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Reliance Worldwide Thrives In Tough European Market

Martin Romjue
Posted on January 10, 2012
London operator Reza Choudhury has diversified his chauffeured transportation service with multiple, complementary product lines.

London operator Reza Choudhury has diversified his chauffeured transportation service with multiple, complementary product lines.

London operator Reza Choudhury has diversified his chauffeured transportation service with multiple, complementary product lines.
London operator Reza Choudhury has diversified his chauffeured transportation service with multiple, complementary product lines.

LONDON -- Operator Reza Choudhury of Reliance Worldwide in London and a founder of EuroLimousine.net offers insights on how his company operates amid the challenges of the U.K. industry market.

What is unique about chauffeured services in your nation compared to the U.S.?
We all provide pretty much the same level of terms and conditions of business — 24/7, chauffeurs in uniform and presented well, booking systems, mobile technology. But a major difference is our vehicle types; 98% of the vehicles that operators are running in U.K./Europe are Mercedes-Benz (E Class, S Class, Viano SUV), BMW 5 & 7 series, Audi A8 & Q7, Range Rovers and/or Volvos.

What are key challenges of your service area/region?

Besides rouge chauffeurs, in this economy the cost of motoring has soared by 14% in the last year. The average new vehicle now costs more a year to own and run than it did in 2007. The cost of running a new vehicle is rising almost three times as fast as official consumer price inflation of 5%. By taking depreciation and car finance out of the calculations, the daily running costs were up 11% compared to last year. Car insurance was the next major outlay, with costs associated to insure a vehicle up 14.5%. Rising petrol costs added 12.5% to the cost of running a vehicle. The average price for a litre of unleaded petrol is about 15p (pence) higher than this time last year, and diesel at 18 (pence) higher.

What qualities do you look for in a U.S. affiliate?

Trust, reliability and commitment are the major ethos we carry out throughout my organization and with our international suppliers. All affiliates have to be 24/7 and adhere to our terms and conditions of business: Providing chauffeur details, meet and greet procedures, billing within 24 hours of ride completion, and more importantly, carrying the correct insurance cover for the passenger and vehicle.

What specific rules or procedures do U.S. operators need to be aware of when affiliating with operators in your nation?

All meet and greet is carried out in the Arrivals Hall area — Not ‘Baggage Claim’; no curbside pick-ups are allowed at any major airports within the U.K.; no cash or credit card bookings are accepted by the chauffeur; using the correct international dialing code to the country + 011 (44) when dialing to the U.K.

What are your primary business challenges?
Looking at world markets, price is becoming a major factor in our global economy. Purchasers/procurement divisions are buying services based on price only. First and foremost is the question of price and consumer loyalty. The impression given by such a headline is not that most people are price sensitive, but that price is becoming an important factor when deciding which operator to buy services from. Overall, it all depends on what you are purchasing. With some products we need good quality, and in other products price is more critical. But if price is chosen, we should never forget quality completely. Is price important? Yes, but no price is a good price if you don’t like the quality!

What are your top-rented chauffeured vehicles?
Mercedes E Class, S Class and the Mercedes Viano (SUV)

What types of clients do you typically serve?
A wide range of U.K./international clients, which include independent private passengers, major international corporations, high net worth families, five-star hotels and embassies and affiliate referrals from other U.S. operators. We understand the importance of providing a chauffeur hire service, which inspires personal recommendation.

How much has your company grown in revenue and fleet size since 2006?
We have grown 15% year on year and 2011 has seen stable growth. Due to the economy, I will be adding new vehicles in 2012, especially the Mercedes Viano (SUV), due to a high demand for the London 2012 Olympics.  

What does your driver/chauffeur training program involve?

We recommend a full-day session, which is done at our office. At the start of the session, the fleet manager will conduct a background, criminal, and eyesight check. The fleet manager will then hold a classroom presentation/discussion for about one hour with an introduction to advanced driving, its benefits to the individual, to the company, and to society. The FM will then carry out an interactive vehicle check with the chauffeurs; this will then be followed by an assessment of each trainee’s driving and a demonstration drive by the FM before individual instruction is given to each chauffeur in turn. Finally, a further assessment of each chauffeur will be undertaken to provide a formal risk grading. In addition, chauffeur training includes the responsibilities of the professional chauffeur, route planning for comfort, efficiency and safety, courtesy and etiquette skills training. The training concludes with a written test. All private hire chauffeurs must be licensed by Transport for London. Not only is it the law, it also means your passengers will know you provide a safe and reliable service.
 
What are the future plans for your company?

Keeping our existing clients and working with them to ensure we all get over the economic changes that are affecting many organizations; updating our policies to better serve our new/existing clients. Introduce new technologies that the market has to offer to streamline internal operations and create added value for our clients. Reliance Worldwide also has diversified into different products lines due to market changes in the last 18 months. Still keeping to the same product services of logistics, we now offer international courier services, private jet hire and yacht hire. This has made a significant difference to our revenue stream within the Reliance group of companies.

SNAPSHOT: Reliance Worldwide

Name: Reliance Worldwide I Location: London / UK I Founded:  2004 I Owner: Reza Choudhury, CEO and founder I Main service regions: London/UK, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Cardiff, Glasgow, Edinburgh I Types of vehicles: E Class, S Class, Mercedes Viano (SUV), BMW 7 + 5 Series, Audi A8 + Q7, Lexus Hybrid and Escalade ESV. I Fleet size: 35 I Employees: 10 I Annual revenues: N/A I Revenue share from luxury vehicle clients: 95% I Website: www.reliance-grp.com I Contact info: UK Tel: +44 (0) 20 8127 8600; US Tel: 011 44 208 127 8600; email: [email protected]

Related Topics: EuroLimousine.net, Global Operator, London operators, Reza Choudhury

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