Innovation and technology have become crucial in shaping our world today. From the way we communicate to the way we conduct business, technology has played a significant role in our daily lives. Innovation has been a driving force for businesses to remain competitive in an ever-changing market, involving the creation of new ideas, products, and services that are different from the existing ones. Companies that embrace innovation can transform the marketplace and disrupt industries.
For the continuously evolving labor market, innovation also aids in the development of fresh skills and competences. In order to be competitive, workers must constantly adapt to new technologies and industry developments. People can have opportunities to learn and grow new skills through innovation, including those that are highly valued in the modern workforce like creativity and critical thinking.
A prime example of such an innovation is Greenwheels, founded by Jan Borghuis and Gijs Van Lookeren in 1995, both of whom have graduated from Erasmus University Rotterdam. Greenwheels is a car sharing service in the Netherlands that allows customers to rent cars, aiming to limit car ownership and encourage car-sharing. Soon after, with a proven track record of success in the highly competitive field of mobility services, the company’s visionary founders recognized the need to constantly innovate and adapt to stay ahead of the curve thus, selling Greenwheels and embarking on a new journey, this time with an emphasis on creating user-friendly solutions for customers and enterprises.
Given the reputation for cutting-edge technology and top-notch customer service, this new business, appropriately titled Ease2pay, swiftly established itself as a forerunner in the finance sector that provides contactless payment solutions for various sectors such as parking, fuel, and public transportation.
The founders of the company have not only left a legacy of greatness in innovation, but also paved the way for a more connected, effective, and sustainable future by continually upholding their core values of sustainability and social responsibility. Their successful journey exemplifies how innovative ideas can lead to business success in an already competitive marketplace.
But have you ever wondered how startups come to success in the competitive marketplace? While it can be a challenging journey, the process of discovery and innovation leads to breakthroughs. Jan, the founder of the company shares a few insights about Greenwheels: “The whole process was a myriad of challenges because there were no examples and we had to figure out every little thing ourselves… but it all worked out in the end”
Indeed, Innovation can be both stressful and rewarding as it requires individuals to rely on their problem-solving skills and intuition to make progress. It is not easy to run a business, especially when it runs on newly developed technology and innovation because you do not have any examples to look up to, he shares. “We used telematics and at that time it was a new technology, it was challenging yet promising to radically change the car rental process into a self-service that became an urban alternative to car ownership” – Jan Borghuis
Jan takes pride as a pioneer in the industry, recognizing the potential for self-service rentals to become a feasible alternative to car ownership. He and his team revolutionized the rental process through innovation, all while improving the overall customer experience. “As a team we split up tasks, we took up tasks that suited us individually, due to which the company as a whole was able to minimize unproductivity”
Ultimately, innovation is a key factor that develops our society. It can be used to solve challenging issues and maintain competitiveness in a rapidly transforming environment where pushing the limits to what is possible can foster a better future for generations to come.