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Old 30th September 2011, 13:28   #1
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Default Ideas for Automotive Entrepreneurial ventures

I didn't find any thread on team-bhp for this so I started one. Mods, please merge this in case there is a duplicate thread.

Being petrol heads, the point of this thread is to discuss various opportunities to start entrepreneurial ventures related to automobiles, and the auto industry. There are a couple of threads on team-bhp about how to open up car dealerships, opening up tuner shops, the investment required, hassles involved, etc.

Can there be suggestions about other kinds of automobile-related ventures? What is the investment/infrastructure (apart from capital) required for such ventures? what kind of ventures can be run part time and which ones need full time attention? Please keep the suggestions coming in.

I start with a pre-owned car dealership as 1 suggestion. A car detailing workshop is another.
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Old 30th September 2011, 15:08   #2
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Default re: Ideas for Automotive Entrepreneurial ventures

Good initiative, KarthikK.
Long back when I was not a part of the BHP Team, used to think about it as a company and that there would be some outlets/shops/garages of Team-BHP! Then after joining also am wondering why don't we have such things, at least in some selected cities?
Of course, we do have a practice of refering (without commercial interest) to many Garages and Service Stations on respective threads based on our personal experiences. But here I'm talking about branded Team-BHP outlets!
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Old 30th September 2011, 15:31   #3
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Default re: Ideas for Automotive Entrepreneurial ventures

I think it's a great idea, I mean entrepreneurial ideas on automobiles! I have been thinking of this for quite some time, good to see someone starting up a thread. Well, even if quite a few of us may not jump into such a venture immediately, it might be a future vision for people with love for automobiles.

How about this: Can some of the team-BHP experts lend their time to people interested in buying cars, maybe go for the test drives with them, and/or choose suitable upgrade options (such as tyres etc.) for a charge? This will go into overall earnings for an outlet, not individuals.

If the above gets a good response, then we can think of some other ideas as well. One of the ideas could be to have a Team-BHP outlet like an auto-lounge (much like a music lounge) for some membership fees, where we can get all the knowledge we want to gather, not only about Indian cars, but also super cars et al. We have many experts who can help/share their experiences. There could be options to test drive some legendary cars (not very expensive) such as EVO, again for a fee. Do I sound too weird?

I, for one, could be spending most of my time in such a lounge. Not as an expert, but as a paying member. :-)

Last edited by Tats07 : 30th September 2011 at 15:32.
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Old 1st October 2011, 08:38   #4
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Default re: Ideas for Automotive Entrepreneurial ventures

Any suggestions for 'for-profit' automobile ventures owned by self/partnerships?

Good suggestion tats07, but regarding team-bhp stretching its wings, I think GTO needs to take a call on the above suggestions
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Old 1st October 2011, 12:48   #5
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Default re: Ideas for Automotive Entrepreneurial ventures

1st off Karthikk, Congrats on deciding to atleast think about starting a venture!!.. May god bless and take you through the end.

Coming to the topic, well, even I have been keeping a keen eye on some ideas related to this field, but it turned out that almost ALL of the ventures required some serious investment, and your FULL TIME commitment. Thats the way, Auto industry is.

As for some thoughts that has gone through my mind:
  • I still believe that a good and skilled set of workshop/tuners will have their edge.
  • With the increasing number of automobiles, a competent Auto-Accessories shop is what we all desire. One that stands out, and have guys who listen and not only 'sell'.
Now for a business idea:

Now, I'm not so sure, I'm doing the right thing to share my idea here, , but still, considering the fact that I cannot venture in near future, and if I do, there is always scope for one more. .

Seeing the current trend, I strongly believe there is a very good scope for auto parts/accessories import business. ie, lot of parts that are cheap in other countries are sometimes outrageously priced here. For example, I had talked to a chineese exporter regarding ODB readers. He mentioned that he can get me one piece for as cheap as just 40 bucks (INR)!. Now, whats the cost of a ODB reader here? Same case with Race ECU's or Tuning chips. I'm sure if one spends enough time, one can list out enough parts to start a full scale business.

Buttt.. initially, during startup, marketing and brand building would be a challenge. And, of course, it should be a full time commitment.
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Old 1st October 2011, 20:55   #6
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Default re: Ideas for Automotive Entrepreneurial ventures

Nice idea Karthik to discuss the matter in an open forum.I would like to say about a real life entrepreneurship story that I heard in a management class from a Professor.
It was the late 1980's and Maruti was indigenising.The person in question, a Sardar was Chief Engineer in a state electricity board. He had a tiff with the then CM of the state and was shunted out to R&D where there were similarly frustrated engineers and enough of lathe machines.One fine day, the Sardar who was the head of R&D, got a connecting rod (CR) of his Maruti 800's engine broken. He took it for repairs and was charged some Rs 360=00 for a new CR and more for related spares plus labour charges.He kept the broken CR.The intriguing question that came to his mind was that a simple spare like the CR should not cost something above Rs 50/.
At the R&D centre there was almost no work pressure, so he told his subordinates to come along and they all made one and later some more similarly fabricated CR 's on the lathe machines.
The Sardar found that it had cost him less than Rs 50 to fabricate each CR. He took the samples to Maruti and wanted to meet Mr Bhargava, the MD then. The MD met him for a minute or two after many hassles and directed him to the spares department to some Manager.The Manager after a long time agreed to get supplies from the Sardar after quality control checks at the company. A deal price was fixed (a lower price than the then present purchase price for Maruti) for purchase after many negotiations. The Manager said that even if one CR is rejected by the QC department, the supplier will be heavily fined and restrained.Maruti said that supplies will be for a minimum 1 lakh CR's.
The Sardar took VRS (voluntary retirement) from the state government job and set up his industry in tin sheds in Gurgaon. He offered his colleagues who were at the R&D there, to come along and join only if his venture succeeds.Till then they could take leave and join him on a part time basis.The supplies started, Sardar started reaping profits. His colleagues joined him soon. He built an industry, multiplying the investment here from his profits.
Soon he also started making more and more components for Maruti and other auto makers and also started exporting.The company is AMTEK AUTO and has a turnover of more than Rs 1000 crores today. Sadly, the Sardar has passed away recently.
My Professor is too involved with this company since more than a decade, as it needs Management inputs from time to time.
The point I wanted to make is that if one has entrepreneurship skills the sky is the limit!

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 1st October 2011 at 21:02.
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Old 1st October 2011, 23:22   #7
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Default re: Ideas for Automotive Entrepreneurial ventures

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post

I start with a pre-owned car dealership as 1 suggestion. A car detailing workshop is another.
I am looking out for prospective business ideas and what better than automobiles to start with.

How about a car servicing center which will also cater to accessories.

How much of an investment will that require? Including the working capital and the inventories? Any BHP-ian who can shed some light on this
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Old 2nd October 2011, 00:49   #8
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Default re: Ideas for Automotive Entrepreneurial ventures

There is one thing thats been racing through my mind for some time now, especially for a place like Bangalore where you have more than a handful of tuners, some legendary and then some upcoming and you have the ones who are not worth mentioning either. But somehow, all these folk manage to survive on a healthy diet of motor head clients who are willing to pay. If this is the case then, wouldn't a race track on the lines of the one in Coimbatore or maybe even smaller for starter's, on the outskirts would be a sustainable venture? All that seems to be missing here seems to be a place to play with what you paid for, which is why there is a marked increase in ORR's turining into to play grounds for suped up cars and bikes and then some more!!
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Old 2nd October 2011, 13:13   #9
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Default re: Ideas for Automotive Entrepreneurial ventures

Few things that comes to my mind -
1) Car self wash/cleaning centers across the city. It is surprising that we do not have any. This would be a green initiatives too such as saving/recycling potable water
2) Race track like @Endless suggested. This can also have tracks/facilities for beginers, amateurs & pro.
3) Race track for RC cars
4) Drivers training including beginers, advanced, off roading, adventure/stunt driving
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Old 3rd October 2011, 16:14   #10
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Default re: Ideas for Automotive Entrepreneurial ventures

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gany View Post
Few things that comes to my mind -
1) Car self wash/cleaning centers across the city. It is surprising that we do not have any. This would be a green initiatives too such as saving/recycling potable water
2) Race track like @Endless suggested. This can also have tracks/facilities for beginers, amateurs & pro.
3) Race track for RC cars
4) Drivers training including beginers, advanced, off roading, adventure/stunt driving
Option 3 and 4 is very good. We need to have a good driving school where lane discipline and road manners are taught.

Is there an RC track in bangalore? RC racing is a big sport in usa.

-Sajan.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 16:59   #11
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Default re: Ideas for Automotive Entrepreneurial ventures

Interesting thread!

There's one idea I can think of.

One can start manufacturing "proper" bumpers to replace the chop-job bumpers many of our sub-4-metre cars come with. The OE bumpers on cars like Figo, Punto, Indigo CS, etc. are so flimsy, they hardly give any protection to the body in the event of a crash.

If manufacturing such bumpers is not cost effective, then, at least in case of case of foreign origin cars like Figo and Punto, one can make money simply by importing & distributing the original bumpers which aren't used in India due to the 4-metre restriction.
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Old 29th June 2012, 17:19   #12
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Default re: Ideas for Automotive Entrepreneurial ventures

Not exactly an idea for a new entrepreneur, but for existing used car outlets.

I assume that a significant percentage of the car owning population might be having cars whose annual running is not very high. For this subset of the car owning population, is renting a car a better option instead of having a depreciating asset standing still most of the time?

I understand, car renting is still not a big thing in our country due to the high cost involved. But what if used car outlets can rent their inventory. Most used car outlets, have a huge number of cars parked under the sun/ roof.
Will it not be a better thing to earn some money out of them till they get sold.
Two disadvantages are, any accidents that happen during renting would further reduce the value of the car and the car might not be available for observation/ test ride when a prospective customer comes calling. I feel the second shortcoming can be dealt with.

Is this something that is already in practice anywhere?

cheers

Last edited by ZedMae : 29th June 2012 at 17:20.
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Old 5th December 2013, 18:55   #13
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Default Business Ideas -> Turning PASSION for Cars Into KA-CHING!

It's very obvious that everybody here is passionate about cars. And I'm pretty sure a small percentage of members are living a dream by making money from their automobile related business ventures.

1) If somebody is decently capitalized and is looking for an automobile related business to start here in India, what are his options? (Eg: a tyre shop, an used car business, car accessories shop etc)

2) How much capital is required to start such a brick-and-mortar automobile related business?

3) If you are already in an automobile related business, what advice would you give an entrepreneur who is about to venture into such a business?

I'm really curious about how one can use the INTERNET, pursue one's interest in cars and still create a viable business built around cars/bikes. Internet allows you to build a business with low capital requirements - that's what makes it incredibly attractive. And yeah - I know about writing a car blog, and slapping some ads on those pages. But there is too much competition in that "business".

Meanwhile, CarDekho.com just got $15 million funding from Sequoia Capital.
http://www.cardekho.com/india-car-ne...ary_News_First

Quote:
CarDekho.com has gathered critical business momentum through its strategic partnerships with leading OEMs and accounts for 10% of national sales for them. CarDekho currently works with over 2000 new and used car dealers including leading organized retail used car dealers like Mahindra First Choice and Carnation.

Bikedekho.com (a similar portal for bikes) and Pricedekho.com (a price comparison site for gadgets) are newer offerings from Girnar Software.
"Cardekho is focused on creating an experience for consumers buying a new or used car and super-focused on creating business value to dealers across India. To make it an end-to-end solution, we also facilitate car finance and insurance. In this e-commerce era, where most start-ups are losing money, we are one of the few who are able to run real business which generates profits." quoted Amit Jain & Anurag Jain – Joint Managing Directors of Girnar Software.

Last edited by smartcat : 5th December 2013 at 18:57.
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Old 5th December 2013, 21:56   #14
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Default Re: Business Ideas -> Turning PASSION for Cars Into KA-CHING!

Good thread Smartcat. I am sure this thread going to be an interesting one and will be filled with valuable suggestions/ideas.

As you said rightly, blogging can not be a successful business model. The reason is fierce competition. We have seen many auto related news blogs have been converted to e-commerce portal, forum and classifieds site.
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Old 5th December 2013, 22:10   #15
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Default Re: Business Ideas -> Turning PASSION for Cars Into KA-CHING!

As a starter, I & sameer were discussing this the other day itself. There is a potential need of a 3M outlet in Delhi. The first one has come up now in Gurgaon. Delhi being such a huge market will zillions of cars would offer a huge customer base.
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