Taking an important step towards professionalism and road safety in the Indian automotive aftermarket
Since 2019, we have been working closely together with Hella India Lighting Ltd. and the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India ACMA to implement THE Indian replacement parts catalogue solution in the best possible quality. In this third part of our three-part interview series, Rama Shankar Pandey, Managing Director of Hella India Lighting Ltd. as well as Chairman of ACMA, talks about his commitment towards road safety and how a catalogue solution can help in this process.
ACMA is encouraging its members with numerous initiatives to advance digitisation in the automotive aftermarket in India. Why is the identification of suitable replacement parts so fundamental?
Rama Shankar Pandey: The aftermarket in India is still developing. Shaping it is in the responsibility of leading players in the aftermarket. The ACMA has a very important role in this development. By size, the Indian aftermarket is one of the biggest in Asia, but it is still quite unorganised. The automotive market is more fragmented as there are more models of vehicles in the market. Also, the technologies in vehicles have seen rapid change over the years, which is getting complex.
I am very happy that ACMA has encouraged TecAlliance to come to India and build a platform that will help Indian suppliers, wholesalers and workshops in many ways. From the perspective of the suppliers, they can not only meet international quality standards, but also strengthen their position in the global market.
Therefore an open, innovative platform is required: not just “one brand : one company”, but many brands coming together. The identification of the right parts is becoming increasingly difficult. The answer to this is a standard catalogue for everyone to get access to high-quality, original replacement parts. This gives Indian wholesalers and workshops a much better overview of the market as to which replacement parts are suitable for which vehicles. Standardisation is not possible without the cooperation of the ecosystem. And, it’s up to us as leaders of the aftermarket organisation to bring them together!
What other advantages does standardisation bring to the India market?
Rama Shankar Pandey: The market participants must come together, because sub-standard and fake parts cause a large number of traffic accidents in India. Did you know that millions of Indians use our roads and about 450 of them do not return home every day? Road safety today must have the highest importance for every Indian citizen. Its importance is linked not only to the societal impact but also to the scale of India’s auto demand.
It’s time to put an end to India’s road safety crisis. This is a very emotional issue, and some of these accidents are caused by “unfit” vehicles. What makes the vehicles unfit for use? This is the result of safety critical parts that have poor quality. Since the number of road fatalities is constantly increasing, the Indian Government initiated a three ‘E’ Safety Policy primarily including Engineering, Education and Enforcement. The government is also closely working with other industry associations to help address these issues and to introduce standards for aftermarket parts.
In your opinion, what is the solution to improve road safety in India?
Rama Shankar Pandey: In order to provide a high-quality catalogue and a correct information base for the market, ACMA spreads the information throughout the industry. The implementation will not be an easy task, but I am sure that we will be able to go to new regions of the country in the coming years to inform the people that there is now a system that combines replacement parts with detailed product information. We want everyone to be able to buy correct, original spare parts that meet a certain standard. Workshops will know which parts they must install and this will increase the safety of vehicles.
If the installed replacement parts are correct and safe, there will be less accidents on Indian roads. This is the idea of the ACMA initiative, which is called “ACMA Safer Drives”. We inform all stakeholders: mechanics, retailers and drivers. We make them aware of their responsibility: If they install a wrong or faulty part, someone might be injured and an accident or collision could happen.
To avoid this, it is important that all participants work together to ensure that only high-quality, genuine replacement are used. This is what TecAlliance is trying to bring to usIt’s very easy to use the catalogue, whether via the web version, the mobile app or the CD. I am really grateful for that! Many thanks, TecAlliance!