As part of AIM2Flourish, a UN-supported global learning initiative, we wanted to research on this well-known emerging market of city-rent scooters. We achieve this by using the 17 UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development as a lens, which let us discover the origin of this huge business innovation for good and how the positive role of business in building a better world. We interview Alejandro Agustí ejecuter in Lime to learn first-hand how to run business in a way that benefits society, the environment and the world as a leader contributing to the greater public good.
Lime is not just a mobility technology company but a company oriented to people and relationships that aims to offer a sustainable solution to the problem of transport from door to door. At the same time Lime helps citizens to remove each person carbon footprint that causes so much damage to the environment. The company defines itself by stating “We are here to help future generations change their behavior, to save this planet together”.
Maite Olavide Montes
Victoria Suarez-Santamarina Silvan
Laura García Reinoso
Universidad de Navarra
Isabel Rodriguez Tejedo
The main innovation of the firm is the fact of creating a phone application to use the scooter. Lime is a company that had introduced a new way to rent a product, they were able to get maximum value from technology. Firstly, one of the most important innovation is that Lime has created a new method of paying that allows consumers to pay in an easier way. When individuals sign up in the app, they are able to introduce their credit card, and once they want to use a scooter, they just need to active the app and the charge is automatic. Secondly, we would like to remark that the app allows consumers to locate the scooters since it incorporates a GPS and all scooters can be tracked by individuals.
The main inspiration for the company is the fact of being smart mobility for the modern world. To the question of how did the original idea come about, Alejandro answered with great confidence that “Lime is founded on a simple idea that all communities deserve access to smart, affordable mobility”. He explained us how through the equitable distribution of shared scooters, bikes and transit vehicles, they aim to reduce dependence on personal automobiles for short distance transportation and leave future generations with a cleaner, healthier planet. He emphasized that precisely that is the main motivation of purpose for continuing with such huge innovation.
We wanted to investigate why the company decided to bring this market to Pamplona, a tiny city in comparison with the rest of the locations where the idea is developing such as Madrid, Paris or Washington. The interviewee replied that they drawn up a list of variables including population, purchase value, climate, smartphones... to analyse market interest. The research end up with positive forecast so the company does not hesitate to start negotiations with the city council. However, the executive explained: “In Pamplona, as in Barcelona or Valencia, we found obstacles to start up in the city center so we decided to make an agreement with the University in order to start in some way with the project”. As he explained, he major concern nowadays is that governments are afraid of the potential risk that letting a new means of transport operate entails so many cities prohibit the irruption of scooters throughout their streets.
The company has introduced a completely new product in the market and as a consequence it has caused a large-scale impact in the society. As it is an innovative way of transport which does not circulate on the public road it avoids traffic and it de-congest the road. Besides, one of the main characteristics of this product is efficiency as it meets the objective that was created for reaching all the goals and aims that had been proposed. On the other hand, sustainability has an important role. It is true to say that this company has an important place in the labour market and all the requirements to stay in it developing day to day. This product reduces economic costs for consumers. On the one hand, there is no need to park in a specific place, therefore it avoids paying a parking. On the other hand it is a complement for public transport, it can be used for what the executive explained as “the last mile”. This means that it can join the bus stop or the train station to the actual place someone is going. It replaces other manners of transport that are commonly use in this situations such as taxi, which can more expensive and less comfortable.
Moreover, in what it is referred to the economic costs of the firm, the product main characters are that it is a product that it is easy to make, it does not imply great costs in this aspect; it also has a cheap maintenance cost, less than the cost of maintaining a scooter; and third and last it is easy to adapt supply to demand, taking into consideration external factors - such as the rain, that it is very frequent in Pamplona, for instance.
So in order to determine the benefit of this business we should focus on the costs of the firm, that as we have seen are low, so it is worth it.
Another fact in economic terms is the fact that this company opened a new market even where there were no precedents.
When talking about benefits, we can also go through other type of benefits, this are the ones referred to societal and environmental facts, rather than economic facts.
The product does not emit emissions into the atmosphere, it is completely eco-friendly, as well as helps to cities-roads decongestion.
Also as Alejandro claimed: “Lime's safety and education campaign is focused on promoting responsible riding habits at every step, from putting on a helmet to parking properly”, which is also a great benefit for the society.
Alejandro Agustí Pi, Innovation
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Pamplona, Navarra, ES
Business Website: https://www.li.me/es/
Year Founded: 2017
Number of Employees: 5001 to 10000
Lime is founded on a simple idea that all communities deserve access to smart, affordable mobility.
Through the equitable distribution of shared scooters, bikes and transit vehicles, we aim to reduce dependence on personal automobiles for short distance transportation and leave future generations with a cleaner, healthier planet.