The Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi organized a guest lecture addressed by Mr. Nalin Kapoor, COO-New Cars, CarDekho.com as a part of its Business Leader Lecture Series. The session focused upon the theme: “Emerging Role of Technology in Automotive Retailing”.
The session started with a brief introduction of Mr. Nalin Kapoor’s educational background. His passion for wheels has been constant since the beginning, which is the reason for him to continue in the automotive industry. As consumers, travelling forms an integral part of our lives. Therefore passion for automotives is very strong among consumers too. Moving ahead, Mr. Kapoor interacted with the MBA students to know a couple of viewpoints that the audience wanted him to talk about. The responses included multi-brand outlets, online dealership, increase in public or private transport, digital experience creating a gap between owners and customers etc. that directed further flow of the guest lecture.
Mr. Kapoor focused on the challenges that the automotive retail sector faces. He mentioned that the Indian market has a huge potential to grow as penetration of automotive market per thousand people in India is very less as compared to giants in the automotive sector like USA and China. One of the major challenges is India continuing with the traditional model in automotive retailing wherein a lot of retailing depends on brick and mortar showrooms. However, dealerships are mostly not viable due to constraints like space, electricity, and variable cost. Another challenge is traditional model of training not being tenable. Knowledge of front line people is getting static, and customer queries generally don’t get resolved. In traditional dealership, consumer is not getting insights about other viable options. Thus, a huge gap is formed between Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and consumers. Adding to that, manufactures still have a strong hold in retail chain.
Above mentioned problems are being solved with the introduction of technology that enhances customer satisfaction, improves customer relations management and increases profitability. Technology in the automotive retail sector is helping to resolve space constraints, which is cost effective. Consumers can now compare relative pricing, finance options, customizations through online applications. Technology is now bringing a virtual reality framework which is slowly changing the buying process. Mr. Kapoor introduced to the audience an application named: Renault Kwid which provides a 360 degree feature enabling the customers to get a more profound feel about their product.
The speaker elaborated about Dealer Mart which is the customer engagement application. The application helps the customers to manage new car leads, schedule test drives, home visits, call-backs with just a click. With the help of GPS technology, tracking test drives has become feasible and accountable.
Sales consultant application is providing training to the amateurs. These applications are making the whole cycle profitable and improving the customer sales relation. Remote Diagnostic telematics is making resolution process for used cars dynamic and faster by understanding the problems related to cars through its history and generating an invoice for all information for resolving the issues.
Another set of technology caters to people stranded on roads, providing road side assistance to them via GPS Enabled Software through a click of button. Concept of connected cars was also mentioned as an emerging technology.
Aggregators like Car Dekho help in decision making of consumers who are skeptical about individual sites being biased towards their own brand.
The Session further proceeded towards the Q&A round with the students clarifying their doubts on sales management of used cars, constraints related to online car-buying experience and use of technology in resolving problems in the ancillary spare parts industry. Overall, the Session was an enriching experience for the students with lots of insights shared by Mr. Kapoor. We look forward to many such interactions in the future.