One mortgaged in the bank Suzuki Grand Vitara, three cars taken on leased proceeds, three employees and an office in the garage. This was enough to start the work of the most successful Ukrainian car rental company today - BLS Car Rental.
However - as we were told by the co-founder of the company Stanislav Lutskovich - even earlier, as usual, there was a word. More precisely, the idea is to create in Ukraine actually a Ukrainian, rather than a network, car rental. This idea was shared with Stas by Stefan Blagovisny, and friends very soon got down to business.
Grand Vitara Stanislava literally became the key to success. For credit funds - $ 25,000, received from a car pledged to the bank, paid the first installment for leasing 3 cars. They were taken from the Ilta company, where Stefan worked at that time, and the current director of OTP Leasing Andrey Pavlushin was the financial director. But what is the start with 4 cars? It's good that there are friends: they took the rest of the cars for the needs of the business - and the first fleet of BLS was equipped with: 10 cars - a good start for the first car rental with Ukrainian registration.
By the way, the name BLS was also born at that time. Naming, in this case, is an abbreviation of three names: Blagovisny, Lutskovich, and Sorokina. Only four people are hiding behind this name: the fact is that in addition to Stanislav, his father, Viktor Vladimirovich, has been working for the company since the first days, and to this day is responsible for security at the company. Stas and Anna Sorokina in those early months of BLS were responsible for receiving calls and issuing cars.
For the first year and a half, the composition of BLS did not change: 3 employees, but they - co-founders - worked almost in Apple mode. The office was in a garage with an area of 12 meters, there was no one to help with work, so all attention was paid to the business: 7 days a week, from 8 am to late evening. There is nothing to be done - the specifics of the business. BLS company at that time was as loyal to customers as possible, therefore, car issuance was carried out at a convenient time for them, including on weekends.
Only a year and a half after the foundation of the company, the first hired employee, a sales manager, appeared in the office. But in the future, the staff grew: first, another salesman, and then Stefan Blagovisny joined the team, having quit his job at Ilta. In the garage, everything no longer fit - to everyone's delight, BLS moved to a larger office.
But at first, there were fewer joys than difficulties. I had to develop a new business for Ukraine in difficult conditions. Stas recalls that literally from the first days of the company’s existence, unscrupulous customers regularly appeared who were trying to ... steal cars! Surprisingly, there were many such people. One company could not solve such a problem with all desire: there were not enough resources. Therefore, it was decided to unite in a single specialized association with other car rentals to counter theft.
Stas Lutskovich met with all the companies existing in the rental market, with their owners and directors. After he established the Association of car rental companies - the International Car Rental Association, or simply ICRA - which immediately included about 10 rentals (now the Association has about 200 car rentals from more than 10 countries), then an online control system was created, which until now since helps rental counteract hijackers. So the young company BLS proved that competition in the market is good, but cooperation in some cases is even better. This is how our story began. But the story about it will necessarily grow into a whole section because many of our employees have something to tell about?
So - to be continued!