Interview conducted by Stephanie Hagen, Head of Conferences and Digital Content, Autonomy
Where to Work is an interview series brought to you by the Urban Mobility Daily and Hyperion Executive Search. We speak with top CEOs in the mobility sector to get the inside scoop on their companies’ work cultures, values and the types of candidate they are looking to hire.
In terms of growth, where do you see Bolt in 5 years?
We’ve been the fastest-growing company in our industry for a while and are the third-fastest-growing company in Europe in 2019 according to Financial Times. However, if we look at the market size of urban transportation globally, on-demand transportation platforms like Bolt still make up only a tiny fraction of it so we have more work ahead of us.
Since our launch in 2013, we’ve grown to 25 million customers in over 30 countries. In our core markets, Europe and Africa, the population is close to 2 billion. So there’s a lot of room for us to expand to new locations and build new products to save people time and help them get around in their cities easier and quicker.
Is Bolt a tie or hoodie workplace? In other words, please tell us a little about Bolt’s culture and work environment.
We’ve been able to grow so fast in recent years thanks to our lean operations – we can accomplish more than the competitors with a smaller team and fewer resources. That also means every single person has a lot more impact on the company and our product. Corporate formalities like office dress code or strict working hours are not part of our culture.
We measure success based on impact and results, rather than superficial metrics. The team has grown to 900 people globally, and 300 of us are working in Bolt’s birthplace in one of Europe’s start-up friendliest capitals – Tallinn. It’s a very diverse workplace with more than 30 nationalities and you can still feel the friendly and dynamic start-up spirit from five years ago.
We work a lot but also play a lot, both figuratively and literally, as our people organise various activities in the office, from yoga to ping-pong tournaments to movie nights. Twice a year, we bring our team together for a week of workshops, team-building activities, and just fun. Estonian summers are perfect for this, but in winter we’ve also gathered in South Africa and Portugal.
A growing trend among Millennial job seekers is that they are looking for jobs that don’t just provide a paycheck, but also meaning or purpose. How do you think Bolt’s mission and vision provide meaning for its employees?
Urban transportation is a huge industry, and it’s currently poorly organised. Fixing it is a huge task and concerns all of us. Most cities in the world have more than 8 parking spaces per car (think of all the spare parking spaces at work in the morning, at the grocery store after work and so on), and cars just sit idly 95% of the time. These are only a few examples of how transportation can be inefficient and wasteful.
Moreover, people spend crazy amounts of time commuting — for example, in Lagos, Nigeria, people commute for up to 6 hours a day. This is not productive time. We want to make people’s lives better by saving them time and money, reducing stress and improving cities through decreased traffic, parking and pollution.
People join Bolt because they see that we’re solving real problems and building the future of urban transportation together.
How does Bolt’s expansion into new ventures such as micromobility and food delivery services shift or change your employment needs? For example, have you found that there are certain new skills sets or expertise needed in your company to makes these ventures a success?
With our existing technology, experience in ride-hailing, driver network and a customer base of millions of people across Europe and Africa, we’ve had a great starting point for expanding to these new spaces. We’ve built our operations in ride-hailing around efficiency, so we’d like to bring the same approach to scooter sharing as well as food delivery. But we should never stop learning and bringing new people into the company is a great way to help the company learn faster.
So when it comes to new skills and expertise, we are very much looking forward to awesome talent complementing the team we already have. We’d be happy to employ more than 200 people today to our various global offices and for positions ranging from engineering to city and food operations to design.
What are some of the key characteristics that would make a potential candidate a good fit for Bolt?
When it comes to team values, we strive to work smart, be fearless in solving complex challenges and bring personal responsibility to everything we do, be it thinking about the impact of our business on cities or how we can best serve our customers.
We are looking for people who share these values with us and who are driven to get things done. It takes a lot of passion to change the way millions of people move around and think about transportation.
Think Bolt sounds like a great place to work? Head over to the Urban Mobility Job Board to apply to one of their many open positions!