‘Manage the queue; ride high’
Build your own dreams
Coming from a middle class family it was not easy for him to make the decision of starting up an automobile service company. It was his brother who helped him believe he could achieve what he set out to do. He offered his entire savings as initial capital to invest in his business. This has made all the difference.
“When you feel you cannot follow someone else's dream, you start building your own. I had my fair share of corporate life with IBM and MetricStream and through that life, I kept feeling I was not utilising my full potential. The calling and support from my family weighed more than the challenges and I decided to startup,” shared Sachin Vasanth Shenoy, co-founder and CEO of Let's Service Automotive Technologies.
Shenoy is a second time entrepreneur, his first venture being in the online to offline space. Entrepreneurship for Shenoy is a calling from within. The Bengaluru-based Automobile Service Logistics and SaaS startup, uses its proprietary technology to enable any automobile service center plug the pickup and drop feature, through its suite of products, thus enhancing the convenience of automobile servicing for both the service centre and customers.
In an elaborate interview with I Am An Entrepreneur Shenoy delved into the trends of the automobile service industry.
A selected excerpt-
Automobile service space witnessing digital disruption
According to Shenoy the automobile service space is divided into the organised sector (OEM powered network) and unorganised sector (standalone garages, workshops etc). The organised sector is still broken and is catching up with the digital transformation that this country is witnessing.
The innovation has predominantly happened only around producing better vehicles, better designs etc in the past. Now the OEMs have started to focus on digitisation and enhancing the customer experience through providing convenience,” he shared.
Last October Aequs Group, a pioneer in establishing an Aerospace manufacturing ecosystem in India has taken first steps to expand into the digital space through an investment of an undisclosed amount in Pre-Series A funding in LetsService.in.
Addressing gaps through smart solutions
The recently released Bain & Company and Facebook report titled “Changing Gears 2020 - How digital is transforming the face of Indian automotive industry", states that 40 per cent of automobile sales in India will be digitally influenced by 2020. It also goes on to state that by 2020, up to 40 per cent of consumers are expected to book repair and maintenance services online which will see a growth of 26 per cent over the next three years from the current 14 per cent.
Newer business models coming up around leasing/renting are posing threat to the manufacturers as a certain percentage of their target market is now not buying vehicles. On the Service side, customers expect better service reminder methods and do not want to be disturbed while they are busy working or with family.
Shenoy feels that this needs smart algorithms which track what was the time of the day when a particular customer spoke to a tele-caller last time and gather other relative attributes and present the details to the tele-callers through intuitive dashboards to make calls. “This is where LS CRM product comes into picture which reduces customer dissatisfaction and increases conversion rates significantly,” he informed.
Also aided by online shopping experiences etc, the customer expectation is growing higher and higher by the day and catching up to their expectation is posing a challenge.
“The customer hates waiting in the queue at a service center and they expect a better experience there. That is when we come in and say that you do not need to even visit a service center and get a better experience sitting at home aided by real-time notifications, online payment options, pickup and drop from home or office etc,” explained Shenoy who has developed queue management system which is smart, token based and reduces customer wait times by up-to 75 per cent when implemented.
Three things to know before initiating an automobile service company
Shenoy advocated being smart in matching demand and supply, to keep innovating on the business model and find routes with least cost and friction. He also emphasised on being focused on the vehicle owner and delight them. “Everything else will follow, net promoter score matters the most,” he cautioned.
Lastly he advised not to bleed too much in the initial days. “Be smart about how you spend your capital. Once you prove yourself, you will have the necessary capital to build and grow,” he assured.
Would you like to invest into a business in digital automobile services space? Do share your views.