Startup Story #52: Garage Works – Vehicle Management At Your Doorstep

Founders Shishir Gandhi and Prabudh Kakkar

 

Servicing your vehicle on a regular basis is something most people forget to do. This in turn leads to neglect of the vehicle; poor service at a neighbourhood garage could make it worse. Enter Garage Works, a state-of-art startup with a team of experienced mechanics that brings the service centre to your home, fixes your vehicle in front of you, ensures transparency and builds trust in customers.

“According to our research, 80 per cent of people with a vehicle do not go back to the service centre after their free service period finishes. We want to build a very consumer friendly approach to vehicle management. People never usually see how their car or bike gets serviced but in this case, we bring the garage to your home. The customers know exactly what the mechanic is doing and can even engage with him or her about the vehicle,” explain Prabudh Kakkar and Shishir Gandhi, the founders of Garage Works, launched in November 2015.

This venture sees itself being recognised as the ‘Uber’ for vehicle management. It follows a data-driven system that allows the mechanics to operate in various zones around the city. The tech-based operations at the back-end allow for services to provide insights, monitoring and control over the vehicle’s performance. “All the mechanics that we have are trained in both soft-skills and technical skills. We’ve partnered with a few skill development training centres for training purposes. They earn around 20 per cent more than what they would at a common garage,” adds Kakkar.

A Garage Works mechanic fixing a two-wheeler vehicle

Apart from providing servicing maintenance, Garage Works also offers roadside assistance, a 360-degree care of the vehicle wherein they assess and repair the battery and tyres. They also provide insurance assistance where you can get a complete damage assessment of your bike done.

Serving over 10,000 customers across the city, this startup faced a few challenges on the way. “Generally, customers are of the perception that a car or bike is serviced on a ramp that lifts it up, or that a service is just a good clean-up of the vehicle. They don’t know whether any work is done or not because of their lack of understanding of how a vehicle functions. So initially, a lot of customers needed to be convinced of our service model. To overcome this, we held several camps at societies where our mechanics would fix vehicles then and there. We got over 100 bookings on that day itself. Our other challenge was making sure that our mechanics are comfortable facing the customers. Most of them felt conscious that they were bring watched. But we made them work on their soft skills so they can answer their customers’ queries,” explains Kakkar.

Following a B2C as well as a B2B model, this venture has created a well-balanced portfolio for itself. It sees itself growing to become an umbrella brand that is the first name to appear in a vehicle owner’s mind. “We definitely want to expand to 20 cities in India. The technology is ever changing and we are already in talks with some electric car manufacturers. Be it any model or build, we should be able to understand it and fix the vehicle.”

While giving out advice to young entrepreneurs, both Kakkar and Gandhi stress on the importance of addressing a ‘pain point’. “There has to be a cause or a hardcore reason behind the business. It has to be solution driven as well as domain intensive. Today, startups are changing the course of how things have been running.”

Vijayta Lalwani

Vijayta Lalwani

The young lady from Lagos has always been keen on a career in journalism. Pune365 was hence the right stop. We agree. vijayta@pune365.com
Vijayta Lalwani

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