The multibrand aftersales vehicle servicing workshops are finding strong ground in the last few years. How these workshops are shaping up the industry? What are the challenges they are facing? What’s their thought about EV-specific workshops?
Electric vehicles are increasingly finding prominence around us and a strong foothold as well. This is creating a new business ecosystem besides the traditional ICE vehicle-based businesses. With the emergence of electric vehicles, there are requirements for EV-specific workshops that will provide aftersales service solutions to the e-vehicles. While the third-party vehicle servicing workshops are increasing in numbers, how are they planning to address this concern? Arvind Verma, Co-founder of VehicleCare explains in an interaction.
Edited excerpts are given below.
Q. How do you see the aftersales service segment is reviving after the Covid blues?
Seeing the growing car servicing demand in India, VehicleCare is aggressively working towards expansion plans to cater to the demand. Hence, we have plans to hire 100+ employees by the end of this year and work on building our supply chain networks for our workshops and consumer services. India’s multi-brand car service market is expected to reach about Rs 73,162 Cr in revenue by FY’2025. As many people prefer using their own vehicles now because of safety reasons, that has majorly helped the aftersales service segment
Q. How has been the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown on your business?
The covid-19 pandemic has deprived many lives and livelihoods. Even amid this traumatic and tragic situation, there were new opportunities and avenues that were raised for a profitable business. People started prioritizing their health and preferred to commute through their own personal vehicles.
The used car sales, vehicle service and repair, manufacturing and supplying of branded parts, contactless booking for car servicing etc. are some such business opportunities that the new crisis has promoted. During this pandemic when everybody’s business is affected and consumers are looking for more affordable services and repair, we have started opting for local workshops and skipping those of the OEM dealers. Pre-pandemic, we used to generate 20-30 Lakhs revenue per month but when we talk about post-pandemic we are now generating 5-6 Cr. per month.
We thought we would face a lot of hurdles as a startup but this pandemic was a blessing in disguise for us as we grew really well at a fast pace. We got our mandates from Uber, Cars24, Cardekho and others.
Q. If you can put some light on Vehiclecare’s business expansion plan for the next few years?
We are planning to expand to 100+ cities by end of this year and our plan is to open 500+ workshops, we already have started with the expansions and our hiring for our company. The plan is to hire 100+ employees by this year. We are trying to penetrate to Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities because post-pandemic, the demand for car servicing has boomed in these cities as well. We have established ourselves in metro cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad and others.
Q. Do you see any stigma among the consumers when it comes to choosing an OEM authorized service centre or a third-party aftersales service provider? If yes, how do you tackle that challenge?
Genuine spares are always a concern among the customers and there’s no denying that the market is rife with dealers that do not deliver on what they say leading to a stigma in choosing an OEM authorized service centre or a third-party aftersales service provider to some extent. In the early stages of vehicleCare this had initially been a great challenge to overcome. But with our pan India network of premium garages, quality assured services and the trust built through has let us experience more confidence from our customers. We assure our customers of the authenticity of the parts used by providing a complete warranty and free replacement promise on every car repair.
Q. Electric vehicles are finding an increasing number of takers. Do you have any plan to cater to the EV owners especially through a dedicated service provider channel?
Yes definitely, EVs are their own thing today and are gaining popularity quite rapidly. Soon the electric cars will be the choice of the mainstream market and not just a few. We have been prudently waiting for that time and it seems to be the right time to plan it all out. EVs require different types of equipment than their IC counterparts as well as a more modern technical understanding. We plan to launch a separate segment for that which will cater to all sorts of repair work as well as the general servicing of EVs.
6. How do you authenticate the repair process so that they are fool-proof and used by the vehicle owners, fleet owners, Insurance Brokers, Insurers?
We have laid greater focus on ensuring transparency to customers in terms of services offered, parts replaced, and labour charges. It is how we plan to build trust among our customers and retain them. The services offered at VehicleCare garages can be tracked through our mobile application and be in the know of with our 24X7 customer support team. The prices quoted at our workshops and the spares used are exemplars of industry standards.
We guarantee our customers the use of only genuine parts and provide a six-month warranty on them. The use of fake spares is rampant in the market but it is also one of the things that so distinctly distinguishes us from such other companies. We believe in delivering services that are quality-oriented, which is why we maintain tie-ups with spare suppliers all over India and make sure every component sourced is of genuine grade. We are also planning on launching our Mobile Application where our customers will be able to track their vehicle as well as easily book their services.