Pune-based bootstrapped Clutcheal is changing the way bikes are serviced
Clutcheal is an on-demand two-wheeler service platform based out of Pune.
Twenty-four-year-old Sourav Meher, who was working with the second-hand vehicle selling platform CredR as a territory manager, was facing a problem that gets on everyone’s nerves — incessant bike trouble. He had given his bike for repair at a nearby garage where the mechanic informed him about the problems and work needed and gave Sourav an estimate of Rs 3,000-3,500. At the time of delivery, he provided Sourav with a bill of Rs 5,000.
“When I asked him about the estimate he told me the prices of the parts had changed. After 10 days I faced the same problem again. I took my vehicle to the same garage, where the same mechanic told me there was a different problem now,” says Sourav.
Thinking it would be better to go to an authorised service centre, Sourav went to one and to his dismay he found that hardly any work was done. When he went to collect his bike in two weeks, he was presented with a bill for a whopping Rs 12,000.
The eureka moment
This got him thinking that there should be a service where the repairs are performed in front of the customer, ensuring 100 percent transparency. Then the idea of doorstep servicing came to him. So Sourav, along with his friend and CredR colleague Mohammed Shadab Khan, decided to build Clutcheal.
They roped in Vasudha Banot, a friend from their MBA days. The trio then went on to do research on two-wheeler servicing and repairing in January 2016. “We found doorstep servicing has become a basic necessity in today’s life. Many people have faced issues such as theft and installation of defective parts. On 14 May 2016, we launched our startup as ‘Clutcheal, your vehicle’s personal doctor’, as we provide personal assistance on complete two-wheeler solutions,” says Sourav.
Clutcheal is an on-demand service solution company which offers two-wheeler servicing at the customer’s doorstep. The idea is to eradicate the hassles — defective parts, theft, questionable charges, false promises, delays — that inevitably crop up during automobile servicing. Genuine, transparent, better, and timely two-wheeler servicing has become the prominent need of the hour.
Working along the challenges
Sourav says the auto experts they hire from authorised showrooms lack the necessary training skills as they have never been required to interact with customers. To combat this, he says, “We at Clutcheal provide our auto experts with a one-month training programme to improve their communication skills and presenting themselves,” he adds.
As the idea of doorstep servicing is relatively new, convincing customers about its benefits was quite a task.
Another hurdle they faced was the arranging of spare parts from different areas of Pune. They have countered this challenge by tying up with 140 spare parts dealers all over Pune to get them whenever required, making sure their auto experts don’t have to travel far to purchase them.
The changes they made
Initially, the team would pick up and drop off customer vehicles as the servicing could not be done at customer premises. The team would then bring the vehicle to their garage. Later they tried to tie up with nearby garages, but it didn’t work out. “We then started tying up with nearby tyre shops for space. By now we have tied up with almost 100 tyre shops for space in all areas of Pune,” says Sourav.
Clutcheal, which is growing at a rate of 30 percent month on month, claims to have serviced over 1,100 vehicles and sold 150 insurance till date.
Clutcheal sells spare parts and accessories, which contributes to the revenue. They also provide instant insurance to their customers.
The team accepts customer bookings via website, calls, WhatsApp, and SMS. They seek confirmation a day before when the booking is scheduled for, and once received, allot an auto expert.
They have a handpicked mechanic who goes to the customer’s place for doorstep servicing. The auto expert fills the service job card and gives the customer an estimation of the work that needs to be done. With customer confirmation, the auto expert starts his work.
If any spare parts need replacing, the auto expert gets them from their nearby spare parts dealer. Once the job is done, the customer can pay via cash or online. After four days they call the customer for feedback regarding the servicing experience and also ask for a rating. Auto experts’ incentives are based on customer ratings.
A growing market
The on-demand service marketplace seems to be getting a new player every year. With over 40 percent of the service providers in top-tier cities falling under the organised space, there are several players like GoBumpr, MotorExpert, MeriCAR, MyPitstop, and Cartisan eyeing the massive unorganised space.
The Indian automobile industry nevertheless saw a whopping 23.7 million annual production of vehicles in FY 2014-15. This contributed to over 7.1 percent of the country’s GDP. And of this, the automotive component industry fetched over $35 billion during the year. Auto ancillary exports fetched $10.2 billion in the same year.
MeriCAR.com has had two rounds of investments from My First Cheque and Rajan Anandan (personal investment). Now, they are 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 R, and others.
In 2016, SpareHub raised an undisclosed amount of pre-Series A investment from Hyderabad Angels and Singapore-based M&S Partners. Zonnet also raised funding of Rs 2.5 crore and have plans to raise $10 million in Series A funding.
The future plans
“We are the only company in Pune providing service all over Pune and PCMC. Auto experts working with Clutcheal earn two or three times what they would by being employed at a garage. We do provide free pick-and-drop facility to customers if the servicing cannot be done at the customer premises. We have tie-ups with garages at all locations in Pune and PCMC where we take the vehicle to service and return it to the customers,” says Sourav.
The team is looking to launch a spare parts marketplace for businesses as the platform is already working with 140 spare part retailers. From March, they launched the supply of spare parts to retail outlets and garages.
“We would also be launching purchase and sale of two-wheelers from the month of July,” concludes Sourav