Interviews

Pandemic has taught us the importance of resilience: Mahmud Kotebagil, CEO & Co-founder, Beyond Garage

Mahmud Kotebagil, CEO, Co-founder and Director Beyond Garage

Digitalisation and emerge technologies are fast gaining significance across industries around the globe and Covid outbreak is playing a significant role in this regard by accelerating the pace of digital adoption by multiple folds, helping ensure continuity and resilience. Automobile sector, in particular, went through several challenges amid the uncertain times and relevant adoption of technologies is assisting the sector in stabilising the service deliveries to the customer. To understand, how the sector is navigating through the cruising and leveraging the opportunities, Rashi Aditi Ghosh of Elets News Network (ENN) interacted with Mahmud Kotebagil, CEO, Co-founder and Director Beyond Garage.

Excepts of the conversation:

●  Tell us about your operations and services. How are they unique?

Beyond Garage is a one-stop online, hassle-free solution for finding the best mechanic for all the repair and service work of any car or bike, along with ordering the spare parts. We cover anything and everything related to the service of cars and bikes. For instance, periodic maintenance, breakdown services like jumpstart or puncture, car painting, engine repair, electrical work and much more. The idea or the vision of the company is to organize and standardize the world automotive needs and provide transparent, quality as well as affordable services at the comfort of the seat.

There are many unique features that we offer. Here are a few of them:

• The complete diagnosis and estimation beforehand: Many users feel that once the vehicle reaches the workshop or the garage, the estimation never remains the same, and the customer always ends up paying more than what was expected. At Beyond Garage, we stick to our promise of a detailed report and one price where the vehicle gets diagnosed by our expert technicians and they provide the estimation which remains the same throughout.

Also Read: Covid-19 Helped us ‘Pause and Introspect’: Shobhana Lele, CIO, Bombay Dyeing

• Extended warranty: We have the best process and protocol in the industry along with the right resources, hence, we provide the warranty on the services which ranges from 30 days up to 24 months.

• Affordable: We are around 25 to 60 per cent affordable on the different types of services and we provide a warranty on every service to ensure reliability.

• Prompt response: When it comes to the availability and accessibility of our service, we are very prompt. We reach out to the location of the customer within 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the location of course.

How has the Covid outbreak affected your work? What opportunities and lessons did it help you inculcate?

Undeniably, the pandemic upended each and every sector all across the globe. And the automobile industry was no exception. The business was almost standstill during the unprecedented Covid times. It was a challenging time for all of us including our partnered workshop, spare parts shops et al. Considering the effect that Covid has left, nearly 71 per cent of the users have adopted the digital route as compared to pre-pandemic times. Hence, it was very important for us to provide the means for our vendors to go online and cope up with the market demand, while simultaneously increasing our revenue stream. This created the opportunity for us to work closely with the spare parts shops and workshops to provide the support as needed. However, now that the vaccines have been rolling out, restrictions easing out and travel resuming, we are witnessing good growth with regards to vehicle servicing. The pandemic has taught us the importance of resilience along with catering efficiency.

Online solution for mechanic services sounds interesting but how does that work?

The typical journey of a customer in search of an expert mechanic or a vehicle servicing outlet starts with the discovery of an online platform like us, especially in the pandemic times when technology has been acting as a savior. Once the customer books a service on our website — beyondgarage.in — or via mobile application, our operations team, which is professionally trained and possesses in-depth knowledge about vehicle servicing, interacts with the customer and gathers all the necessary details. Once the user understands how the journey would be taking place for the particular service, we assign the technician who either do the service at the customer’s location or bring the vehicle to our workshop, according to the convenience of the customer. We start with doing a detailed diagnostic and report generation, where we provide details about what all services are needed to be carried out in the vehicle along with the critical data. This helps the customer in understanding the problem better and taking action to approve the estimation before starting the service.

Also Read: Covid proved that competitive advantage cannot be done without technology: Shobhana Lele, CIO, Bombay Dyeing

One of the unique features that we provide, which has been mentioned in the above question as well, is that we don’t change the estimation of the vehicle once it’s approved by the customer. The user knows beforehand if any additional costs would be charged. We offer multiple quality checks in between, where we ensure that the work is going as per the company protocol. We bring the transparency of service and parts used in the vehicle with the help of technology. The customer is usually asked to pay only after s/he has been satisfied with the work done. We, at Beyond Garage, provide a warranty of up to five years based on the type of service.

How is technology helping you in your business? Have you deployed anything emerging recently?

Since the very beginning of its emergence, technology has infiltrated every aspect of our lives. The pandemic has just further accelerated the process. It has been helping us immensely on both the demand and supply side of the business in terms of increasing the efficiency of our operations and supporting our teams. This increases the transparency and allows us to provide hassle-free service to the customers on the go. Recently, we have deployed the end-to-end SOS system and other related systems in view of demand from the users.

What are your growth plans for 2021 and beyond?

Beyond Garage is growing at a substantial rate. We have already set our foot in various regions, started new development on the technology and increased our network. By 2022, we are planning to further expand the business to multiple cities all across India.

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