For residents of traffic-ridden cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi, finding a good car repair and maintenance centre can be time-consuming and painful. The authorised service centres are unnecessarily expensive and multi-brand workshops don’t have a standard operating procedure. Also, the quotations provided by these centres vary from one another.
Looking at the growing demand for standardised and reliable services in multi-brand workshops, Akshat Lavania, Himanshu Bansal and Jimmy Yadav started Carpathy this year. Gurgaon-based Carpathy has a network of standardised automobile services centres in Delhi NCR. These centres provide quality repair and maintenance services at affordable prices.
Working around the problem
Childhood friends Akshat and Himanshu met Jimmy through a common friend. Himanshu worked as a Product Manager at WedMeGood and was part of the core team. Prior to that he was worked with startups like GoPeppers.com and Group10 Technologies. Jimmy was previously handling operations for NDTV Indian Roots and has over 11 years of combined experience in operations, customer service and e-commerce.
The 25-year-old mechanical engineer and automobile enthusiast Akshat says:
We were facing problem of overcharging at OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) authorised service stations and trust issues over quality with unauthorised service stations. We saw the opportunity and requirement of organisation in the latter industry.
Customers can book services like cleaning, repair, and maintenance on the site. Upfront prices for each service is available on the platform. And customers can choose to pay online or through cash or card. Carpathy currently services more than 350 car models including luxury and premium cars.
On the service providers side, the workshops receive an email with a confirmation of the service, and what are the different modifications or repairs that need to be done.
The team currently is in the process of building a strong partner interface, which can facilitate real-time automation of service booking and customer engagement processes, right from start of service booking to vehicle delivery, including timely service updates.
At this point in time, the Carpathy team coordinates with the workshop and updates the customer on the same.
A growing unorganised market
However, the tech adoption by the service providers was a challenge. Akshat adds that getting them to go online and open the service details and check everything on that was a problem. “We are talking to a set of people who are used to walk-ins, they do not understand technology. The only way to change that is by working with them and showing the benefits of going online,” says Akshat.
A bigger share of the Indian automobile service market is occupied by unauthorised service centres and works mostly offline. Quality is hard to assure from these service centres and there is no sense of transparency in the services they provide.
About 40 percent of the service providers in top tier cities fall under the unorganised sector. There are several startups that aim to organise this unorganised segment. Chennai-based GoBumpr, MotorExpert, MyPitstop, MeriCar and Cartisan are some of the players in this segment.
MeriCAR.com has had two rounds of investments from My First Cheque and Rajan Anandan (personal investment). They are now looking to raise a larger funding round.
In July 2015, Bengaluru-based automotive service marketplace Cartisan raised an undisclosed amount in its seed round funding from YouWeCan ventures, Global Founders Capital, TaxiForSure’s Aprameya Radhakrishna and others.
Numbers and future plans
Carpathy claims to be servicing more than 150 cars per month and growing at a rate of 40 percent. They have a network of 75 service stations with more than 300 mechanics.
Carpathy also provides repair and maintenance solutions for self-drive car rental companies like Zoomcar and on-demand service providers like Zimmber. It has a strong presence in both B2B and B2C segment.
Akshat adds that the entire experience of the customers, right from booking a service to getting their cars after service, is seamless and it is not something that the customers are currently used to. “This has also helped us in getting a very high percentage of repeat customers on our platform.
We work on a commission-based model with the service partners,” says Akshat.
Currently bootstrapped, the team wants to optimise their existing operations and focus on strengthening their customer base in Delhi NCR, before expanding to other cities.