are a one-stop-shop that is easy to use.”
As a development opportunity, mobility was the spark that led to a large number of new users registering for a new service.
What is CarGo preparing for next year and do you have long-term plans considering the current circumstances?
We are preparing to re-design the application and a couple of new services, one of which I can announce for the first time interview. It’s called CarGo Medical and this is an exclusive announcement. CarGo Medical will also be an integral part of our application as a loyalty programme in the medical sector. Our members will be able to buy one CarGo Medical loyalty card annually and they will be able to use the card in one of the 1,500 health institutions in Serbia that have concluded a contract with us. Thanks to this service, CarGo will become the mission white services, as they call it in Western countries. That service should have been already launched, but it has been delayed a bit because of the current situation.
We have serious plans for next year in terms of electrification of our fleet. That’s one of the big projects and we will have external partners to carry that out. There are also a couple of other services in the making, which will change a lot of habits about buying online and paying for services both online and offline. This will be made possible through the CarGo Pay service. Our customers will also be able to send money via this service. This is a market that is on everyone’s lips but we have seen very little success until now in that segment.