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View Poll Results: I would prefer getting my car cleaned through an organised business house
Yes 18 56.25%
No 9 28.13%
I am not sure 5 15.63%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 9th September 2010, 14:47   #1
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Default A lucrative business opportunity that should soothe the car lovers too

As per Wikipedia, Delhi (NCR) has 85 cars per 1000 citizens. As per same page, it has a 12.25 million ,or 1.25 crore, inhabitants. That roughly translates to 1045000 (10 lacs and 45 thousand cars).

If out of these even 85% are there really (I would assume some move out for various reasons, some are not usable any more etc. and not accounting for the ones which people bring with them who move in to NCR), we have about 836000 cars. Letís say out of which another 20% do not get washed daily. That leaves us with 668800 cars that are being washed Daily.

Now, if you are in NCR or have been here, you would know that almost none of these cars are washed by owners. I am still giving a very ambitious 10% to the cars which are cleaned by owners. This takes us to 601920 that are being washed daily by various kind of people. For example, in our society of about 350 flats, we would have close to 500 cars. These are being washed by husbands of maids who works here, gardeners before and after their working hours etc. More or less that is the case across NCR.

The charges vary from Rs. 150 a month to Rs. 450 a month based on locality and size of the vehicle. E..g. While I give 200 for my Maruti 800, I have to pay 350 for my Fiesta. Where as my neighbor has to cough up 450 for his Fortuner.

If you were to average this amount, it should come close to 325 a vehicle. So, in a whole NCR is paying Rs. 195624000 a month (say roughly 20 crore) to clean its cars which transpires to 240 Crore a year.

Rs. 240 crore a year is more than a lucrative business opportunity. I wonder why a corporate house has not yet chosen to try their hands in this business. Someone like a Carnation is best suited to get into this business.

Having said that, let me tell you a couple of very young guys from our neighborhood tried this in our society. They asked for a Rs. 400 flat a month irrespective of the car. As a value add, this included a Car Shampoo and a Wax Polish every weekend.

They got few customers. I saw them turning out as early as 6 in the morning with their staff smartly dressed in a uniform and a cap with their logo. A nice bag carrying their kit. They were operational for about a couple of months and then had to close the business. I talked to one of them, and as expected, an unenthusiastic response led to them getting very few cars. And with few cars at your disposal, they could not have continued.

The biggest challenge I saw was that people were reluctant to turn away their years old loyal workers who have been cleaning their cars. I also faced the dilemma but I suggested my fellow to get a little trained on what they do and how they do it and instead join them.

The second problem I see would be that it very difficult to get a work force to do this job for you. If these guys were to do it on their own, they would have full 400 where as you would pay them a fix salary and some bonus.

But I thought the idea is worth exploring so penned it down here.

I am also including a Poll here to do a quick dip stick check. If you were to decide to continue with the guy who is cleaning your car or to shift to someone who is doing this as an organised business, what would you do?
Given
Let's say this serive is about 30% costlier.
They do add some frills like shampoo and/or polishing etc.
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Old 9th September 2010, 15:10   #2
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I would go for a organized business as long as they are trained and do a good job at cleaning. If there is no quality of work, there is no value / benefit in comparison to the local regular guy. Why would someone pay more in that case?
If i am going to end up getting surface scratches & irregular cleaning in both cases, then i might as well spend lesser getting them
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Old 9th September 2010, 15:21   #3
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Organized or not, I'd rather wash my cars myself. These guys waste too much water when they do it. I'd rather spend half an hour a day to do as much cleaning as I can. Even if it is a little less than what these guys can do.
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Old 9th September 2010, 15:22   #4
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The same thought occured to me when I observed the way it is run in all large townships.

I am sure the whole cleaning cars can be improved and given a professional look.

1. Right equipment for cleaning.
2. Checklist to show what all was cleaned and what not. (Many owners feel that sometimes the guy just pulls up the car wipers to show it was cleaned)
3. Feedback mechanism to understand the customer better

I could not think more on the idea coz I am no executer. I am a planner/designer/consultant on what to do and how to (aka lazy bum)


Suggestion if you are serious on the idea target large townships where you will find clients in clusters. Area of work will be limited yet the volume would be high.

Value ads like Polishing once a month or vaccuming once a month etc will definelty tempt people like me to pay an extra hundred bucks to someone who can handle my car with better equipment.


The whole activity if planned well and with the right tools will make the same number of cleaners clean higher number of cars than they do NOW.
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Old 9th September 2010, 15:31   #5
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Red face

Even if car washing was to be done by corporate it will have its own pros and cons

Pros:
1) Professional approach
2) Competetive pricing
3) Fixed/Flexible timings

Cons:
1) Dependability issues
2) Yearly hikes
3) Dedicated teams for each society/complex.
4) Manpower issues.
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Old 9th September 2010, 15:36   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Even if car washing was to be done by corporate it will have its own pros and cons

Pros:
1) Professional approach
2) Competetive pricing
3) Fixed/Flexible timings

Cons:
1) Dependability issues
2) Yearly hikes
3) Dedicated teams for each society/complex.
4) Manpower issues.

Car washing could start off as not a Large scale industry but a midsize business.
Each locality will have a team of cleaners who want to earn that extra buck with some hard work for 3 hours in the morning.
The work in teams thus making the job faster.
The whole yearly increment part will not come into picture as this wont be a full time job for the kiddo's. (Of course the allowance revision can be thought based on the business)
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Old 9th September 2010, 15:55   #7
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Too early to write off the business idea.
I had thought about this some months ago, but i learnt the follow during a quick follow up study.

1. The Vehicle cleaning is a skillful activity, it needs training which will cost money
2. the jobs are fragmented and bit uncertain in terms of frequency of wash etc
3. issues with the organized labour engagement in such un-organized industry (similar to house maid jobs which are more certain and predictable, but still no organized corporate house is in that business)
4. Relationship and Trust factor with the current service provider
5. Expectations from the organized player would be higher than the current one, hence the risks are higher, margins would be lower.

there could be more..

but appreciate your back of the envelop calculation of the business potential, i think the time of this idea would come in future.

meanwhile, the neighbourhood garages and cleaning centers can implement a variation of this idea.

e.g.

1. advertise a 12 month maintainence package of weekly 2 washes per car
2. develop loyalty schemes to the existing clients
3. implement rapid cleaning set up where the vehicle can be placed on a conveyor and get washed externally within few minutes.

etc etc.
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Old 9th September 2010, 16:14   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
3. implement rapid cleaning set up where the vehicle can be placed on a conveyor and get washed externally within few minutes.
etc etc.
I somehow do not feel India is ready for this. Low cost labour is still available in abundance. The Rapid cleaning set up will cost a bomb + maintaing it would be another huge cost.

I still look at the suggestion as a mid sized business opportunity which can be exectued by smaller teams of the same parent company.
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Old 9th September 2010, 16:28   #9
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@New.Novice : My guess is , this may not be the correct place for the poll. You should not talk about car cleaning to any car enthusiast but instead ask Tom / Dick / Harry for unbiased results.
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Old 9th September 2010, 16:30   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
1. advertise a 12 month maintainence package of weekly 2 washes per car
2. develop loyalty schemes to the existing clients
This is really interesting and worth a thought. The problem would be, you would still need your car to be 'cleaned" daily (irrespective of where you are in India) and then either you do it yourself or you continue to keep the regular guy. Besides, I would still have to take my car to them which defeats the whole purpose.

With all due respect neoranjit. I could not make the head and tail of your comment. Are you telling me that it is demeaning for the "car enthusiast" to talk about car clening? Or you mean those who are not a member of team-bhp are Tom/Dick and Harry in the sense you talked them about? Enlighten me friend.

Last edited by New.Novice : 9th September 2010 at 16:34. Reason: Included resposne to neoranjit
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Old 9th September 2010, 16:36   #11
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Voted No.
Organized for first time, after which they're completely disorganized. I'd rather prefer washing my vehicles all by myself. They do it for business, I do it for passion; there's world of difference between both.
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Old 9th September 2010, 16:55   #12
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@aargee, as much as we both say no to such a service, there's tonnes of people who get their cars washed by other people. You can find it esp in apartment complexes. The one problem here is breaking the cycle to try another person / service provider.

Also, what will the service provider do if the workers disrupt the cycle after some time and hijack the business ? Remember - he would already shown the "quality of his service" and can offer a good discount to off-set the waxing part.
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Old 9th September 2010, 17:03   #13
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I came to know of a similar set up (V3Red) in Dwarka, Delhi. They started the services in some sectors and I was waiting when they would serve mine. But I think the business has shut down.

Anyways, here is what they offered
Attached Files
File Type: zip v3red.zip (1.89 MB, 46 views)
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Old 9th September 2010, 17:12   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
@aargee, as much as we both say no to such a service, there's tonnes of people who get their cars washed by other people. You can find it esp in apartment complexes.
Those are very suited for people who think they have time for everything else & not for washing car. But like I said before, passion is one word that defies everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Also, what will the service provider do if the workers disrupt the cycle after some time and hijack the business ?
Haha...that's just a word for escapism. If the workers can hijack the business without the knowledge of the service provider, then there's some flaw in the process or the service provider is not in control of his business, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Remember - he would already shown the "quality of his service" and can offer a good discount to off-set the waxing part.
Discounting is one word to flatter anyone.
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Old 9th September 2010, 17:31   #15
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Some company tried this in my building. They gave a demo in which the guy used a sponge to clean and good clean cloths assuring each car a different cloth and washed daily.

It was a disaster. Within a week one could see swirls on all the cars and the wash quality was below poor. A few surprise visits early morning confirmed my apprehensions. He was just giving the car a good wipe with a dirty wet cloth. Not even a bucket used.

After a month he had got the earlier boys and started paying them to wash the cars. It was beyond horrible for the cars with each boy washing 12-15 cars in the morning within 2 hrs.
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