This year marks a milestone anniversary for ORIX Australia — its thirtieth year in the fleet management and leasing services industry. The celebratory occasion highlights three decades of success and presents an opportunity to set new goals for the future. CEO and Managing Director, Reggie Cabal, has worked with ORIX since 2005 and was appointed to the top spot in May this year. He sat down with The CEO Magazine to chat about his plans to ensure ORIX continues to achieve wonderful feats for many years to come.
The CEO Magazine: There must have been plenty of opportunities you saw for the business when you became CEO and Managing Director?
Reggie: The most important thing was to take the opportunities coming from the evolving market space, as well as make the most of the introduction to disruptive technologies. These technologies are predominantly coming from Silicon Valley and that has really changed traditional markets. At ORIX, we’re no different. What I saw was the opportunity to involve these new markets in the traditional fleet management service space. I thought: How do we actually aggregate or provide those types of solutions, given that it is encroaching on our traditional fleet management space? There’s a lot more acceptance of car sharing and carpooling and so, to me, that’s what ORIX needed to look at. Part of what I’m doing with ORIX is making sure we can compete in this space.
Another opportunity was to focus on the continuous improvement of the organisation. To some extent we had lost track of that and we had become complacent. That’s a big priority going forward.
What would you highlight as some of the milestones in ORIX’s long history?
We are among the pioneers in the Australian fleet leasing and management industry. When you’ve been in this business for thirty years, then you’re doing something right in terms of the stability of ownership, and we’re also one of the few that has had the same ownership for our entire existence. As part of that the relationships with our customers, suppliers, and partners are longstanding.
What are some of the key values and beliefs of ORIX?
The most important thing is how we ensure the customer is at the centre of our decision making, in terms of our product and service offering and what we bring out to the market. At the end of the day you won’t survive in business unless you have very happy customers.
“The most important thing is how we ensure the customer is at the centre of our decision making.”
There’s also desire from my perspective to lead in our space, both now and in the future. For a company like ORIX, the flexibility, the expertise in terms of what we do, and the transparency in terms of ideas, are critical to our success.
What sets ORIX apart from its competitors in the marketplace?
Our people. You can put the products and services out there but it’s nothing without the right people. When I look at our organisation, we have staff who have been with us for fifteen-to-twenty years.
The other part is our service offering — we are always evolving in order to maintain relevancy. Everything in our portfolio has to have flexibility to meet the requirements of our customers, and adopting some of the disruptive technologies is a large part of that. You can put all the products and services out there but if you don’t have people who believe in the organisation to execute, then you’ll just be one of the many out there all doing exactly the same thing.
Can you expand on the use of disruptive technology, what it looks like, and what your future plans are?
If you look at the traditional fleet management arena, there will always be a need for fleet management providers to provide more traditional services. From that perspective, we need to maintain existing products and services. Having said that, with the advent of, and increasing acceptance of, car sharing and carpooling, there’s also a need to assess whether these are a viable solution. When the larger organisations are signalling to the market that they’re adopting car sharing or carpooling, then companies like ORIX have to pay attention to that. Part of our proposition is to make sure we evolve in terms of what the requirements are so we are able to provide those services. I would rather retain customers by adapting our portfolio, than forcing them to go somewhere else. It’s about making sure we continue to be relevant in terms of what we’re seeing in the market as trends, particularly from the US. Traditionally, you might have had a requirement for 500 vehicles to run a fleet management business; however, now the requirement is perhaps 200 because the distribution channels have changed. We have to keep up with those changes.
Going back to how important people are to ORIX, how do you instil culture in your employees?
What sets us apart from our competitors is our people, and part of that is the culture that has been built into our organisation. There’s a level of trust which is felt among employees and applies to our customers and our suppliers as well. The positive culture we instil in people is about strong leadership, collaborating with people, listening, and being transparent. They have the tools they need and if they run into any issues that’s when I step in to make sure those issues are resolved.
How do you collaborate with and develop relationships with key suppliers? What benefits do you see from this?
Part of our proposition is to make sure the suppliers we deal with aren’t different from us in terms of our culture, and in terms of how we want to do business. If we look at our supply chain, in the fleet management business we’re all about aggregated products and services. It could mean financing, fuel cards, tyres, vehicles; what we do is aggregate that and manage it for other companies. It’s very important that, regardless of who someone is in the supply chain, there’s integrity and transparency in terms of how they do business.
"The positive culture we instil in people is about strong leadership, collaborating with people, listening, and being transparent.”
What are the challenges you are currently facing in the commercial finance and leasing markets in Australia and New Zealand?
Consolidation in terms of the number of providers is the biggest one. With that there has been new ownership, as well as a certain rationality in terms of aggressiveness within the marketplace, and the pricing and concessions that are happening in a bid to get market share.
The other component I see as a challenge is that companies are doing more with less. There’s compression in terms of what organisations may require. As I said, companies are getting by with half the number of vehicles. Then there are the regulatory changes that are coming about in the next couple of years around how organisations can treat lessees.
Looking to the future, what are your plans for ORIX’s growth?
There is an expectation of growth and that’s a renewed focus in spaces like leasing, heavy commercial, and distribution. They are the areas where we have always done very well, but we will continue to focus on that. When you are working with different suppliers, it’s not just products and services you’re capturing, but also the big data information. So we need to effectively analyse and make sense of that data. Ultimately, this will help us to make the right business decisions.