Communication Feature

We aim at 60 automalls across India by 2012 end

May 2012
Sameer Malhotra, CEO, Shriram Automall India Ltd

A wholly owned subsidiary of Shriram Transport Finance Company, Shriram Automall India Ltd (SAMIL) was established in 2010. Pioneering the concept of automalls, the company is a platform for buying and selling pre-owned industrial equipment by way of organised and transparent auctions. Headquartered in Delhi, the automalls are strategically located on important highways and spread across 1 to 10 acre at locations like Chennai, Baroda, Mumbai, Manesar, Aurangabad, Pathankot, Cuttack and Gulbarga. With secure stockyards, convenient parking facilities and full-fledged service stations to refurbish old vehicles, each automall addresses the needs of buyers and sellers with utmost transparency. As CEO Sameer Malhotra shares with CW, the company has more than 70 equipment yards across the country. Excerpts…

The business: During FY11-12, the total number of vehicles sold through automall, one stop and new look businesses was above 1 lakh. With over 75,000 customers and over 100 physical auctions per month, our customer base encompasses vehicles and equipment manufacturers, dealers, banks, NBFC’s, finance companies and end users.

Auctioning facility: With more than 100 auctions conducted every month, approximately 5,000 vehicles and equipment are listed. Although many consumers travel long distances to attend our auctions, we connect with those who can’t attend through our online facility on www.samil.in/bids. The unique online tools enable a customer to take informed buying or selling decisions, which is called Internet selling. Our automalls also feature the Shriram One Stop Kiosk, a virtual truck bazaar on intranet platform with over 1,000 vehicles listed; it provides information related to these.

Within the first year of operations, we have a presence in more than 100 cities in India. In the first quarter itself, we achieved a milestone with our concept of offsite auctions conducted at our yards over and above the normal auctions.

Refurbishing: Shriram New Look unit is engaged in offering facilities and reselling refurbishing vehicles. These service stations are present in almost all our yards. Vehicles are inspected by experts with the owner’s consent and are accordingly re-furbished or re-conditioned. This helps the customer increase the price realisation of the vehicle and equipment. While no guaranty/warranty is provided since we are not the manufacturers, customers are allowed to inspect the vehicles and equipment before they are put to auction.

Services offered: Parking facilities are offered at all yards/automalls at a specified cost, which is chargeable on a daily/weekly /monthly basis. In refurbishment services, our experts first inspect the vehicle/equipment and share an estimate with the client. Services like denting, painting, servicing, towing, cleaning, etc, are provided as well. In terms of financing and insurance options, STFC is an NBFC for commercial vehicles and equipment since 1979. This comes as an added advantage for customers participating in our auctions.

Setting standards: We were the first to take cognizance of buyers’ and sellers’ needs. While the challenge lies in training employees and educating the public, this is going to be our prime focus. We will soon add the auto category to our product range of commercial, transport, construction and agri. For 2012, we envisage an upward curve – equipment and vehicles will continue to be deployed in every sector. And, by 2012 end, we aim at 60 automalls across India and plan to support and focus on manufacturers of construction equipment to manage their fleet in a much more transparent trading platform.

(Communication by the management of the company)

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