Harjeet Singh Wahan, Executive Director, Elgi Equipments
The executive director of Elgi Equipments tells T Murrali that the garage equipment business will boom in the coming years.
What challenges do you face in your industry?
I would think the main one lies in creating a pool of trained manpower which can maintain and operate the new generation of garage equipment. We have had a training centre in Coimbatore for the past five years to meet the needs of both car company personnel and people working in garages. In the last few months, we have opened other centres in Delhi and Mumbai and have planned one in Kolkata soon.
Are vehicle owners opting more for organised garages?
Except in the case of Maruti, no one can buy spares in the open market and people are forced to go to company car garages for repairs. We expect this to change in the next 3-4 years with more cars on the road. Once this happens, there will be a greater choice of garages.
What is the size of the garage market?
It would be around Rs 120 crore of which we have a 55 percent share. With new equipment coming in, this market is going to increase exponentially in the coming years. New areas of businesses, such as two- /three-wheelers, light and heavy commercial vehicles will also see fast growth.
How do you plan to capitalise on this boom?
Elgi is the largest supplier of garage equipment in the car and LCV/HCV segments. We plan to add newer generation of products for higher productivity in garages. This will translate into larger market share. We will also be out with special products for two and three-wheelers in the near future. We see a very bright future for our business ad have targeted a CAGR of around 25 percent.
How would you sum up your strengths?
Elgi is the only company in the country which can supply and service all equipment required in a garage. Being a single window shop means tremendous benefits to customers in terms of service while we are also able to upgrade their products. Elgi is also working on high end equipment which provides faster service. One such example is the crash repair system which can fix a damaged car in a few days compared to months taken using hand-operated tools.
Will Elgi consider standardising components/sub-assemblies to make itself more cost-competitive?
We have split our business into 12 categories of equipment. For instance, in the lifts business, we make a dozen types of lifts. We ensure that they are of the latest design and provide value to customers. This principle applies to the other business groups too. All the groups are for long term business and service to our clientele. Elgi would like to live up to its reputation of being a top end-to-end supplier for garages.
With more and more cars on the roads, do you see good prospects for your mobile service unit?
I am sure it will but it will cater more to road breakdowns than going to individual homes. However, there will be a dual function happening in garages. A day-to-day service garage will chip in for short-term repairs while a large one located outside the city will handle long-term jobs.
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