To tap the growing market of out-of-warranty/second-hand cars, start-ups are getting active in the car servicing and spare parts retailing space. These new players are also tying up with manufacturers to sell original spare parts.
These start-ups use technology to form a marketplace that will connect car owners to hundreds of garage owners and sell spare parts. One such start-up, GaadiFix, has tied up with 1,300 automobile workshops in the national capital region (NCR), which is estimated to have a larger car population than any other Indian city.
There are some 12 million cars on Indian roads that are out of warranty, says Nitin Bahl, founder and co-chief executive officer at GaadiFix. And, two million cars are added to this number every year. “Most of these vehicle owners stop going to an authorised service centre due to the cost. People who are buying used cars also do not wish to spend big money at such service centres. All of them end up going to a local mechanic, who in most cases might not be selling genuine spare parts or could be inflating the price and cost of service.”
GaadiFix has tied up with original equipment suppliers such as Delphi (which also supplies to car manufacturers) to source spare parts. It does not offer a deep discount on such spares but guarantees originality and quality. Through the GaadiFix app, buyers can place order for spare parts, make payment, and receive shipment of products such as brake pads, coolant, oils, suspension car batteries, lights, etc.
“Customers will come to us for convenience while buying parts. We are not asking a share from our mechanics but users can expect a saving of 30-40 per cent compared to a service centre. Our main margin will come from spares where we reduce the intermediaries.” Launched in February, at least two cars are serviced daily through the GaadiFix platform.
But, who guarantees the quality of service done through GaadiFix and CARXPERT (another start-up)? Abhijeet Singh, chief operating officer at CARXPERT, says the team spends time in identifying good workshops and mechanics. “We have also removed workshops whose management showed low commitment. Authorised service centres will try to inflate bills but our focus is on building the base of customers by offering affordable service.”
CARXPERT has serviced around 500 vehicles since its launch in December 2015.
The focus for most such start-ups is the NCR market.
“If you can crack the Delhi region, you can cater to any market in India,” says Singh. After NCR, CARXPERT will focus on Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad.