NayaGaadi aims to ride the automobile wave in rural marketsSindhu Kashyaap
NayaGaadi is a multi-utility marketplace for all vehicles. The platform focuses on rural markets.
At a glance:
Founders: K Balaji and BS Sangeetha Thulasi
Based out of: Bengaluru
Year it was founded: 2017
Sector: Vehicle marketplace
Problem it solves: Buying new vehicles
In India, car and bike brands usually prefer to open their showrooms in big cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi-NCR, and Chennai. Rural markets are often ignored in their sales and marketing plans.
But if one goes by statistics, India is the fifth largest car market in the world. A report in the Financial Chronicle states that in the last calendar year, car sales touched close to 3.4 million in rural and semi-urban areas. The market for cars and two-wheelers in rural India is fast growing.
K Balaji, founder of NayaGaadi, rural India’s first multi-utility online marketplace for all brand new vehicles adds that the segment in the rural India is still under-represented. There notes that there are only a limited number of showrooms, dealerships and hardly any service centres and no fuel-filling centres in these areas.
“Having a physical showroom model in every village is unviable and not feasible. We believe that the problem can best be tackled using technology and a marketplace model suited to address the complex sales process,” he says.
In the driving seat
When the founders thought of cashing in on the idea to serve to rural markets, it saw the beginning of NayaGaadi.
The platform connects all brands, and categories of new vehicles under one roof. Currently operating in Bengaluru, and catering to nearby Tier II and III cities, NayaGaadi plans to expand to 30 cities.
Hailing from rural Andhra Pradesh and also spending close to 20 years in the IT industry, Balaji is clear about using technology to provide clear, transparent, seamless, hassle-free personalised service and delivery at the doorstep of the rural customer.
Once the idea was in place, Balaji roped in BS Sangeetha Thulasi as a co-founder. They duo has worked with global IT companies like IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Wipro Technologies in various roles.
Gearing up for a test drive
On the platform, people can buy any brand new vehicle be it autos, bikes, mopeds, scooters, cars, bicycles, buses, lorries, tractors, passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, SUVs, MUVs and get it delivered at their doorstep.
The team will also soon launch new electric vehicles and mobility solutions. The idea is to build a real time online marketplace for all brand new vehicles and provide service and delivery personalised to the end customer.
“It’s a step forward in providing hassle-free, transparent and convenient service to the end customer. NayaGaadi has established partnerships with dealers, original equipment manufacturers (OEM), and manufacturers across categories and continue to get them on board,” says Balaji.
The platform also works as a single window for all services and products that are related to the new automobile buy. It also works as an avenue for dealerships to improve sales by creating an online sales channel.
Apart from working as a marketplace, the platform also connects car body builders, fabricators, and custom design specialists in the automobile sector with the new vehicle consumers for their different needs.
Getting on course
The team faced several challenges when it came to convincing dealers, manufacturers, and customers. Balaji adds that the payment gateway system is not completely viable for this platform as it charges anywhere from one to two percent to t commission, which is not suitable for high-cost transactions.
“Majority of the customers are not aware of our brand and our services. We have to focus on the early adapters who have realised our value and started taking our service,” says Balaji.
He explains that from an investors’ point of view they realised the automobile sector needs to change the way it does business as globalisation and the changing digital landscape of the country needs a transparent, convenient and hassle free buying experience when a customer is trying to buy a new vehicle.
Balaji says dealers and automobile company manufacturers’ perception is that an online marketplace means discounts and they are very conservative when it comes to using technology as a platform to increase consumer base, reach out to them quickly and provide better service.
“We are able to demonstrate the technology platform benefits to all the stakeholders in the ecosystem to get going,” says Balaji.
The right track
There are several players in the space, like automative aftermarket marketplace like MeriCAR, a marketplace and aggregator for the after-sales automotive market, and Pune-based Sparehub an e-commerce marketplace for automobile parts and services.
Delhi-based Gaadifix is a marketplace for mechanics and branded automobile spare parts. According to an ICRA report, of the total estimated turnover of $8 billion of the automotive replacement market, excluding the sale of batteries and tyres, around 75 percent is contributed by passenger vehicles and two-wheelers.
Used vehicles and car marketplaces like CarDekho has raised $65 million, CarTrade $185 million, and CarWale $7 million. Droom, the used car marketplace claims to have achieved a GMV run rate of Rs 1,500 crore, as of last year.
NaayaGadi claims to have tie-ups and arrangements with over 100 dealers, more than 15 manufacturers, over 10 banks, and insurance companies. The team claims to have sold over 50 vehicles worth more than Rs 3.5 crore, and arranged more than 300 test drives.
It has also launched a cross country electric bike called Volta-Zap. The ticket size ranges from Rs 50,000 to Rs18 lakh. The team claims to have customers from four states, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Currently bootstrapped, NayaGaadi is a Government of Karnataka Elevate 100 winner and the grant is helping it focus on building the platform. The team is looking to raise its next round of funding.
Balaji says they are trying initially raise a small pre-seed round of Rs 2 to 3 crore before they expand to five Tier-I cities and later the remaining 25 Tier-1 cities with 50,000 villages covering support.
“We are putting in required tools, utilities for quicker comparison, search, instant quotes, product brochures, performa invoice, automated vehicle financing request, insurance quotes, best deals and discounts, customisation requests, cost and timeline information.”
“The initial South India expansion plans will include five major Tier-1 cities including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Chennai and Kochi. After this, our target would be 25 Tier-1 cities in other parts of India,” says Balaji.