99rpm: Trying to find a solution for the broken 'spare-parts industry' in India

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                                Pankaj Yadav

As cliche as a cliche can get, India is a diverse nation. But this diversity spawns so many interesting problems that it becomes an excellent playground for entrepreneurs. One such problem is the vehicle Spare Parts industry. There are people in various socio-economic bands who own different kind of vehicles and have different issues. One such segment is the economy car owners who prefer to maintain their own car and do the servicing instead of spending the big bucks on service stations.

This is the problem 99rpm is targeting. Founded by Pankaj Yadav, an IIT-BHU (Varanasi) graduate and a Sunstone Business School alumni, 99rpm is currently checking the viability of the business.

What are the issues?

From the top of your mind, if you're in India and looking for a spare part for your car, there are not many places to look at. There's your car company's service station (which may or may not be there nearby) and there's the local service station to whom one ends up going if the other doesn't work out. And if one is looking to get a spare part delivered, you're more likely to be shooting in the dark.

Even once the part is located, there are three key challenges while selecting:

  • Authenticity of the right fit: It is necessary to have the right fit
  • Quality: The parts have to be original
  • Pricing: There is a lot of opportunistic pricing in this segment which needs to be looked into

How is 99rpm solving it?

Based out of New Delhi, 99rpm is currently an eCommerce portal with close to 500 parts on the store for about 3 models. Talking about market sizes is very subjective because the business is testing waters. It is currently looking at end customers who own cars but can also take the route of a platform and become a B2B offering.

The delivery times vary from 2-15 days and almost no one holds an inventory. The orders are placed once the customer asks for it (99rpm or a service station). Pankaj is trying to streamline this flow and give an efficient experience to the consumers.

Pankaj has previously been a product manager at Gaana and a computer scientist at Adobe Systems. He says,

Traditional business models are designed around bundling products & services as a complete offering which smart customers often struggle to build trust with as there is inherent lack of transparency. Customers who casually seek information specifications or care for quality are often labeled as enthusiasts. In the end, vehicle owner are the one who actually have to bear the cost broken system.

99rpm is bootstrapped attempt to create a solution which is fundamentally different from ground up and see how the customers receive it. 99rpm was conceptualize during entrepreneurship program at Sunstone Business School over 4 months of iterations.

Learning from feedback of early adopters and building 1:1 engagement has proved itself to be rewarding in building comfort level for the business. The business is at a very early stage to reveal numbers hat would indicate anything but is surely a market that is waiting for some innovation.

Most products on 99rpm are added on customer requests and the team is open for feedback on how the solution can be optimized.

Website: 99rpm

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