Sameer Malhotra, CEO, Shriram Automall India Ltd.

Sameer Malhotra, CEO, Shriram Automall India Ltd.

Sameer is currently working as Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Shriram Automall India Limited (SAMIL).

Podcast

Overview

Sameer is currently working as Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Shriram Automall India Limited (SAMIL). With over 3 decades of experience, he built a strong foundation for the company in 2011. Under my leadership, Shriram Automall India Limited has become the most trusted brand for the exchange of pre-owned automotive, equipment, gold, and property. He has traveled extensively to the USA, Canada, UK, UAE, Germany, Singapore, South Africa, and many other countries to understand the market dynamics of the vehicle/equipment auction industry.

00:35- Tell me about Shriram Automall.

  • About 15 years back when we started talking about and thinking about this concept, we found the whole country is completely unorganized and trading of pre-owned is completely getting anonymized and there is no organized player in the whole country.
  • And the transactions which are happening were not transparent, and nobody knew neither the buyer nor the seller, whether they got the best deal out of it.
  • So that was starting. In the beginning, we found that India needs services like these.
  • And that’s where the foundation of Shriram Automall. 11 years back, we started our first Automall in Chennai, in February 2011.

03:27- How large is the market for pre-owned cars in our country?

  • I can easily say it’s as big as the new vehicle market, which is quite big.
  • And as of date, it’s a multi-billion dollar, we are looking at a $20- $30 billion market size right now.
  • Our only competition is with the unorganized market, which is there. So I think in the next 10 years to 20 years also there’ll be no stopping to the growth of this market.

04:11- Some of your challenges and learnings as you have scaled up?

  • The biggest challenge for us has always been manpower because the industry is nonexistent. You can’t get trained manpower from anywhere.
  • Trained manpower, you have to keep on training the people, keep on making them up to a level, make them understand that concept.
  • Concept selling is a much very bigger task because when you go to any customer, whether it’s a buyer or seller, and try to sell them a concept of an auction.
  • Getting prices, and making that concept go deep down into the mindset is the first thing.
  • And then the people go and talk to them is the second thing, I think these two are the major challenges for us.

05:28- How do you manage expectations for buyer and seller?

  • It is all about our performance, we bring very transparent services to everyone.
  • So we bring the automobile from the seller to our platform, which physical platform.
  • People come, and we do in ramp method of selling.
  • And then the people sitting there can inspect it.
  • And they start bidding and whosoever bids the highest is the winner.
  • So that’s a very transparent platform where we can be very transparent to the buyer.

08:22- How are you using technology to sell cars?

  • We introduced the concept of online auction which is purely an online auction where you can only be online, and you can sit in your home you can bid online.
  • And then we introduced a visitor option which is unique which has recently been introduced now we are almost over 85 cities.
  • We are providing the services where physical auctions are happening, but you can start bidding sitting at your office for your home.
  • We introduced that technology recently, and we are finding our customers are very happy, especially during the COVID era.

12:05- What will restricting the life of the car do to the pre-owned market?

  • Typically, the life of these vehicles is quite good because especially the kind of manufacturing technology being used presently
  • Nonetheless, there is a pollution control policies by different states. Most people are selling within that and there are people who are ready to buy from a different spot in town, who don’t have that kind of policy in place.
  • The second is we saw recently the scrap page policy that’s becoming going to be the norm of the day. So, that will again help faster disposal
  • So there are definitely different technological advancements in the new industry and automatically all those things will come into the used vehicle industry.

17:10-Any plans to go beyond India?

  • We are always deliberating, and we also found opportunities in the past, but the point is, there’s so much to be done within the country.
  • Even though we are the largest in the country, the market is too small
  • So I think we are concentrating right now within the country.

17:55- How do you communicate to potential buyers and potential sellers?

  • We have different teams who take care of supply and demand.
  • They go outside they meet the different corporate customers like banks, NBFCs, OEMs, dealerships, all those players, and we try to make them understand how they can be selling better and faster for assets, but they’re owning and that’s what our supply chain does.
  • And the same way our demand team goes into different marketplaces, transport, and others, and recruits different buyers for different vehicles sitting at different places.
  • We are not very aggressive in the consumer business. We are more into b2b. So that’s where we concentrate and that’s where we market right now.

19:39- What would your advice be to young individuals who are starting their journey as entrepreneurs?

  • I must say, please follow your passion. Never take a job as a job, even if you’re a job or you’re a startup.
  • Second, never compromise on integrity.
  • Always respect your company and boss.
  • And the last, live the relationships. Every customer will not give you a business relationship. Whenever he needs a business he will come back to so these are four fundamental things.

RESOURCES:

You can connect with Sameer Malhotra – LinkedIn

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Profile

Sameer is currently working as Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Shriram Automall India Limited (SAMIL). With over 3 decades of experience, he built a strong foundation for the company in 2011. Under my leadership, Shriram Automall India Limited has become the most trusted brand for the exchange of pre-owned automotive, equipment, gold, and property. He has traveled extensively to the USA, Canada, UK, UAE, Germany, Singapore, South Africa, and many other countries to understand the market dynamics of the vehicle/equipment auction industry.

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