The Indian automotive market is growing year on year, and like any business, the more growth - more competition. Cars sales is just the beginning and where this competition gets really intense is after sales.
Authorised service centres are the best bet to service vehicles and for spares, but non-authorised places, for example Zonnett are also on par with authorised service centres.
So what is Zonnett and what is the story behind such a start up? Zonnett helps fill the gap for car owners to find a trusted car service provider at an affordable price. Depending on what work needs to be done on your car, Zonnett gives you the best price quotes to chose from. Zonnett is a 10 month-old startup in the automobile repair and service sector.
We had an exclusive interview with the CEO of Zonnett, Abhijit Saxena and Kanishka Garg, the COO and CFO of Zonnett. The following is what they had to say. But before that, here's a quick look at how the company came into being, and what prompted such an idea.
It all happened after Abhijit had a small crash in his Skoda. He wanted to repair the car and the quote he got from an authorised service centre was Rs. 3.5 lakh, which was very expensive. Later, a friend of Abhijit's recommended a non-authorised workshop, where he got a quote for Rs. 45,000 only.
Abhijit immediately chose the workshop, not only because it was the cheapest option, but the confident mechanic, his technical know-how about the car, and the equipment in his workshop prompted Abhijit to chose that particular workshop.
As promised, the car was ready in 10 days and that is what prompted the idea of starting Zonnett, an online network of service providers for cars, specifically hand picked and verified by a team of experts to take care of your car related needs. As for what Abhijit had to say, below is the detailed interview.
India, is a very 'Warranty' oriented country. Will servicing a car at Zonnett hamper the manufacturer's warranty?
If a car is being serviced by Zonnett and it involves a critical part, we would recommend the customer to avail the warranty offered by the carmaker. We would also quote our price and let the customer decide as to which option is better. We are sure that the customer is offered the right price from our side, which is lower than an authorised service centre.
Are the parts installed in the car by Zonnett original and do they have warranty?
Yes, parts installed in the car by Zonnett are original. Spare parts are now available in the open market unlike sometime back when only service centres dealt with them. In terms of us offering warranty on the parts, we offer the customer the same warranty the dealers offers us. For example, if a dealer gives us three months warranty for a particular spare part, we offer the customer the same three months warranty.
How have customers welcomed such an idea of door step service options and the whole idea of Zonnett itself?
The idea is doing well with customers and we already have a customer database of over 20,000.
Speaking about used car value – company serviced cars usually fetch a lot while being sold at a later stage. How can a customer be benefited if his car is being serviced by Zonnett?
True, company serviced vehicles do fetch a good value in the market. But the difference is marginal. One key factor is that an authorised service centre does give the service history of the vehicle, which we at Zonnett also provide. But where the actual difference is made is when customers are servicing their vehicles. On the long run, customers are saving around Rs. 50,000, because authorised service centres are expensive compared to our pricing.
Are all the services done at the customer's doorstep?
Not all of them. We categorise work into six categories and four of them can be carried at a customer's residence itself. Work such as service, spa and cleaning, battery oriented work, and tyre related service can be carried at a customer's residence. Work that involves denting, painting, and engine related (where the engine has to be taken off) needs to be carried out in a workshop only.
In terms of servicing cars, do you service imported cars as well or the ones sold in India only?
We do not service imported vehicles . We service cars that are sold in India only.
How many cities are you planning to expand to?
We currently operate in Mumbai and Pune. We are speaking to investors and will expand to six more cities, namely Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad by March 2017.