Women are universally amazing. We seem to be able to fit 48 hours into a 24-hour-day, with most wearing multiple ‘caps’ simultaneously, from raising the next generation of humanity to leading multi-national, multi-million corporations, and everything in between.
We can be at once parents, family organisers, therapists, financial specialists, problem-solvers, negotiators – and the list goes on. Women are the glue that holds the world together; a fact acknowledged globally every March 8 on International Women’s Day.
Female versatility also continues to drive Malta’s business world, particularly at one of the country’s newest transport start-ups, GoTo.
As COO, Liana Cremona has been a vital part of electric vehicle-sharing company’s continuing success story, using a unique skillset that has been curated throughout her colourful career.
Graduating in Hospitality Management, Liana worked in various sectors from hotels to insurance services, shipping to corporate international events. In fact, she reached her goal of becoming an Operations Manager at just 21 years of age – leaving Liana at a career crossroads.
“Being promoted to Operations Manager was hugely rewarding, yet it left me with a ‘where do I go from here?’ feeling,” Liana recalls. “Nevertheless, that led to one of my favourite career moments so far, when I worked in Guest Relation Operations at The Trafalgar in London.”
At the time, The Trafalgar was a boutique hotel experiment and the first of its kind, attracting both royal and celebrity guests.
“I enjoyed the opportunity to work remotely from overseas, which allowed me to travel with my (then) young children, and base ourselves in London – and months later in Geneva. It taught me the importance of offering flexi-time and work from home opportunities for young and growing families, which builds both loyalty and commitment in teams.”
It was this bespoke business experience – that blended personal insights, a high standard of customer care and an understanding of what it takes to create a happy, efficient and motivated team – that Liana has now brought to the table at GoTo, with impressive results.
“As COO my role is extremely dynamic, diverse, and challenging but for the most part, fun! There is a real feel-good factor when working in a unique start-up such as GoTo, creating new tech features as we enhance the customer experience,” continues Liana. “I oversee the fleet operations, customer service, our garage operations, technical operations, and our damage and reports department, which is by far the largest area is terms of human resources within GoTo.”
At the electric car-sharing innovator, Liana’s various teams are responsible for keeping everything – and every GoTo customer – moving. Between them, they redistribute GoTo’s three fleets of one-way and round-trip cars and moped scooters across the Maltese islands, re-charge, clean, maintain and repair the vehicles, install EV chargers, assist customers across social media, and handle any insurance claims and contraventions.
The ongoing boom at GoTo could regularly be credited to Liana’s efforts, but she’s quick to point out that it’s her people that are the key to its success. “I absolutely love the multicultural and diverse team that we have built together. I am very fortunate to have such a highly skilled and reliable team who share the same passion for their own roles at GoTo, and with each milestone we achieve I am reminded that I am because we are, together.”
Liana’s all-embracing approach certainly seems to be effective at GoTo. The start-up has grown not only in terms of fleet size, expanding from 150 vehicles to 495 in a matter of months, but also in human resources, taking on more in-house operations as it progresses – and Liana has even bigger plans to come.
“Growing our multi-modal platform remains a key target for us. We are preparing the future for electric vehicle access, increasing accessibility, further reducing unnecessary costs and irreversible damage to the environment, while creating safer, less congested roads for locals and visitors alike to use.”
Yet, as GoTo continually evolves, Liana must focus not just on her extensive business responsibilities, but also on her family life. “My biggest challenge by far is switching off. Given that I’m very involved in the day to day 24/7 operations at GoTo, and make myself available to my team at all hours, it makes it hard to completely cut off, even when I’m overseas,” shares Liana.
“I’m extremely organised by nature, with an ever-packed diary to keep me on track and find time to rest and recharge. It takes a village to raise a family, and I’m fortunate to have the support of my fiancé and parents in that respect. I strongly believe that if my family is happy, healthy, safe and loved, together we can get through anything.”
While Liana cites her support network as pivotal in helping her to overcome challenges and achieve so much in her career, she also firmly believes that all women should be given the chance to break the mold, no matter their personal circumstances.
“Sadly, misogyny still surrounds women holding senior roles – there’s a sense of ‘what would you know?’ – and there’s a stigma attached to working mothers or unmarried mothers who often struggle to find the support they require to join the workforce.
“But women bring a different perspective to what is perceived to be the norm, particularly in the transport industry. Respect is earned and that works both ways, and there is a place for any woman who wants to break boundaries and social taboos. Having been both a teenage and unmarried mother myself, I encourage those willing to face this challenge to take the leap, to be open to learning and committed to making their mark on any industry, and continuously reach for the stars!”
More information about GoTo may be found online at www.goto.com.mt.