Bringing standardized data to the Indian automotive aftermarket: Hella India Lighting Ltd invites all Indian stakeholders to join the TecDoc Catalogue
In this second part of our three-part interview series, Rama Shankar Pandey, Managing Director of Hella India Lighting Ltd. as well as Chairman of the Aftermarket Committee at the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India ACMA, talks about challenging processes within the value chain and for the Indian automotive aftermarket.
Successful long-term alliances need trust and the right ‘chemistry’ on all levels. TecAlliance is proud of laying the foundation for data standardization and digitization together with Hella India Lighting Ltd. India, one of the first TecDoc Data Suppliers in India. Together with ACMA we are working on a joint database: a local version of our TecDoc Catalogue to lead the way for the digitization of the Indian Automotive Aftermarket.
Could you explain the challenges that a salesperson currently faces in the Indian aftermarket landscape?
Rama Shankar Pandey: The work of a Regional Sales Manager at an Indian parts manufacturer is very demanding but also very interesting. Of course it’s all about expanding the customer base. The overall efficiency, i.e. the number of visits per day or week combined with the creation of interest in the products, determines the success and development of the entire company. A sales manager at Hella India visits eight to ten customers per day on average to trigger demand for spare parts at distributors, retailers and workshops. In this way he gains deep insights into the pain points in the sector. Especially the distributors are the crucial points in the Indian aftermarket structure and in the aftermarket worldwide.
How is the Indian aftermarket currently organized and how can it emerge from this situation?
Rama Shankar Pandey: Well-organized structures and processes are still lacking. To give a simple example: Many retailers have large stocks that are not economically viable; in addition there is often a mess. Other retailers are understocked, which results in customer dissatisfaction. Finally, the retailer contacts the distributor, but unfortunately the wrong parts are often sent due to incorrect identification. The overall situation is unsatisfactory for both sides. How can we react to this? It is not necessary to invent something new. Well-working solutions already exist in other countries and markets. In the end, it’s all about the good organization of the automotive aftermarket in India. The Indian vehicle reference data is very simple. At the moment we assign the TecDoc vehicle K-Types to it and link to it. We can see which parts are there and which brands or manufacturers are selling them.
How can TecAlliance help Hella India to improve the situation?
Rama Shankar Pandey: For us, TecAlliance is the driving international force for standardized data, digital processes and integrated solutions in the automotive aftermarket. This is an important reason for us to become part of the TecAlliance ecosystem. We are more than happy to work on a joint database together with ACMA and TecAlliance: a local version of our TecDoc Catalogue is leading the way for the digitization of the Indian Automotive Aftermarket. We are confident that this will be beneficial to retailers and technicians, especially those technicians who are now being trained on the new vehicle models. As new vehicles come onto the market, there will be more parts and more variants, and they will be much more electronic. What challenges do companies face in this highly developed digital landscape? Electric vehicles, connected cars, and e-commerce, among other trends, may lead to a redistribution of aftermarket profits along the value chain and change the industry landscape in the next 10 to 20 years. This is still a long way off for the Indian aftermarket.
What is your feeling for Hella India along this new and exciting journey? What is your vision for the future?
Our teams at Hella India are very committed and passionate about their work. We call this future “Aftermarket 2.0.” The variety of technical data from all current vehicle manufacturers in the areas of repair, mechanics, maintenance and diagnostics is becoming more complex and sometimes difficult to access. One task is tomake this data available to the market. At the beginning there is the clear assignment of spare parts to the vehicles. But maintenance and repair instructions are just as important!
I have a dream to build up an aftermarket community in India as well, so that the entire industry is reorganized, then standardized and finally digitized. We, Hella India, play a decisive role in this process. I can only recommend to all our stakeholders : “Become part of this ecosystem and platform and help to create an organized, standardized and digitized Aftermarket 2.0 in India!”
Thank you very much for this interview! (Part Two of the series. There is a third part to come!)