You left a relatively secure job in the public sector to go it alone. How did this decision come about?
David Sommer: The position as head of the driving service at the DRK was not the career I wanted. I actually wanted to become a computer scientist. During my studies, I was doing voluntary work for the Red Cross when I was offered the position. The flexibility or spontaneity of a driving service – that appealed to me. What I didn’t like was the rigidity of the association. So I decided to become self-employed. I was aware of the risk, but I still wanted to decide for myself and be responsible.
What was or is the biggest challenge?
David Sommer: The biggest challenge at the beginning was the lack of financial background. We started with two vehicles, so it was important to accept every order to be able to cover the fixed costs. We then grew quickly.
Today, it is the short-term nature of the orders that makes it tricky for us. Our customers often only call on the day itself or the day before that they need a ride. We want to guarantee this spontaneity and flexibility at all times. Our customers have to be at their destination at a certain time on a certain day. There is no alternative. Every order that we have to turn down is driven by another service provider. So there is always the risk that the customers will stay there. That is our risk.
So rigid procedures are not for you?
David Sommer: Not at all. That is also what is most beautiful. There are often days when our order situation is such that we don’t know how to manage at all. When the day is over and all the customers have got from A to B well and satisfied, then that is very, very nice.