PANAJI: Goan startup ‘Mechgiri’ catering to the automobile servicing sector via a mobile app, has put technology to great use with over 250 service-providers across 54 locations in the state enabling car-owners and local garages develop a bond for a win-win advantage.
In an exclusive series of livenewsgoa.com putting the Goa-based startups under the spotlight, Mechgiri co-founder Vassant Salgaonkar also declared the pan-India target. Here is the full interview.
LNG. Describe the product/service provided by your startup?
VS: Mechgiri Autocare India Pvt Ltd launched mobile app ‘Mechgiri’, to assist the car-owners to find the trusted car garages and spares at affordable price. Getting the service providers on one platform was need of the hour. Hence, we teamed up with car garages and spare-part dealers that manage and deliver top-level services and merchandises to our customers. We are India’s pioneering online solutions provider in auto service industry, driven by technology. We work together with our network of partners to create a smarter, more connected global business community with access to the broadest portfolio of car mechanics and spare-part dealers in the industry. We are a Government of India and Government of Goa certified startup. Recently we had a ‘Mechgiri 2.0’ launched in the presence of Chief Minister, Dr. Pramod Sawant, under Startup India and Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.
LNG. What are the striking features of your startup?
VS: Our customers can select a wide range of car servicing requirements, like mechanical, AC repairs, towing service, road-side assistance are few among the 27 services we have in our basket. We have recently teamed-up with garages providing 24/7 and doorstep service at few locations and have plans to groom more to cater to the growing market, and all this is just on your finger tip. Presently we have over 250+ service-providers across 54 locations in Goa. Our customers can also save the servicing records like oil change period, battery replacement date etc, and have new version release planned every quarter, to make the experience of our customers enhanced and to provide more user-friendly and hassle-free service with continuous feedback mechanism.
LNG. What inspired you to launch the startup?
VS: Taking the pulse from our family business, ‘Mechgiri’ started the transformation from real to virtual world in 2016. The journey that began in 1972 from the garage started by our father Gurudas Salgaonkar in Panaji, as brick and mortar business, was given an elegant touch of technology, by launching mobile app named ‘MECHGIRI’, as aggregator model. We wanted to have a garage at strategic locations across India, providing quality car servicing at affordable pricing, but the cost involved would have been immense, to setup a brick and mortar garage, we started looking for solutions and then an idea dawned on me to launch a mobile app. The unorganised sector with vast potential, if given a structure; can yield great results for both customers as well as car garages, with a win-win situation, and nothing like being a catalyst in the process. Even while looking for the name of the app, we were looking for catchy names – desi-style – and then came the idea of MechGiri, sounds like Gandhi-giri, Dada-giri, actually it’s a combo of ‘Mechanic and Girish (name of our brother)’ who had met with a fatal accident.
LNG. How big a role do you envisage for your startup?
VS: Looking at the market potential both in telecom (mobile phone) technology penetration as never before; and in auto industry, sky is the limit for chance in scalability. With markets valuation of 35,000 crore rupees in servicing industry, market wide open, we have scale-up plan for pan- India presence in 3 years with a leading market share. Our journey had slowed down during pandemic, but it has lesson for everyone, to be frank, no one experienced it before, (on a lighter note), not even the mentors or big conglomerates, and hence making us more self-reliant, stronger and well-prepared for the uncertain times ahead. Overall, the Indian automobile industry has registered a considerable growth over the past couple of years, signifying an increasing demand for cars which is expected to continue in the future, these trends reflects on the growing need for quality repair and service facilities. Unlike many countries, the Indian car industry is unique in the sense that once the car comes on the road it is expected to run for an indefinite period requiring major repair and maintenance services throughout its operational life. Conclusively, it can be said that there exists an ample demand for quality repair and service workshops in India. The existing scenario (too) provides conducive opportunities for entry into this business venture.
LNG. What’s your message to startup aspirants?
VS: COVID-19 pandemic had socio and economic disruption, with opportunities too. Moving here-on means only getting better, so take a chance, at least once in lifetime give a try to follow your dream, be your own boss, serve the society at large. I caught up with a saying that, “salary is a drug they give you, when they want you to give up on your dreams,” so follow your dreams. Money is just a part of the success and doesn’t only mean success…Nothing like staying focused, with perseverance!