BUDGET

Colombia 2020 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

We are connected to the main GDS' in the tourism industry, which gives us agility to modify availability and price in real time.

Francesco Pileggi
BIOGRAPHY

Born in Caracas, Francesco Pileggi graduated with a degree in civil engineering from the Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas and later obtained an MBA from Wharton. He has more than 15 years of experience in the car rental industry, where he has scaled positions from the operations area until being appointed General Manager for Budget Rent-a-Car in Colombia.

How has the car rental business taken shape in Bogotá, and how does this compare with the rest of the country and areas where you have a presence?
We have almost six years of operational experience and have grown over 20% per year. We currently operate in Bogotá, Rionegro, and Cartagena and are poised to open an office in Cali. In these six years, despite certain barriers that our service faces in Bogotá, it has represented 45% of our national operation. However, this is likely to fall in the future, since we have increased our business in Medellín and Cartagena as well. In the past, each of these cities accounted for 25% of our total business, but today the figure is between 31% and 28%, respectively.

Let's talk about the strategies that have underpinned your 20% annual growth. What strategies are you carrying out with regards to innovation and digitalization?
We are connected to the main GDS' in the tourism industry, which gives us agility to modify availability and price in real time. If we open an office today, in two minutes we are already available to the millions of users and travel agencies that use Sabre, Amadeus, or Galileo, given our presence on these portals. So far, our focus has been on tourism, though we want to grow and see great potential in the short and long-term corporate segment in Colombia. The short-term car rental industry has grown in tourism, corporate, and the replacement vehicle segment.

What is the appeal of the corporate market?
A company that has vehicles for the use of its officials has large assets that depreciate and require capital expenditure to meet them. We offer a rental option to use a vehicle when required without needing a large initial investment. That is money that can be directed elsewhere within a company.