Des Hang is the man behind Carbar, Australia’s first car subscription service. Setting out to change the face of Australia’s personal vehicle industry, he’s helping people increase their mobility with a one-stop subscription service model.
When Des Hang first founded Carbar, hiring his old boss was one of the first decisions he made as he was pulling together the team that would make Australia’s first car subscription service a reality. In a country where a car is considered a necessity, Des found a gap in the market and wanted his old manager on his team. “We left our previous company at around the same time. We parted ways, but always kept in touch. He’s based in Sydney. I’m based in Melbourne, but I always kept that mutual respect in mind. And I knew that, in the future, if I were to open a startup and the opportunity to work together became a possibility, I’d ask him to join me eventually.”
Much like his old boss, Des’s management style is one that breeds an open, collaborative effort at work, which could be part of the reason why Carbar has been rocketing to success both on the market and in board meetings. “My management style is quite liberal. We empower each of the leaders within their own division. We all have them on a ladder with an overarching strategy that we’re trying to execute as a team,” he explains.
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Having raised AUD 16.8 million in funding, making Insurance Australia Group the majority stakeholder, Carbar first started as an online marketplace where people could purchase vehicles on the premise of ‘try-before-you-buy,’ before evolving into a one-stop subscription service that allows people to go online and pick a car that’s equipped with insurance, maintenance and roadside assistance. Now in partnership with Jaguar, the Australian company is looking to take things up a notch by offering its users the option to subscribe to luxury cars. “We were thrilled to partner with Jaguar Australia and help them pioneer this new market in Australia for flexible car ownership. It was a good way to allow people to have a low barrier to entry to luxury cars and the experience that comes with them.”
For Des, despite the quick growth that his startup is undergoing, it’s still all about the customers. “I guess for me, at the end of the day, the customer is still the number one priority. We want to help people solve this issue of access to cars, and more importantly, access to mobility.”