ENTREPRENEUR Douglas Rotberg is taking the price comparison industry by storm – thanks to his innovative garage website.
Douglas, from Chichester, set up bookmygarage.com in 2015 and it is changing the way garages work, bringing independent garages into the digital age and saving consumers money.
The company now has 8,500 garages on its directory, which customers can compare for services and MoTs.
Douglas said: ‘Our future is helping digitise the automotive aftercare market. We want to be the leaders and we want consumers to know that if they come to us they can see transparent pricing, make bookings 24/7 and they can read reviews.
‘The garage business is very good at fixing cars, they are very business savvy but very digitally unsophisticated.’
Douglas, who is dyslexic, left school when he was 16 and got a job as an apprentice mechanic.
He worked his way up to running the world’s largest Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealership, before he set up a service garage.
He said: ‘In 1998 I saw the internet come along and I thought this had the opportunity of changing business. I sold my businesses and decided to move across to the internet with my wife Karen, who was the co-founder of JobSite. So you have one of the serial entrepreneurs of the internet combined with somebody who had done well in the automotive industry and that’s quite a good mixture. We started looking at the industry.’
They set up several businesses, which they sold on before setting up bookmygarage in January 2015.
The business works by charging a small fee to each garage that receives a booking through its site.
Douglas said they are now hoping to expand and take more garages on to their books.
He said: ‘We want to be the place people go to first, even if it’s just for reference, when they go to book a garage. It’s changing mindsets, our disruption of the market is all about getting garages to talk to their customers.’
The company, which is based at 1000 Lakeside, North Harbour, now employs 15 people, three of which are apprentices.