Who doesn’t want the car of their dreams? The idea of taking long drives at one’s desire, working with colleagues, and beating everyday blues is unquestionable. But, the amount of cash one must spend to maintain a car after spending thousands to buy new or used wheels will not satisfy those who dream of owning an automobile. Car maintenance is one of the most expensive costs car owners must pay, which aligns with the famous Bengali phrase”Gadi kena hathi posha.” Gadi kena namane hathi posha” (Buying cars is similar to giving an elephant food).
If you do not save the expense of maintaining your car, finding an advanced service center or having your vehicle examined by experts is a problem for car owners. To solve this problem, Mihir Mohan founded Pitstop in the year 2015.
In a discussion in an interview with Entrepreneur India, Mohan shares how he’s doing to make a difference in this highly stressed and unorganized industry.
Mundane Fret To Startup
Mohan was a graduate of IIT Kanpur and worked for 13 years, gaining experience in different jobs in various firms and observing the daily struggles of car owners. According to his words, “A common experience that all car owners face is we give our car for service and when we are in the middle of work the mechanic calls and says some part is damaged and needs replacement. We ask for the quote and try to bargain. Finally, we give in and say go ahead.”
The owner arrives at the garage to pick up their vehicle; they are presented with a huge bill that he does not understand. The owner is left confused, forced to pay the bill, and hopes never to revisit the same garage.
“When I saw a void in the expectations vs. reality scenario, I realized that, like every industry with a high level of unorganized sector play, the car service, repair, and maintenance industryneeds a fresh outlook. And that’s how Pitstop was born, in June 2015,” said the official.
What Is Pitstop Doing?
The Bengaluru-based Pitstop aims to fill the gap in the four-wheel services industry with around 8500 branded and authorized service centers operating to serve millions of vehicles. Pitstop collaborates with local multi-brand shops by reskilling, training, and providing access to the latest equipment and OEM spare parts. Pitstop is a company that aims to provide transparency, accountability, and ease of use. The service is accessible in fifteen Indian cities, including Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, NCR, Pune, Kolkata, Agra, and Patna. Pitstop is a mobile app that car owners can install on their mobile devices and make an appointment with a top-of-the-line garage nearby.
The company offers an upfront price, automated diagnostics, live updates, and service warranties. The platform is based on the vehicle’s needs and separates its services into home and garage services.
“When we finish regular service and maintenance at the home of the customer, we are saving time and money for the car owner while keeping the service bays at the garages free for more complex repair and maintenance,” the manager said.
The startup has collected $6.2 million, including $2.5m Series A for 2020. The company competes with Go Mechanic.
In the opinion of Mohan, even after the addition of new multi-brand garages for service on top of company-specific authorized service centers, motorists have to find a qualified technician to repair their vehicles, which means they must use local garages where the majority of workers have no training and are unable to access genuine parts.
“While the authorised service centres are over-burdened and therefore focus on replace-over-repair, the unorganised sector lacks the professional training needed to service the hi-tech cars of today,” He added.
Present and Future
It was the year of 2020. dark year. The contagious virus affected the growth of the entire globe. However, even in these difficult times, startups were quick to react, anticipating the massive impact that the virus could have after watching Italy and China. In addition to going digital, only a handful of startups changed their company’s business model. As part of the wave to tide over the current crisis, Pitstop, which was earlier a B2B model for business, shifted to a B2C business model to ensure customers’ safety and reduce physical contact.
Over the last eight months, the company has grown by an average of 40 percent in terms of its customer base each month and is currently averaging about INR 2.5 crore in revenue per month.
The company to date has processed close to 3,00,000. Orders. Mohan pointed out that the first users of their service were not in groups. However, they were residents of gated communities.
Mohan shared his plans for the future. Mohan revealed that Pitstop is currently developing a platform system that allows the aftersales sector to communicate and work together. ” In most developed markets, the after sales and service market is highly organised as well as authorised by the OEMs,” Mohan explained. Another avenue Mohan might consider is collaborating with car insurance firms. Over The following years, the company will also begin operations in five new areas.