The goal: Long-term, sustainable growth through digitisation and international expansion
The challenge: Staying ahead of customers’ fast-changing mobility needs
The result: Launch of pioneering SIXT ONE mobility platform, which combines vehicle hire, car sharing and ride hailing in a single app
Konstantin Sixt, 36, is chief sales officer of Munich-based SIXT, Europe’s largest mobility service provider. The company, which was founded in 1912, has more than 7,500 employees and operates in 110 territories. Konstantin is part of the fourth generation of his family to work at SIXT, joining the firm in 2005 to run its online activities. A decade later, he was appointed to the management board with responsibility for global sales and e-commerce.
Konstantin works closely with his brother, Alexander, who leads strategy, IT and product development, their parents: Erich, the CEO, and Regine, senior executive vice president of international marketing. “Together we are like a four-wheel drive,” he says. “It is incredibly valuable and a true gift to be able to rely on the many years of experience, expertise and advice of our parents.”
The key challenge for SIXT has been to keep pace with the digital trends that are reshaping the mobility market. These range from the shift to mobile booking systems to engaging with the disruption within the industry that comes from mobile ride-hailing and ride-sharing platforms. To this end, the company has invested €250m (US$278m) in its technology systems to prepare for the further digitalisation of its markets.
“It is incredibly valuable and a true gift to be able to rely on the many years of experience, expertise and advice of our parents.”
Konstantin describes himself as “the classic early adopter” of new technologies but adds that he and his brother’s familiarity with technology comes from their father, who developed his own code in the 1980s when off-the-shelf software failed to meet his business’s needs. “I can definitely say: we learned to embrace digital from our parents — not the other way around,” Konstantin recalls.
In February, the company launched the SIXT ONE mobility platform, which combines vehicle rental, car sharing and access to ride-hailing and taxi services in a single app. SIXT ONE allows users to access more than 270,000 vehicles and has 1.5m drivers in more than 250 cities worldwide.
As well as helping to digitally transform SIXT, Konstantin and his family are also targeting significant international expansion, especially in the US market, to maintain the company’s growth. It is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with a market value of about €3.8bn (US$4.2bn) and has reported record results for the past five years.
The SIXT mantra is to “question everything at any time,” which has helped it to remain agile and fast-moving. Despite the emphasis on innovating at speed, Konstantin says his major concern is to focus on “the extremely long term” to ensure the business remains sustainably profitable. “Success is the greatest enemy of success,” he says.