Words and Wheels: Talking With CEO Of Automovill – Mr. Mridu Mahendra Das

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What is the vision behind the brand?
Automovill wants to establish as the premium brand for after sales ecosystem. It aims bring in 5 Mil. Automotive technicians in one platform to cater to all the needs of a vehicle owners, serve all the stake holders in this ecosystem e.g. insurance companies, car resellers, ride hailing services, fleet owners, leasing companies and parts/lubes manufacturers.

As recently raised funds, what are your plans for the brand?
Automovill is aggressively increasing its footprints across different geographies and bring the technology change for streamlining the operations, customer satisfaction and seamless experience for all the needs. Brand should be recalled and recognised as the alternative for authorised service centres and single point of contact for all the needs.

What challenges did you face while establishing the brand?
Like any other start-up Automovill had its share of challenges and Covid was the peak of the challenge to overcome. To start with Automovill started in early 2016, when the concept was fairly new and changing the mindset of car owners to multi-brand and that too through a platform was hard to crack. Then comes the funding for expansion as the idea is hard to get node from marquee investors and this was largely overcome by NEDFi support. In the business model itself Automovill had to go with multiple iteration and finally arrived at hub-Spoke model which made it a sustainable model and stronger entity in the after sales market.

Covid is a unique and first of its kind in the world and Automovill has been impacted as well by Covid. However during the lockdown itself Automovill ensured the work continuity where we did sanitisation and other such activities which made Automovill revenue running. Sanitisation during Covid also helped Automovill establish its brand and we ended up giving some income to semi-skilled auto workers through sanitisation. Post Covid Automovill focussed on used car market to overcome the low revenue challenge from B2C and expand to 15 cities.There are many smaller challenges which we faced along our way and we believe every challenge made us stronger and better to establish Automovill as one of the front line companies in after sales ecosystem.

What all technologies do you use to make your business model run?
Automovill has its inhouse technology and product team as well as some preferred technology partners which helps running the smooth tech platform of Automovill. Automovill core technology platform consists of a website, m-site, admin portal for order management and CRM, apps for executives, drivers and client’s portal for tracking their requests and analyse the expense of each vehicle repaired through Automovill.
Automovill is building a comprehensive platform (Automovill Express) for technicians/garages to boost their learning/earning and enhance their digital footprint to attract more options for revenue and upskilling. Automovill is focusing to be become the key provider for insurance claims as well through the network of insurance agents and digitizing the entire process of handling insurance claim to fulfilling the repair process through Automovill DSA app which will be available in PlayStore shortly.

What preparations have you done for the EV market?
In the current Automobile market penetration of EV is very less and Automovill has only option to enter through charging stations and other mechanical/body works in the car. However we are focusing only on charging stations for passenger cars/2 Wheeler segment through one of our partner company. We have already singed the MoU and setting them in our existing partner workshops.
Another major break through Automovill has reached by signing an MoU with one of the biggest EV bus manufacturer in the world. Automovill is going to set up the service stations, battery swapping/charging centres and supply spares as well for the fleets where the buses will be deployed. The MoU has already been signed and Automovill is planning to enhance its manpower and capabilities for catering the full stack solution to them.

How do you ensure hassle free insurance claim process at your brand?
Automovill’s primary focus for boosting its revenue is through insurance vertical. Automovill has recently hired manpower focussed entirely on insurance vertical across India. It will be headed by an industry veteran who will spearhead the network creation and boosting the tie-ups. As mentioned earlier Automovill DSA app will onboard 20K+ insurance agents for directly getting the claim request on Automovill platform and deliver the best service without any hassle. Automovill currently has tie up with 12 insurance companies for Pan-India cashless and another 10 insurance companies in city specific cashless tie-up. All the insurance SoPs and claim related documents are already shared with partnered network for flawless claim process.

What all additional services are you planning to add in the near future?
Automovill is immediately moving into spare parts for a pilot basis in Bangalore. It’s also inducting new revenue sources through its Automovill Express app in near future.

How many workshops do you aim to open by the end of the fiscal year 2022? and what are your plans to expand the brand in other regions?
Automovill seldom opens its own workshop, however recent tie up with a Lube brand has helped Automovill recognise and rebuild infrastructure of 50+ workshops and rebranding them as Automovill. For geographical expansion Automovill aggressively looking into Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities by tying up with multi-brand workshops.
By the end of Fiscal year 2022 Automovill will have 200+ branded workshops in its network.

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