Today we speak with Mridu Mahendra Das, Co-founder & CEO of Automovill to understand how Automovill is shaping the auto servicing industry through its innovative product offerings.
Read the complete interview:
TechGraph: Could you help give a sense of how far Automovill has come since its existence? From when it began to where it is now?
Mridu Das: Automovill was inspired by our personal experiences as local mechanics were not always credible, and OEM workshops charge hefty prices. In response to the inconsistent solutions provided by auto repair workshops and mechanics, I (Mridu Mahendra Das), Chinmay Baruah and joined by Ramana Sambu as Co-Founder and CBO of Automovill, a one-stop shop for all automobile services.
We together kick-started the Automovill journey back in 2016 by serving a small number of customers among friends and family, which further fueled our belief in the concept.
Today, Automovill is a well-established household name as it is one of the top three players in the online auto service segment, with affiliations to 200+ workshops across India.
The company serves over 2500 customers per month and we have a skilled team of over 70 employees who ensure the highest level of quality and transparency. Automovill also serves all stakeholders in the automobile ecosystem, such as health insurers, car dealerships, ride-hailing services, fleet owners, leasing companies, and parts/lube manufacturers.
TechGraph: How is the response so far to your services?
Mridu Das: In our first 2-3 years of operation, We focused on customer satisfaction rather than gaining traction which helped us understand customer requirements and expectations. Over 2,00,000 cars handled to date testify to Automovill’s seamless, tech-driven services provided to our loyal customers.
In addition, Automovill is a full-service maintenance company and not just an aggregator of local garages and mechanics. We not only provide on-demand assistance through a wide network of partners, suppliers, and auto specialists but also guarantee end-to-end responsibility, from vehicle pickup to servicing, with a post-service customer connection.
Furthermore, Automovill offers a 6-month or 5000-kilometer warranty on any part replaced by the brand, ensuring a top-notch experience for the client with complete security.
TechGraph: Do you think tech-powered automobile service providers can address the auto servicing gap in India?
Mridu Das: Yes definitely, the existing gaps are the cornerstone for many tech-powered automobile service providers. The insufficiency of quality auto-service centers in India added with a slew of other challenges like – higher waiting time, supply chain issues, non-transparent experience, and optimization of the overall process have increased the demand for automobile start-ups.
Multi-brand car service industry arose from the need to provide cutting-edge technology at the lowest possible cost. It is a pressing reason that drives the average car owner away from authorized dealerships towards multi-brand car service centers. Also, the exit of many four-wheeler companies in India offers a huge market for many automobile service providers to propel and deliver what is needed.
TechGraph: How Automovill is leveraging technology to enhance the customer experience?
Mridu Das: Automovill has an in-house technology and product team, as well as some preferred technology partners, who contribute to the smooth operation of the Automovill tech platform. The core technology platform of Automovill includes a website, m-site, admin portal for order management and CRM, apps for executives, drivers, and clients, and a client portal for tracking requests.
The cohesive platform enables clients to book the service they need, and Automovill manages the request with the most convenient service provider.
The client portal also calculates the expense of each vehicle fixed by Automovill. By leveraging technology with AI/ML and providing prescriptive, preventive, and predictive maintenance solutions to manage a car’s life cycle, the platform builds trust, transparency, and user-friendliness in service.
TechGraph: How AI/ML is helping in the revolution of automobile services?
Mridu Das: Today’s automotive industry is on the verge of a massive progression. To keep ahead of players in the market, ambitious automobile start-ups are fortifying new technologies such as AI and ML to automate their operations and services.
IoT sensors powered by AI collect valuable data about vehicle conditions and driver behavior. Based on the findings, the machine learning algorithm can accurately predict when the vehicle part will break down or which component requires servicing. AI and ML technology also extend assistance in product research and development, procurement, supply chain distribution, sales and customer service, and marketing.
TechGraph: What technology trends will shape the Auto servicing space?
Mridu Das: The increased sophistication of digitized vehicles is already putting pressure on auto repair shops to upgrade their technology to provide maintenance and repair services.
To keep with the trends many players in the automotive industry are rapidly adopting cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) which are poised to disrupt and transform the way auto servicing space works, repairs, and offers services.
These automated technologies pay off from the first day of use, keeping the shop busy, customers happy, and mechanics moving. Auto repair shops that want to ensure their existence must start taking steps now to prepare their workshops and their employees for the coming years which will be remarkably different due to new and transformative trends.
TechGraph: What are the new products in the pipeline?
Mridu Das: Yes, at Automovill we are re-launching a comprehensive platform (Automovill Express) for technicians/garages to increase their learning/earning and improve their digital presence to attract more revenue and upskilling opportunities.
Automovill is also aiming to become the leading provider of insurance claims through its network of insurance agents and digitize the entire process of handling insurance claims to fulfilling the repair process via the Automovill DSA app.