This B2C startup provides doorstep repair and maintenance services for two-wheelers
In 2015-16, numerous startups were coming up in the home services hyperlocal space, but Shishir Gandhi and Prabudh Kakkar were keen to solve automobile-related problems. The duo spent a year experimenting and understanding the challenges of customers and service providers.
“In a market of ~200 million two-wheelers, 80 percent of the aftermarket comprises unorganised vendors, mostly offline. However, customer preferences are shifting towards digital, convenience, and quality. The quantum of the opportunity excited us,” Shishir says.
India is the largest two-wheeler market globally, with approximately 100 million two-wheeler visits made to garages every quarter.
As a part of its experimentation phase, the founders learnt that people were not happy visiting workshops, and had concerns around quality of workmanship, spares, and local garages (with 80 percent of the market share comprising uneducated skilled manpower).
Shishir says vehicle management involves several aspects such as maintenance, wear and tear, spares, tyres, batteries, and insurance. However, unlike the car space, which has is a dedicated industry for each aspect, the two-wheeler segment always remained unorganised leading people to go from “point to point for resolving their two-wheeler issues”.
“A lot of startups in the space were offering a tech platform to identify the nearest service provider, but they were still not addressing the pain point of the customer - convenience, quality, and standardisation.
"This is where GarageWorks found an opportunity to disrupt/re-engineer the existing ecosystem and offer 360°-at-your-doorstep services through a single digital interface,” he says.
Founded in July 2017, Pune-basedleverages technology and data to standardise two-wheeler services and deliver superior experience at predictable cost and quality.
“We offer a bouquet of services, including periodic maintenance, running repairs, accidental repairs, part replacements, tyres and batteries. Skilled technicians, genuine spares, and quality assurance are our core value proposition to customers,” says Shishir, CEO of GarageWorks.
GarageWorks Co-founders Shishir Gandhi (L) and Prabudh Kakkar
One-stop solution for two-wheelers
GarageWorks' expertise is in running asset-light operations through its unique doorstep framework.
Shishir says that the startup has less than two percent of its revenue blocked in working capital/inventory (on an average, any dealer has at least 12-15 percent of its revenues blocked in inventory).
GarageWorks leverages technology to operate a hyperlocal supply chain of spares, which enables it to operate with 'zero' real estate. It currently caters to 200 service calls per day, with a four-member service delivery team (service advisors and supervisors).
Customers can visit their official website or use the Android app to select a preferred service/package and book an appointment. Based on the information shared by the customer, a technician is identified and assigned.
Technicians can see the cases assigned to them via a mechanic’s app. In case additional information is required, a technical advisor calls for further clarification.
“Our supply chain arranges for the necessary spares that are sent to the technicians on the day prior to appointment. Technicians visit the customer site and deliver the service. Post the service, the customer takes a test drive and makes the payment. All customers get a seven-day workmanship warranty with a free follow-up visit,” Shishir says.
The team and traction
Both the founders met through a common friend in 2009.
Shishir, an IIT Delhi graduate, has worked with Automobile Alliances at ICICI Lombard GIC Ltd, and was a founder member at insuretech.in and at MyCare Health.
Prabudh was associated with KPIT Infosystems Ltd, Headfitted, and XCaliber Technologies prior to joining GarageWorks.
At GarageWorks, which now has nine full-time employees, Shishir focuses on product, marketing, and F&A while Prabudh (CDO) looks after operations and service delivery.
The B2C startup has close to 60 mechanics on board, and plans to launch the iOS version of the app in June this year.
“Majority of our mechanics are sourced through word of mouth and the rest from blue-collared portals. Two-wheeler garages were one of the worst-hit businesses due to COVID. A lot of mechanics approached us post the lockdown, in search of business. Basis our growth, we are on-boarding them.”
Currently focused on metro cities where people are short of time and prefer doorstep convenience and quality, GarageWorks claims to have touched a user base of ~80,000 so far, delivering ~7,000 services monthly.
The startup has generated a revenue of $1 million in FY22 as compared to $500,000 and $400,000 in FY21 and FY20 respectively.
YS Design team
In February 2022, the startup raised $1.5 million led by Hiten Shah, Gowri Narayanan, Fred Towfigh as well as Abhijeet Kumar and Munendra Singh (ex-founders of BB Daily). Existing investors Dr Aniruddha Malpani, Pawan Sharma (ex-CEO of KPIT Technologies), Gautham Radhakrishnan, and Gaurav Malhotra also participated in the round.
The way ahead
GarageWorks aims to be the largest integrated ecosystem for two-wheelers with a global presence.
Currently operating in Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad, the startup has launched a GarageWorks 2W Technician programme on the outskirts of Pune and plans to roll this out in seven more cities by end of this year. They launched their first batch of 23 students in February this year.
In the future, leveraging its supply chain and tie-ups with brands, GarageWorks will be creating new marketplaces for people to purchase tyres, batteries, and spare parts, Shishir says.
“Our target is to acquire one million customers in the next 24 months. Post this threshold, we will build solutions around 360-degree offerings, enabling a user to avail any kind of service for their two-wheeler.”