Here’s an example of an entrepreneur who has taken advantage of a long-pending void in the commercial vehicle industry. If seasoned car industry professional -turned-entrepreneur Jagdish Khattar started Carnation, a Chennai-based business family of four brothers has started something similar.
A visit to the one-week old Motorzone – which claims to be India’s first bumper-to-bumper service set-up for trucks and buses – gives an idea of the scale required to do business in the commercial vehicle sector.
Spread over nearly five acres, the plot has seven service bays, each to be occupied by trucks/buses of different makes.
The first OEM to take up space here is Ashok Leyland. A Sadique, MD, Parveen Automobiles (parent of Motorzone), says the model is designed to make each bay an independent profit centre for Motorzone. Ashok Leyland has signed up Motorzone as its authorised service centre. Volvo and Daimler are in "serious talks" to join next, and Toyota Group firm, Hino may follow them later.
The concept is similar to the one that was offered by engine major Cummins earlier. But Motorzone was born as the result of the experiences Sadique had as a fleet operator. Parveen Automobiles has a fleet of around 900 vehicles, of which 75 percent are buses. “For anything, we have to run from pillar to pillar for jobs like mechanical, tyres, electrical or paint job. You lose a lot of time. Secondly, spare parts availability is key. Not all spare parts are available across the country.
These are the basic issues which made us feel that we should have it in one compound,” says Sadique.
The pilot project located on the outskirts of Chennai, at Red Hills, is equipped with facilities like machine shop, electrical components and services, water service ramps, audio/video equipments and services, body repairs etc.
Other facilities like a fuel injection caliberating unit, a turbo-charge service centre, brake systems and ABS components and wheel balancing equipment will be added in the future.
Pravin Kumar P of Motorzone says his facility will be packed even if he manages to get two percent of highway vehicles into his service facility.
The next step for Motorzone is to grow beyond Tamil Nadu into other southern states, and into the rest of the country in the long term. Expanding nationwide independently will be the bigger challenge, so Motorzone is also toying with the adding the franchise model to its business. n