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Cultural diversity

Cultural diversity a key contributor to eCabs & Courium Technologies’ success

Cultural diversity at eCabs and Courium Technologies sees more than 15 nationalities working in the team, fostering creativity and versatility within the mobility company.

Over the past decade, eCabs has grown and evolved to become Malta’s leading ride-hailing firm, powered by the innovation of its sister company Cuorium Technologies. The development of a highly skilled multicultural team has been key to this growth and success. As eCabs looks forward to international expansion, Business Today discusses the challenges and opportunities of building and leading the organisation’s team with Marvin Cuschieri, Chief Officer – People and Talent at eCabs and Cuorium Technologies.

Q: As eCabs and Cuorium Technologies look to expand internationally, you have been very pro-active in building a multicultural team. Why has this been a priority?

MC: Many companies in Malta have multicultural workforces but I think few have really embraced its benefits. We have never viewed bringing international workers on board as a kind of stop gap solution to meet demand. On the contrary, we believe that multiculturalism is essential for business success both in Malta and internationally, and we made it a business goal to build such a team. It’s a fact that diverse teams are more creative. People from different backgrounds work and gain knowledge in varied ways, which is an enormous advantage for working groups that need to define the challenges they face and develop better solutions and drive innovation.

The actions we took over the past two years have strengthened our conviction that having a multicultural team is essential. While many companies were focused on cutting costs, often leading to reduced working hours or redundancy for employees, eCabs invested more than €6 million into strengthening our technology teams. Without doubt we are now one of the biggest technology companies in Malta.

With more than 15 nationalities working in our team, we have the creativity and versatility in diversity, which encourages team members to reconsider their working habits and processes, making them more open to out of the box solutions. This has been a key factor in making eCabs and Cuorium Technologies a success and will act as the foundation we built for our international expansion.

Q: The last few years have seen the rise of remote and flexible working. How has this change affected your ability to manage such a diverse team?  

MC: We took a decision early on to embrace remote and flexible working because of the obvious benefits it brings to both employees and the organisation. Of course, you need to adapt but I believe we have done a good job at understanding how to build good communication and collaboration that works in a remote setting. This invaluable experience is unquestionably going to help us as we keep growing our international operation having enabled speed in decision making and communication. We have seen an increased focus on our product and service offering and resultant increased productivity, all thanks to the flexibility we offer team members.

The ability to combine resources in Malta with remote resources has also helped us to partially address the scarcity of technological expertise in the Maltese labour market, whilst attracting technologists from different countries who have a keen interest in the tech mobility industry, pulling their respective experiences for our benefit.

To ensure long-term success we created the right communications frameworks and drove communication in corporate development and strategy to all teams. Going forward, we remain focused and committed to ensuring this effective communication with the team, and being flexible with their working needs to keep driving innovation and productivity.

Q: How do you expect the team at eCabs and Cuorium Technologies to continue evolving?  

MC: Our technology team, in particular, continues to grow as our plans to take the eCabs platform to new markets gather momentum. To manage this, we have set up a team of leads who coordinate larger teams in remote settings, ensuring that all team members are engaged and have the support they need to carry out their tasks.

Our primary focus is to remove barriers our team members may encounter day-to-day. We are committed to guiding our teams and helping them understand, learn from their experiences and grow both professionally and personally. As a business, we embrace an agile approach to respond to market movements in the most expeditious manner possible. Quickness in data-backed decision-making sits at the very heart of the way we operate, and we make it possible with an open, two-way vertical and horizontal communication framework within the organisation.

We provide open opportunities for our employees to contribute to the company’s goals, giving them the ability to very quickly and frequently see tangible results from the work they are doing, which in turn helps us to reinforce a culture designed to add more value to people than processes.

Q: Where is all this focus on building a multicultural team leading eCabs?

MC: The investments we have made in Cuorium Technologies and in our team, mean that we are now a technology and software development business fully dedicated to the mobility sector, fed by the decade long experience of 24/7 operational excellence and a very crisp vision of technology-led mobility in the international arena. The motivated, multicultural team we have in place gives us the ability to pursue our international expansion objectives with more confidence.

eCabs cultural diversity

These are exciting times as we seek to make our platform available to fleets across the multiple international territories which are screaming with opportunities, of which there are aplenty. Whilst the global mobility sector is one that is growing steadily with several established brands in various markets, the opportunities for growth are immense. This sector will continue to offer great opportunities to anyone interested in machine learning, data science, cloud-based infrastructure, and mapping, to mention just a few.

We believe our team is ready to compete, both in terms of knowledge and grit, and that its diversity will be a major component of our future success, enabling us to better understand end-user needs across the globe and improve our platform at speed. We have a great future ahead and in a few short years eCabs and in Cuorium Technologies will be established global players in the mobility sector.

In the press:

Business Today

 

 

Partner Driver

Over 1,000 drivers join eCabs’ Partner Driver Model

Ride-hailing operator eCabs has registered record growth in the last quarter of 2021, pursuant to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. And since launching its Partner Driver Model in 2021, the platform hosts over 1,000 drivers and is growing at a steady pace.

“Interest in the eCabs Partner Model keeps growing and notwithstanding the current situation, we are still experiencing positive trends. This is pushing partner fleets and driver confidence for a healthy year ahead of us, as well as attracting new blood into the industry,” Marvin Cuschieri, chief people officer at eCabs, said.

Cuschieri outlined that with major international low-cost airlines having reported huge spikes in demand this January and also projecting a summer of pre-COVID volumes and beyond, eCabs will continue in 2022 where it left in 2021.

“Our projections for 2022 are very solid and buoyed by our performance, we are firmly confident to sustain the pace of growth. As summer approaches, the market will undoubtedly require more drivers than the currently available pool in our country to cater for the projected growth, both for tourism and local clients. We will keep investing heavily in the technology that drives our model to make the life of our partners easier and their work more profitable.”

Partner driver platform and support

While eCabs’ proprietary partner driver platform manages all rides and communication with partners, including operational intelligence, the eCabs partner driver support team operates 24/7, giving all partner drivers unparalleled assistance when they require it, coupled with very advantageous commissions.

“We coined the term ‘partner driver’ as it reflects the relationship we have with our drivers, whom we believe are an equally important stakeholder in our ecosystem. Partners operating on the eCabs platform benefit from open and consistent communication. This, we believe, will keep helping to build a sustainable industry into the future,” Cuschieri remarked.

Growth through technology

The last two years have seen eCabs accelerating its investment in its fully-owned platform, as the ride-hailing industry keeps growing and disrupting the transport sectors the world over.

With a team of over 50 in-house technologists, the core mission of eCabs remains that of growth through technology at the forefront, shaping a platform that places the partner drivers in control of their operation.

“We are now ready for the growth that our platform is about to experience over the next months. We are bolstered by the trust that the majority of partner drivers is putting in our platform – we shall reciprocate that with stronger investment in our technology and an increasingly fairer deal for their engagement with us,” Cuschieri concluded.

In the press:

Times of Malta

inclusive

eCabs awarded as most inclusive company

eCabs has just been awarded the ‘Premju Soċjetà Ġusta’ as the workplace that offers the most inclusive environment.

Earlier this year, eCabs expanded its fleet to include a fully equipped van with a motorised lift. The lift can to serve both wheelchair users and other passengers accompanying them. To date, 1500 persons have used this service which eCabs has been offering free of charge. Launched last April, the service is being offered to all persons certified by the CRPD as requiring accessible transport, who would need to visit a hospital or a clinic, be they public or private.

In addition, a training programme was launched together with Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD). The programme will train staff members how to ensure the right service level is offered to people with disabilities.

eCabs offering the most inclusive environment

At eCabs, inclusivity is not only limited to its employees. It is also reflected through services it offers, in line with its strategic commitment to offer affordable mobility to everyone.

eCabs was shortlisted together with another 16 companies. These include Lombard Bank, GO, Mizzi Organisation, G4S, General Soft Drinks, JF Group, Camilleri Holdings and Maypole, amongst others.

Receiving the award, eCabs’ Chief Officer for Human Capital and Corporate Services Marvin Cuschieri said, “This award comes as an honour to our company and is testament to the consistent and committed work we undertake to make eCabs a model employer that is looking into the future with resolve towards its ambitious objectives. This year has dealt us quite a surprise and we’ve had to adapt across the board very quickly to be able to support our people and their diverse needs.”

“But this year also taught us a lot. Especially that no matter what the circumstances are, we need to keep supporting our people as best we can. The company in fact, offers flexible work arrangements with its staff, learning and development opportunities and promotes an equal and inclusive environment,” added Mr Cuschieri.

In the press:

Newsbook.com.mt | DOI | Equal Partners Foundation

People are the most important element at eCabs

‘People are the most important element at eCabs’

“People are the most important element at eCabs. In everything we do we seek a professional attitude and a consistent passion for the job to keep us at the forefront,” says Marvin Cuschieri, chief officer human capital and corporate services at eCabs.

Few might know that 20 percent of the 500 plus drivers employed by eCabs are women. That the company employs over 25 nationalities. That it has a team of in-house technologists. And a fully-fledged contact centre handling hundreds of customer interactions on a 24/7 basis.

Mr Cuschieri is a senior figure in the field of human resources, having occupied the role of CEO of the Foundation for Human Resources Development for six years. Now, as a member of eCabs’ top management team, Mr Cuschieri’s role is that of leading the human capital and corporate relations functions, covering the full spectrum of duties from manpower planning, administration, capacity building, systems implementation, business processes reengineering and facilities management.

“I say ‘recently appointed’ but really and truly, ‘recent’ is now already almost a year. I must admit, it took a bit of thinking to join eCabs. Transport and logistics was at the other end of the spectrum in my career and development pathway. But once I was exposed to the dynamic and technologically disruptive nature of the company and learned how the founders were devising to internationalise the business, I decided to embark on this journey and be part of this success in the making.”

Far from just a conventional cab operator

He explains that eCabs is far from just a conventional cab operator. The company is considered as Malta’s largest and leading private transportation company. Since its inception, it has sought to revolutionise passenger mobility and how people commute on this highly congested island.

Over the last few months eCabs has ventured into events, expanded its corporate accounts portfolio and is now offering the full spectrum of people transport. It has also set up its own captive logistics software company, Cuorium. Adopting cutting-edge geo-spatial technologies, flirting with the application of AI in its operations and venturing into the uncharted territory of consuming big data to enhance its trip optimisation capabilities.

People are the most important element at eCabs

“HR is the only function that touches every single part of the organisation in all its aspects. From the drivers whom I consider as the front line of our organisation, to the contact centre agents. From the logistics controllers to the back office team, support service providers and the fully dedicated team of developers building and developing our unique ICT systems and infrastructure.”

Over the past 12 months, a lot has already happened within the company’s human capital structures.

“And so many more changes are coming up,” he adds. “Currently we are taking the company through a meticulous restructuring process at all levels. Perhaps one very important change is the way we are running our human capital. Being a strong believer in delegation, one of the very first steps was to build a stronger middle management structure that can bridge the gap between the vision and the front-line, while putting a stronger spotlight on the important aspects of the HR support services so vital for such a company employing such a large workforce.”

A more holistic way of training

He says the company is also developing a more holistic way of training its drivers and contact centre agents with better induction processes and feedback channels. Their logistic coordinators have been given the opportunity to follow academic diplomas in management, while the developers get the space they need to keep abreast with the dynamics of their specialisations.

“For instance, one of our developers was recently at the DevFest Berlin, an annual community-driven developer event organised by the 3 GDGs where he had the opportunity to attend a number of sessions across multiple product areas, all-day hack-a-thons, code labs, and more. The holistic and most unifying value that we are trying to instil is that all employees belong to a common vision and hence why they understand the importance of being professional in everything that they do and not to just meet customers’ expectations, but constantly exceed them. Quality is key for us, while passenger safety is paramount.”

Nourishing a positive work culture for people at eCabs

He points out that the company managed to build a strong recruitment pipeline by taking an innovative approach towards recruitment and striving to build models which can fit with those of the workforce.  “We have made efforts to reduce turnover by for instance allowing more flexibility, rewarding positive actions, creating a stronger team engagement, and instilling a strong sense of belonging.”

“The fact that the company operates on a 24/7 basis means it is in a position to give employees the flexibility they need, something other companies cannot offer,” he adds.

“What I love about HR? Seeing people grow within their roles at eCabs, teams of people pulling the same rope and coming up with their own initiatives, nourishing a positive work culture, having a diverse company not only in gender and age but also in terms of nationality.”

In the press:

The Times of Malta