Article by: Rajesh Rajgor
A part of Mauris Software Solutions, this portal bridges the organised and unorganised sector, with transparency over assets sold.The website, TruckBusSale.com, was born out of the need to ensure transparency and provide multiple options to the sellers and buyers of trucks and buses. The aim was also to provide hassle free deals to them. And, what began as a software development initiative for Mauris Software Solutions (MSS), offering software solutions to transport sector, turned into a specialised revenue model for transacting the sale of trucks and buses. Mentioned Ullhas Ambegaonkar, CEO, TruckBusSale.com, “Some of our clients, transporters, etc., requested us to dispose off their old assets in the sugar and agro industry. We managed to fix a few deals as a value added service since we had the necessary contacts. In the process, the seller and the buyer were happy with the asset quality and the cost. They managed to save close to Rs. 50,000 each as brokerage.” The deals inspired the formation of TruckBusSale.com. Further research study was undertaken. Customer patterns, demands, selling cycles and used vehicle availability was studied before starting work on the site. “Non availability of information on assets emerged as one of the strongest reasons for us to venture into it,” said Ambegaonkar.

Chances are that the industry would be glad that someone took the pain to come out with a platform like this. Since its inception in 2012, TruckBusSale.com has managed numerous deals, the largest being the sale of 20 assets (Ashok Leyland AC buses with different seating capacity) from Andhra Pradesh to Gujarat. The buyer was into ferrying school children, and is known to have overhauled the concept of ferrying pupils by providing air-conditioned buses according to Ambegaonkar. “School authorities and parents were happy to see the safety and comfort provided by the transporter,” he added. Back to the website, and it has proved to be a transaction platform for 10 numbers of 3118 tankers from Mumbai to a client at Kolkata. In yet another deal, the site proved to be of use in selling five trailers of 40-tonnes to a transporter in Gandhidham. The seller was from Nagpur. Such deals, claimed Ambegaonkar, helped towards cementing the site’s reputation as a trusted source of transaction as well as information.

We have dealt with clients with a small number of assets (5-10); with more assets (31-50), and with those that have assets that exceed 50,” said Ambegaonkar. It was during the course of work that the need to maintain secrecy was found out. The website thus concentrates on offering seamless deals for a good asset and at a good price. Apart from the company that may own it, it is the asset quality that counts. The website, claims Ambegaonkar, has been attracting a good deal of registrations from individuals and companies alike.

Striking the deal

Those wanting to sell or buy an asset need to register on the site. The next step is to key in the details. The user can also see profiles of other individuals and that of the different truck and bus models. “If you do not find a vehicle that interests you, or are looking for, you could fill in the details. We will enquire with the brokers and sellers. The moment the information about the suitable vehicle is had, apart from it being put on site, an SMS will be sent to the one interested,” avers Ambegaonkar. The process of registration is robust, and involves sharing of credentials like PAN number to avoid dubious transactions. The call center checks by calling the number and requests to send asset documents for verification in case of the vehicle registered. “Due diligence on documents has helped our portal establish itself as a reliable source of used assets. It has also come to be considered as the one, which converts inquiries into successful deals,” says Ambegaonkar. Even in a slow market, TruckBusSale.com receives 50 to 80 queries per day from different parts of the country, he added. 

Once the registration is done, the back-end team verifies leads and conducts inspection of the documents to get a clear understanding of the ownership of the asset and of other legal aspects involved. The back end team also guides the registered member (buyer) with tips and availability of assets. Given the nature of the industry, it is quite likely that different models are available in a specific vehicle segment in the new and used vehicle market at different times of the year. Often the task is to manage fluctuating demand. From Ambegaonkar’ point of view, a small business opportunity presents itself due to the demand for a particular asset type during that part of the year. “Demand for water tanker goes up in summer whereas the demand for earth moving equipment picks up in October,” he explains. Some long haul (industry specific vehicles) assets like trailers are in demand throughout the year, he added. Quality check on vehicles are carried out by trusted mechanics deployed for the job. They look into areas like engine, transmission, chassis, brakes, tyres, etc. Many of these tasks include routine maintenance. Since the assets are often found to have been well maintained, it may be easy to draw the attention of the buyer. However, a thorough inspection is carried out irrespective of the condition of the vehicle. Now, if a particular buyer shows interest, TruckBusSale.com arranges for an agreement between him and the seller. The website charges facilitation fees if the deal is successful. With an eye on expansion, the website is working towards opening a facility at Pune to offer maintenance. The facility will be well equipped, and include tasks like washing, oil change, greasing etc. Concludes Ambegaonkar, “We plan to open six more stores in Maharashtra and offer insurance and finance under the same roof.” 

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