Every morning, like in thousands of apartment complexes across Bengaluru, Suman Howlader’s doorbell would announce the arrival of the car cleaner. However, Suman was unhappy with the lack of thoroughness in the cleaning and decided to look for professional doorstep car cleaning services. This too proved futile and Suman was dissatisfied with the poor quality of aggregator-based car cleaning services. Realising that there was a clear gap between demand and the service levels that existed, he decided to start CarZippi in August 2015.
Started with a seed capital of Rs. 52 lakh, this Bengaluru-based startup offers comprehensive doorstep car care services at any location within a 30 km radius of the city. The initial investment has been circulated across supply chain infrastructure, marketing, and product development.
The biggest challenge today in the automobile maintenance and car care segment is transparency with pricing, quality assurance, and time consumption or turnaround time in getting one’s car serviced. We are not into price wars or offering out-of-the way discounts. Customers can avail our services at market rates. The turnaround time varies based on the size of vehicle, condition of the vehicle and service selected, but on average, it takes 30 to 45 minutes. To avail the service, customer needs doorsteps.
ISO 9001-2008 certified CarZippi gives customers clear visibility regarding the price of every item so that they can plan the service bucket based on their budget. The price range of the services is between Rs. 450 and Rs. 5,450. Customers can select a date and time, enter their location, and choose a package to book a car care service.
CarZippi is 34-year-old Suman’s second venture. He started his entrepreneurial journey in 2010 with Foiwe Info Global Solutions, a content moderation and IT services company, which earned a revenue of $1 million in 2014. He holds an MBA from Bangalore University and has 14 years’ experience working with IBM, Thomas Reuters and Unisys, which has given him extensive exposure to the field of IT and ITES.
Suman has also been involved in the field of fine arts for 12 years. He has received Shilpa Visharad and Shilpa Ratna Certificates in Fine Arts, and has held two exhibitions. He also teaches painting to small children free of cost.
CarZippi is designed to cater to both B2B and B2C clients, but the latter is its area of primary focus. With an employee base of 20, CarZippi has serviced 600 customers since its inception three months ago. The startup receives 250 to 300 orders a month and has a revenue margin of 5 per cent.
Currently located in Bengaluru, CarZippi is planning to spread its wings to Chennai, Pune, and Mumbai by 2016. The CarZippi app so far has witnessed 300 downloads, and the startup is looking to capture 20 to 25 per cent of the market in the next two to three years. CarZippi is targetting a turnover of Rs. 14 crore by 2016-2017.
“We expect to generate 60 per cent of the total revenue from the current car care solution and 40 per cent from other services that are coming soon. These include car care products, car accessories and auxiliary services,” says Suman.
The Indian auto industry is considered the largest in the world with an annual production of 23.37 million vehicles in FY 2014-2015, a 8.68 per cent growth over the previous year. The industry produced a total of 14.25 million vehicles including commercial vehicles, three wheelers and two wheelers in April-October 2015 as against 13.83 in April-October 2014.
The increasing sales of luxury cars in metro cities is pushing the growth of car care services in India. Speed Car Wash, My Pitstop, MobiCarSpa, and Cherry.com are a few startups operating in this industry. However, compared with metro cities, the car care market has not gained significant traction in Tier II and Tier III cities.
A comprehensive global report on Car Washing Services revealed that the global market for car washing services is forecast to reach over $27.4 billion by 2017.