RAMP: Transforming The Automotive Aftermarket Industry

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The automotive aftermarket is a huge industry generating crazy money. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global automotive aftermarket was valued at USD 369.2 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.9% from 2019 to 2025. The Indian automotive aftermarket follows the same trend and is likely to be valued at Rs 75000 crore by 2020. The stakeholders in this segment are many: exporters, importers, manufacturers, wholesalers, replacement parts distributors, suppliers, retailers, and automobile repair/maintenance franchises.

Despite being a fast-growing sector, the Indian automotive aftermarket still remains unorganized. Many automobile repair facilities are far away from using technology to handle their day to day business. Seeing this, RAMP was founded with the mission to bridge the gap between car maintenance facilities and data driven decision-making.

StartupTalky interviewed RAMP co-founder Amit Kumar to learn more about the startup.

RAMP in a nutshell

Startup Name RAMP
Headquarters Hyderabad
Founders Amit Kumar, Praveen Yalla, and Rakesh Biswal
Sector Automotive Aftermarket
Founded 2016
Website RAMP
Parent Organization Shanrohi Technologies Private Limited

RAMP - About
RAMP - Industry Details
RAMP - Founders And Team
RAMP - How It Began
RAMP - Name And Logo
RAMP - Product And Services
RAMP - Launch
RAMP - Revenue Model
RAMP - Startup Challenges
RAMP - Competitors
RAMP - Advisors And Mentors
RAMP - Growth

RAMP - About

RAMP is an integrated service center management software that helps auto repair shop owners and managers to mediate administrative tasks with ease. RAMP has numerous features useful for day-to-day auto service management processes. On RAMP's platform, the garages act as an interface for all the stakeholders involved.

“We are creating an integrated online community of stakeholders from the highly unorganized automotive aftermarket industry and facilitating seamless business transactions between them by digitizing their business processes and linking each other through one platform called RAMP,” says Amit while explaining the idea behind his startup.

The company aims to be a global leader in automotive post-sales life cycle management through an integrated digital ecosystem.

RAMP - Industry Details

Several studies from McKinsey, Frost and Sullivan, and the GOI indicate that the automotive aftermarket in India alone accounted for approximately USD 9 billion in 2017. The aftermarket industry is likely to expand at a CAGR of 7.6% over the forecast period i.e. 2017-2025.

Explaining the condition of the automotive aftermarket in India, Amit says, “ Our primary focus concentrates on vehicle service and maintenance outside dealer network workshops. Our team has personally visited almost 10000 multi-brand workshops across the country today. Considering it as a good sample size, there is a clear understanding that at least 15% of the market size is easily addressable. With over 7 lakhs workshops in the unorganized space in India, the sailing opportunity is huge and we believe the timing for us has just been right!”

The businesses in the automotive aftermarket segment traditionally have remained independent, unorganized, owner-driven, and devoid of proper systems and processes; this increases the scope for wastage of capital, time, manpower, and other resources. With growing competition and recent changes in automobile technologies, there is an immediate need for these owners to get organized and gain more control over their businesses to stay relevant. RAMP aims to digitize this segment and bring in more revenue-generating opportunities for their customers apart from optimizing their existing business management processes and help improve profitability.

Besides the inherent challenges, the good thing is that the market is virgin and the early signs of adoption primarily driven by the growing awareness of digitization is extremely promising!

Relevant Read: Autofurnish- An e-Commerce Site for Best Quality Car Accessories

RAMP - Founders And Team

RAMP was founded in 2016 by Amit Kumar, Praveen Yalla and Rakesh Biswal.

Prior to starting RAMP, Amit set up a couple of companies which helped him learn from successes and failures. These endeavors also gave him solid knowledge of  execution, business development, finance, and strategy. He also supported several startups in the environment, infrastructure, and e-commerce domains, assisting them with fundraising, business strategies, and execution.

Praveen and Rakesh held key management positions in multiple MNCs on product development. In their stints, they formulated, designed, and developed fairly large enterprise applications that are used by Fortune 100 companies today for daily operations. The wide-ranging skillset coupled with significant experience that the founders possess has enabled them to develop RAMP as a flexible, accommodating, and robust product with high-performance delivery.

Currently, Amit takes care of tasks like execution, strategy, business development, investor relations, fundraising, etc. Praveen takes care of the most important part of the show—the product! Rakesh is the backbone behind operations, human resources, processes, and systems.

The company has a size of 50. There are senior personnel in the role of directors who own the operations and sales segments while fulfilling the most important responsibility of building a team and work culture.

At the epicenter of our ideology of creating a work culture to cherish, lies our efforts to create enough growth and learning opportunities for all the people who join our journey of creating tremendous value for this industry. The objective is to build leaders from within the team and make them ready to take up bigger responsibilities during our growth and expansion. Being a startup, we have been able to create a good work-life balance apart from having great learning and great relationships among our people. The team members have their say in almost everything we do and are provided ample opportunities to add value to the system.

RAMP - How It Began

"In our continuous efforts of identifying an unaddressed problem statement in the market we had by then burnt our hands with a couple of failures before RAMP," Amit recalls.

Amit, Praveen, and Rakesh wanted to create something that could add some real value to the market. But they weren't sure of which sector to concentrate on, and kept creating software for solving the issues of different startups. It was one afternoon in January 2016 when Amit received a phone call from a friend who owned vehicle workshops. He needed assistance in designing a solution to help him manage his business. In order to understand the business and its problems, Amit visited a couple of workshops on the same day to get some real-time feedback. This led Amit to discover an unorganized sector which was in dire need of solid solutions.

Amit adds, “Surprisingly when I told them about my intentions to build a garage management software,  they immediately responded stating that they too need a similar product to manage their business and there is where I had the initial few cheques in my hand on that very same day. These cheques to us were enough of validation about the need for a solution which could help organize this industry”

The co-founders picked up the idea from there and then spent a lot of time with workshops to understand their problem statements and find out solutions. The team then translated the solutions into software modules and got them consistently validated from customers by incorporating the smallest of nuances in this industry.

For example, the employees in the workshops generally have thick, worn out, and greasy fingers. Thus, RAMP is designed such that it can be easily used by the workshop workers.

Relevant Read: Everything You Need to Know About OLA

RAMP stands for “Reliable Automobile Maintenance Partners”.

The intention initially was to have a name that could be easily remembered and related to the industry. RAMP was chosen because it was a tool with which the automotive aftermarket could 'ramp up' their businesses with.

The icon was chosen based on the most commonly used parts, and the color conventions reflect the most prominent colors used in the aftermarket industry. The color green represents positivity while grey and black proudly reflect the color of the hands of the employees in this industry. It attests the hard work these individuals put in every single day.

RAMP - Product And Services

RAMP is amongst the first to bring various stakeholders of the automotive aftermarket onto a single platform. On this platform, the garages form the nucleus and act as an interfacing point with all the stakeholders.

The product takes care and automates most of the complex manual activities which happen in the automotive business. Right from customer registration, job card preparation, and billing & invoicing, to inventory management, communication and CRM, purchase management, reporting and decision making, RAMP takes care of them all.

With a highly digitized way of working, RAMP captures data in structured formats and derives relevant information for stakeholders to help in decision making. The confluence of business intelligence and the artificial intelligence which RAMP brings supports effortless business management.

Apart from the garages, other stakeholders who are a part of the system can seamlessly transact with various entities while maintaining their business processes on RAMP.

The industry lacks skilled professionals who can use complex software solutions. The attrition level in this industry is also very high which limits the patience of  business owners to train employees as training becomes a never-ending process. For example, they have new computer operators coming in every other month and it is a tedious task to train these new operators each time the old one leaves. Hence, there was a need for an easy to use and operate solution.

The idea is to be able to train anyone in a couple of minutes. And this exactly is RAMP's USP. Apart from having features covering every business case, RAMP is one of the most appreciated products amongst its users as far as the ease of operation is concerned. The company also provides 24x7 support for the users.

The support team handholds the users for everything that’s required until they are proficient with the product. The whole focus of RAMP is towards organizing the businesses, helping them do more with less, and increase business and overall profitability.

“We are proud that our existing customers identify the contribution of RAMP as partners and not a service provider only,” says Amit.

When we started off, none of us in the team was from an automotive background. Hence, the only way we could have created a product which creates very high value for the customers was by listening to the customers, and continuously! After a successful MVP, it was our customers who started giving us inputs on how the product should function to create maximum value for them. Our strong technology team headed by two of the co-founders with a robust feedback loop process continued to enhance the product with a primary focus on must-have needs of the market while making sure that the USP of the product, i.e, ease of use, remains intact.

RAMP - Launch

RAMP began in Hyderabad with a team of 4 people including the founders. In the initial stages, it was Amit who solely was responsible for sales and the remaining team members were into product development. Eventually, the company ventured into other cities by identifying clients online.

RAMP - Revenue Model

The revenue model is that of an annual subscription charged to the users. A lot of cross-sale and up-sale opportunities have been enabled which currently forms the backbone of the revenues generated.

RAMP - Startup Challenges

Most of the products in this industry were designed as per the understanding of the developers/ designers of the respective companies and not necessarily as per the market feedback. This approach produced complex products which in turn created a a general perception amongst people that software is a very confusing entity to use and is not meant for semi-literate or illiterate users who constitute the majority of the workforce.

In addition to this, the inclination was towards generally available accounting packages in the market that essentially addressed nothing more than billing and inventory management. It was no less than a challenge for the RAMP team to create awareness that such packages did not address business process management where actual loss occurs.

On top of that, the team had to maintain speed and agility as the requirements of the market were unending and the time to market had to be quick since the customers were short on patience. Again, the company had to multiply its productivity with limited resources.

"To increase productivity, the team started working around the clock! On a lighter note, our army of people were owls at night and spartans during the day !. I feel blessed to have a team like this!" Amit says recounting the initial challenges the company faced.

Relevant Read: Jugnoo- Offering Transportation and Delivery Services through Auto rickshaw

RAMP - Competitors

Being an early mover, there is no major competition for RAMP.

Amit chimes in, “The market we are operating has a huge potential and the pie is very big. Assuming that there would be only one player who can capture the complete market will not be wise. Today RAMP is one of the most prominent players in the market apart from being one of the earliest movers in this space. Apart from some industry majors who are trying to work in the same space, we have seen some startups coming up in a couple of other locations with products being in very nascent stages. This space offers many opportunities along with the problems and it would be very interesting to see how all these players get along and address the problem of this industry as a whole.”

This probably is a business which cannot be executed from an air-conditioned board room! You have to be out there in the scorching sun, looking out for customers, understanding their problems and offering solutions. Getting your hands dirty is the only way to do justice to the opportunity!

RAMP - Advisors And Mentors

Mr.Viiveck Verma has been an advisor and mentor since the beginning. He brings vast experience of corporate management along with expertise of nurturing, guiding, and advising startups. Apart from serving at the executive level of many MNCs, Viiveck is a member of Hyderabad Angels and several other startup communities.

Mr. Ravi Sadh joined Shanrohi Technologies’ advisory board in 2018 and has been in this industry from the past 35 years. Starting his career as a mechanic, he today serves as the director in several companies that are into the automotive aftermarket and services. He also serves as an Executive Member of the All India Automobile Workshops of India(AIAWA) and has been an active part of making the RAMP team aware of the ground realities of this industry.

RAMP - Growth

Amit says, “The company has been doing good but there is a lot that has to be achieved!"

The company has grown 200% each year and has customers in over 100 cities globally with its team established in eight of these cities. Shanrohi Technologies is working to onboard another 3000 customers this financial year.

With each passing day, the company’s sales team is getting stronger.  Shanrohi Technologies’ mission is to have RAMP partnered garages in every 3 km on an average.

He ends on a positive note, “The future is very promising as we work on some of the path-breaking ideas currently getting ready for roll out in the coming quarters. The moment these ideas comes to fruition, only for good, I am sure we shall be on our way to completely change the way this industry has been working for ages!”

RAMP is FOR the customer, BY the customer & FROM the customer. We have listened to our customers and have tried to come up with solutions that work for them. We are only a medium for them to find solutions for their problems.  And I believe this approach is the thing that has always worked for us.
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About Chayanika Goswami

Chayanika is an MBA in Finance and a trained Digital Marketer. SEO and content writing are her hobbies turned profession. She is a rover. In her free time, she loves traveling and cracking jokes.
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