Elena Shkarubo, founder of MeetnGreetMe, talks about the global platform for personal assistance for travellers from locals.

MeetnGreetMe is a global online platform for offline localised personal assistance for world travellers from local people. From meeting you upon arrival, accompanying during your stay to delivering flowers to your business partner our local personal concierges, (MeetnGreeters), can deliver more than thirty-five travel concierge services around the world to help their guests feel safe and comfortable, save their valuable time and help them avoid confusion and overpayments. Founder and CEO, Elena Shkarubo tells us more.

I came up with the idea when... when I helped my international colleagues and just strangers deal with different issues they faced during their stay in my country. It wasn’t my duty, it was my pure will. I really cared about people feeling comfortable in my city on one side, and I sincerely enjoyed sharing my local expertise and knowledge on the other.

The biggest challenge is... to promote the new concept of personal concierge services among all sorts of people regardless their income, status, position. MeetnGreetMe Personal Concierge Service aims to change existing concept of concierge services by making it affordable for everyone.

The average day is spent... on platform growth and customers’ satisfaction. We are looking for those forces that can start the MeetnGreetMe platform engine and at the same time bring value and positive experience to our users.

The team consists of... people who are totally on the same page and passionately believe in what we are doing. Each of us has a specific background in business development, IT or UX which helped us to start. But to proceed we need to learn every single day, expand our horizons and go beyond the limits, whatever they are - emotional, intellectual or financial.

My favourite quote... “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” - Steve Jobs

I am where I am today because of... Life gives us a lot of opportunities and it’s up to us whether to follow our dreams or realise the dreams of others.

I am who I am because of... challenges, dreams and books. Each challenge I face makes me stronger. Each dream I have helps me overcome those challenges. Each book I read equips me with knowledge essential for dreaming big and acting on it.

The best advice I've been given... My dearest American friend once told me that there is one word all the successful American people hate and I, on the contrary, tend to repeat it over and over again. I was bemused. She told me ‘Never ever TRY doing something! Just DO it!’ Shift of responsibility, hah?

In five years I’d like to be... in charge of MeetnGreetMe Corp, a world known P2P concierge service business with millions of satisfied customers, a mentor for entrepreneurs, who are new comers and a caring mother.

The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business online... The online world is the projection of our needs that we are not able to realise in the real world. Mind it.

Our biggest mistake and what it taught us... It is okay to make mistakes as we can’t know everything. We should learn and understand why it’s happened as it’s essential for our growth.

The most rewarding experience we’ve had to date It’s that the MeetnGreetMe Concierge Service is being used! We are so excited to see that the platform is growing and people from more than fifty countries have already registered. It’s a special kind of pleasure to read their feedback and get great ideas they share with us. It encourages us to pull ourselves together and move further.

April 2016