This IIT-Delhi alumni’s startup makes car repair simple with a few clicks
The first dent on your brand new car can be heartbreaking. Add the agony of taking it to a service centre, spending time and money and realising that it might take weeks to spruce of those hot wheels - Atishay Jain had experienced this first hand, and it was a dismal feeling.
“The experience is broken and it is time consuming and expensive,” Atishay says. That stayed on his mind. Thus, after studying engineering at IIT Delhi with an MBA at IIM Bangalore, Atishay’s experience in automobile retail and running car dealerships for Japanese, European and Korean manufacturers, suitably prepared him for his foray into starting up with Revive Auto.
“There is a huge scope of improvement in after-sales operations of car repairs – in terms of process adherence, customer experience and adoption of technology, specifically in the body repair vertical,” says Atishay.
The birth of Revive Auto was to address all these lacunae. The online platform works as a specialised network for on-demand car body makeover facilities. Revive Auto specialises in making your car, dent and scratch free in minimum time and maximum comfort.
How the platform works to spruce up the four-wheel drive
Once the idea was in place, Atishay roped in Shikher Dubey as co-founder who had over 11 years in the automobile industry. Revive Auto was conceptualised in June 2018, and after working for eight months on streamlining the tech, franchise network and marketing plans, the duo finally launched the startup in February 2019.
The team offers spot-free car maintenance. He adds, “The focus of our service is to make car repairs simple with a couple of clicks.”
Explaining how the platform works, Atishay says,
“There is no need for physical inspection to get estimates for car body repair which can be easily seen and selected on our website or mobile app. We automatically pick up the precise pick up location at the time of booking, and our ambassadors reach the location at a predetermined time.”
Revive Auto targets customers who want to get quick repairs done on one to three body panels. The startup provides real time tracking and updates during the 24-hour repair process through back-end technology integration.
“We also ensure the repair activity doesn’t affect one’s daily routine, and offer alternate cars for use till repairs are completed,” says Atishay.
At present, Revive Auto operates in six cities with a focus on car aesthetics services ranging from dent and paint repair jobs, full-body paint, interior and exterior customisation, deep cleaning and ceramic coating.
Overcoming the challenges
Initially, the team had started as a small multi-brand car repair workshop. Soon, the startup began working on building the network, talking to other manufacturers and service providers. The team soon realised that Revive Auto had to become a network of specialist car body repair facilities optimised in terms of infrastructure and geography.
The use of advanced tech tools to repair and deliver the car in the minimum possible time with real-time tracking and updates to customers using the best of repair processes and paint material to ensure the highest quality, all this, Atishay claims, is at a transparent and affordable cost.
“There is no need for physical inspection to get estimates for repairs as that can be seen on our website or mobile app. We also make sure the repair activity doesn’t affect daily routines by offering alternate cars,” says Atishay.
The startup garnered a lot of consumer interest and discussions in the initial days that led to customer bookings, however the same did not translate into final car repairs.
The team realised that there was a problem with the physical touchpoints, ie. the drivers assigned to pick up the cars, which led to confusion in a customer’s mind. Addressing this, Atishay explains,
“We spent a lot of time to make our drivers realise their importance by stressing on a simple fact - they are the face of Revive Auto for a customer. We decided to call them Revive ambassadors then. The customer believed them the most in the entire ecosystem. We educated our Revive ambassadors on how to respond to customer queries. We decided to further strengthen our digital footprints, and introduced a live review mechanism on our portal which helped us greatly in instilling confidence in potential customers.”
The market and future
The team now has over 250 working bays for car repairs in and around Delhi-NCR, and has completed a little over 4,500 dent-paint jobs. The average ticket is Rs 14,000 per vehicle.
The services start at Rs 1,999, making it a high-on-value repair for a typical car owner working 60-hours a week.
“We also offer solutions for various corporates like fleet, self-drive and used car operators, and also leasing companies for the maintenance of the fleet cars,” says Atishay.
The Indian auto-components industry has experienced healthy growth over the past few years and according to an IBEF report, it has expanded by 18.3 percent to reach $51.2 billion in FY 2017-18. Some of the prominent players in the Indian automotive repair market include GarageOnRoad, Vehito, Automovill, Koovers, PitStop, and GoMechanic.
Focussed on car body repairs, on the startup’s future plans, Atishay says,
“We are currently exploring a few projects to make the repair process more convenient. We want to use image recognition techniques to help our customer to check repair costs merely by uploading a few photos of his car on our mobile app. We are also in the process of introducing doorstep body repairs - a first in the industry. We plan to expand our operations in three additional Tier II cities outside Delhi-NCR by the end of the year. To help us work on this, we are looking to raise $1 million to fund our expansionary vision.”
(Edited by Suruchi Kapur)