Interviews
21 juin 21

New Arval IBO Director wants to make business “more flexible and more efficient”

At the start of 2021, Dan Boiangiu took over from Alessandro Pigazzi as Director of Arval’s IBO – the department that takes care of the company’s international  and largest customers, and their fleets. It’s a complex job, but Dan Boiangiu’s ambition is clear: keep existing customers happy, and create new, happy customers.

Mr. Boiangiu has been with Arval for 15 years, the last 7 of which he spent as General Manager of Arval in his native Romania. “I really liked that job, but this role at the IBO, that was just an opportunity I had to take. Because here at the IBO, we translate a vision based on trends like sustainability, mobility and digitisation into policies and strategies for our international customers – fully taking into account their own demands.”

It's been a few months now since you took over the IBO. What’s your first impression?

“Really positive. The IBO has an extremely solid position, both within Arval and on the market. Now, I must admit I was surprised by the level of elaborateness. With so many customers, each with their own vision, expectations and comments, the IBO and its people need to be very agile – but without adding complexity. Finding that balance, that’s the trick.”

How are you different from your predecessor, Alessandro Pigazzi?

“Good question (laughs). Of course, we have different backgrounds. But we share the same values, and we both have a long track record at Arval. I won’t transform drastically how IBO is organised or work, as it’s not necessary. I will continue to build on the strengths of the IBO, with the help of a great team and with customized solutions adapted to the needs of our biggest international clients. I’ll maintain our current customers and attract new ones, by guiding them in their strategy – which must be made to fit the new fleet and mobility reality, driven by sustainability and digitisation.”

How do you see your ambitions with the IBO?

“We’re fully aligned with the road map of Arval Beyond, our strategic plan. It sets out a vision, and targets for growth, energy transition, digital transformation, new mobility. Ultimately, the IBO’s goal is to continue our growth and remain the long-term partner of our international customer community, who rely on our expertise and consulting in these times, which are both challenging and exciting for our business. Of course, one of the other key ambition for IBO - and Arval overall -  is also to continue the success story we have with the Element-Arval Global Alliance, with our partners, serving our clients at virtually every corner of the globe.

What does ‘growth’ mean from the IBO’s perspective?

“I won’t give you a growth forecast. I know that’s what people like to read. But it doesn’t make much sense to announce them – you have to realize them. What I can share, is that the IBO is a key part of Arval’s business. We have almost 300 international framework agreements, representing 25% of Arval’s total fleet (1.4 million leased vehicles). And just by looking at the figures of the latest Arval Mobility Observatory Barometer saying that 45% of fleet managers anticipate an increase in fleet size over the next 3 years, I’m confident we will grow our figure further in the future!

Will electrification be a prominent feature of your growth?

“Fleet electrification is no longer a trend. It’s an irreversible reality. The Arval Mobility Observatory fleet barometer shows no less than 70% of companies use, or are considering, at least one alternative powertrain technology in the next few years. That's massive!”

“So, we’ll see the ‘electrification’ of vehicle strategies and policies continue, in line with CSR. Fortunately, the offering on the market is also constantly increasing and improving. Range is less of a concern, infrastructure is growing, and – depending on the country – incentives are achieving TCO parity.”

Some see the pandemic as a factor in ‘deglobalisation’. Is that something the IBO – and international fleet management in general – should worry about?

“I see multinationals still wanting to put in place global and centralized strategies. One example is the growing number of global RFPs. Companies still value standardizing guidelines internationally and even globally – be it to secure strategic goals, ensure compliance, simplify processes or benefit from economies of scale.”

“Of course, everything has to be translated and implemented locally. Take mobility and electrification. Their success depends also on local legislation and supplier offering. So you need local input, even though vision and strategy are set globally.”

“And that’s what we see. Companies want to work with one, maximum two partners who can generate data-driven decision-making for their entire fleet. What we’ll see more and more, is that volumes will be consolidated for the EV and Mobility market segments as well, making the transition easier – and cheaper.”

To end: what do you miss the most from Romania?

“My team over there. It was a great period in my life. I’ll never forget, although leaving in the middle of the lockdown was quite hard. But luckily I will get my second vaccination in the beginning of July, which means I can start to plan to visit them, and come to meet the IBO clients face to face, finally!

Picture copyright: Arval, 2021. 

Authored by: Steven Schoefs
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