In this fast paced life, managing your professional and personal being can be tiring. If you don’t have a car, it can become more hectic. To make life easier we switched to cars, but maintaining a car is like caring for your own baby. They are expensive and require attention every now and then. To solve the problem of repairs, to establish a good condition of the vehicle, and not give us the pain for searching for a repairer or a workshop, Steero came into existence.
Founded by Swapnil Tripathi, Asad Abrar, Siddarth Jain and Mohd Asad in September 2015, the platform acts as an on demand automobile service and products marketplace. The thing that differentiates this platform from others is that the user can just book the service online and it will be answered at his doorstep. The serviceman comes with all the tools and equipments, if the car requires special care, the car will be picked up by the nearest workshop and dropped at your place. Why would the user trust any workshop of this platform? The platform provides live tracking and real time video streaming.
The second biggest problem of the user is the expense he would have to bear to get his car repaired at his doorstep. The startup claims that using its platform, the user can save over 30% as compared to other repair shops, due to no assets.
Mumbai-based company is setting up ‘Steero Workshops’ where the rates will be standardised, no matter where the user is, there will be a fixed rate for a service throughout the country. Steero will be driving sales and services together on its platform.
Empowering local technicians
Talking to Siddarth about mechanics/repairers, he said, “These mechanics/technicians are highly underpaid, they earn like 10-12,000 a month. We equip them with all the tools, train them and make them join our platform. Just by joining our platform, they can earn upto 30,000-40,000/ month.” Also he claimed that they have created a team of experts from companies like Tata, Mahindra etc, not just train these technicians technically but also tell them about the art of customer management.
The company is also planning to launch ‘Roadside Assistance’ and this service seems to be the highlight of the platform. When this service will come into play, the website will go 24×7 (right now the platform operates for 12-14 hours).
The company monetizes by:
- Spareparts: Steero has tied up with companies like Toyota, Mahindra etc. On this Siddarth quoted, “Right now we’ve tied up with distributors locally, so we’re trying to build a hyperlocal model. We’re not storing spare parts rather we are sourcing them from the nearest distributor.”
- Workshops: The platform works on a commission model where they provide these workshops with spare parts and charge a commission. Siddarth stated that right now they are working on a ‘minimum guarantee program’ for the repairers and it’s more like a revenue sharing program.
This model has already been tried and tested in China by companies like Tuhu, Ebaoyand, Kalading and Mocar. On this SIddarth said that, “These companies started with a different model altogether but now are scaling rapidly and we’re only using a model that is working in the neighbouring country.”
Market & Funding
An ibef report quotes “The Indian automotive sector has the potential to generate up to $300 billion in annual revenue by 2026, create 65 million additional jobs and contribute over 12 per cent to India’s Gross Domestic Product.” As the automobile market increases, so does the servicing sector and its demand.
The company claims to be handling around 10 orders a day, with an average ticket size Rs 4,000-5,000 for minor repairs and Rs 10,000-15,000 for major ones. The company has not only been serving Ola and Uber drivers but also has bagged maintenance and repair contract for over 200 vehicles in Mumbai.
The company is currently being bootstrapped, Siddarth told us that they’ve got a few commitments from different VCs and will be announcing the details soon. The funds will be used to build a team of automobile experts, launch the Android app, training mechanics and operations & marketing.
There are a lot of new players in this field, like Bumper, Cartisan, MeriCar etc, but these platforms are aggregating workshops on its platform. Let’s just say, one requires a car service, on these platforms, the user will get tons of quotes for the service from different workshops but on Steero the pricing is standardised and the workshops are limited.
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