CV dealer, Kamal Motors, is banking on the festive season to clock good sales.

 

Story By Deven Lad

 

Traditionally a good monsoon and the festive season consisting of ‘Dusshera’, ‘Eid’, ‘Navratri’, ‘Diwali’ and Christmas among others have been the harbinger of good auto sales. It is perhaps on this basis that Kamal Motors, a Tata CV dealership based in the Mumbai region, is banking on the forthcoming festive season to clock good sales. The first quarter of the current financial that began on April 01, 2020, has been a complete washout almost. The monsoon, against the shadow of Covid-19 pandemic, brought with it floods to many parts of the country, damaging property and lives in many cities, towns and villages. Pinning its hopes on the festive season, Kamal Motors, according to Tejpal B Ailsinghani, its managing director, is following even the smallest developments in the CV industry with much interest.

Confident of clocking good sales in the festive season, the dealership, according to Ailsinghani, is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that footfalls increase. As a sales and service outlet for Tata Motors, which is a full-range player, Ailsinghani is taking note of the fact that LCV sales are showing some positive movements. Following the shift in public behaviour against the spiking numbers of Covid-19 positive persons, India having quietly overtaken Brazil in early September, Ailsinghani is banking on the rising preference for e-commerce. It would mean a greater demand for e-commerce CVs that do line-duty, last mile, express, etc. Braving the slowdown by digging into its experience spanning over two-decades, the dealership re-drew its strategies and ways of doing business during the low period.

Customer loyalty and support

Receiving good support from its principal, Kamal Motors also profited from customer loyalty during the low period of the first quarter this fiscal. It re-drew its plans in the wake of the development where sales plummeted and the dealership had to turn to service and spares as an avenue to beat the blues. If AMCs helped, the fact that the dealership has built a band of loyal customers from the Ace mini-truck to the heaviest CV offering from Tata Motors, aided a route to survival.

Revealing that they have never seen nil revenue business month in their 20 years of being in this business, Ailsinghani, averred that they overcame the challenge to retain their manpower and keep them motivated through various employee support measures. Betting big on a sharp recovery during the forthcoming festive season, he mentioned that they have started getting inquiries from the time the ‘unlockdown’ started. “Some of these we are able to convert in sales,” he added. Highly active in this field since 2002 when it started a Tata LCV dealership at Vasai, in the extended Mumbai region, Kamal Motors has been a dominant player. With its headquarters at Nerul, Navi Mumbai, the dealership has come to have five sales offices, three service centres and one stockyard. Having sold over 40000 CVs since it started, the dealership has enjoyed uninterrupted growth.

Gaining momentum

The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown perhaps being the biggest interruption ever, Kamal Motors focused on building new opportunities during the period. It prepared itself for a healthy mid- and long-term growth. “Rather than feeling dejected we re-aligned our strategies to serve customers as they re-started their operations after the lockdown,” said Ailsinghani. “We have been observing an improvement in sales since June,” he added. Of the opinion that it is the pandemic that has been the biggest disruptor, and not the shift to BSVI, Ailsinghani, informed that ever since sales have shown growth, they have been monitoring the situation closely. Hoping that the trend continues well into the festive season, and leads to good sales, he is hoping for a strong mid- and long-term momentum.

Gunning for growth

Stressing that business has been growing since the ‘unlockdown’, Ailsinghani said that they are witnessing a pull in the e-commerce and FMCG segments. “The demand for LCVs, pick-up trucks, and to an extent even the HCVs has seen some gain in traction,” he added. Touching on the operating costs a dealership like theirs typically incurs on a day-to-day basis, Ailsinghani revealed that Tata Motors provided good support during their low period. “The company helped us in managing schedules, and in conducting virtual customer meetings,” he quipped.

Drawing attention to the driver unavailability as a factor, Ailsinghani mentioned that they could tide over the low period because of the relationship they have built with their customers. Hinting at a shift in customer expectations, he averred that service has turned out to be their backbone for revenue in the wake of slowing sales. Kamal Motors’ workshops, informed Ailsinghani, enjoy good patronage of its customers with 70 per cent of them availing the services regularly. Stating that they are experiencing an improvement, he remarked that they have been observing the health guidelines strictly to ensure the safety of their employees as well as the customers. “We continuously check the happenings at the shop as well as the workshop. We are strictly following the WHO and Government guidelines,” said Ailsinghani.

With an employee strength of 400, Kamal Motors is having 80 per cent of its staff in attendance. This, despite the non-operation of the suburban trains in Mumbai since April 2020. Witnessing the attendance of 70 per cent of the sales staff, the dealership is enjoying good support of its employees. “Our assurance to our staff that we will retain them has us getting good support from them as we restart our operations and gain strength,” said Ailsinghani. Expecting to close the current financial year with a fair performance achievement, Kamal Motors is hoping that the overall business environment improves sooner than later.  A lot would depend on how the movement of people and goods takes place, said Ailsinghani. It would also depend on infrastructure projects, he added. Quite optimistic about a healthy mid- and long-term growth prospect of the CV industry, Ailsinghani said, “We feel that the MHCV, LCV, ICV, Pick-Up and Cargo segments will gain good traction in the coming months.” “We, on our part, are connecting with customers from ‘Nakas’ (local truck hiring points ), FMCGs and e-commerce goods operators to ensure that we leave no stone unturned on our way to success,” he signed off.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

     

*