Sameer Malhotra, Director & CEO, Shriram Automall India Limited graduated from Delhi University and completed postgraduate studies in financial management from the Sardar Patel College of Communication And Management. Shriram Automall India Limited (SAMIL), a unique initiative undertaken by Shriram Group, aims to bring greater transparency and value-added services in the Commercial Vehicles & Equipment trading industry in India. SAMIL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shriram Transport Finance Company Limited (STFC). This initiative was started in February 2011 to put an end to the unreliable and conservative practices prevalent in commercial vehicle transactions and to setup an organized vehicle-trading mechanism. Read more
Mr. Sameer Malhotra, CEO of SAMIL Talks Exclusively With Zee Business.
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Shriram Automall India Limited (SAMIL), stemming out of India’s largest NBFC in commercial vehicle finance – Shriram Transport Finance Company (STFC), in the year 2011; has succeeded in redefining the business of preowned vehicles and equipment in the Indian market. While this segment has always been considered as an unorganized one, SAMIL could gauge the challenges and opportunities well.
The sole prerogative of SAMIL is to establish a strong foothold in all major cities and towns of India. Systematically launching new Automalls in strategic locations has contributed to its voluminous expansion in terms of overall business across India. Keeping pace with the growing demands of transport industry, SAMIL provides consolidated service to the owners and buyers of used commercial vehicles, construction and farming equipment, passenger cars, three wheelers and bikes.
Reaching Out To the Remotest Corners
The platform helps a buyer to see the vehicle, comprehend the running condition of its engine and accordingly judge the feasibility of buying the same. Taking the advantage of the opportunity of participating in a physical bidding platform, the traders may also involve into exchanging market trends and strategies among themselves. Online Bidding helps is reaching out to the remotest of prospective customers present in various nook and corner of the country.
Ever since its establishment, SAMIL has inaugurated new Automalls in 26 locations across India and intends to expand its reach by launching 60 such new Automalls pan India. Maintaining a coherent business relationship with the existing customers, the Automall constantly strives to increase its clientele base manifolds. With establishments that are already operational and those yet to be launched, the spread of Shriram Automall will certainly aid Indian automotive market towards a massive expansion in future. Innovative, practical business concepts implemented with high operational integrities have been the core driving strategies for thriving in a competitive market scenario. SAMIL’s bidding or other transaction modes bring in the desired scalability and promises longterm efficient growth opportunities. Shriram Automall continues to venture new avenues of business, thereby expanding the scope of operations.
Gifting Exclusive Benefits On The Way While above platforms ensure transparent and efficient business transactions, other allied services like Valuation, Documentation, Parking, Refurbishing, Re- finance, Insurance and Vehicle maintenance etc. all are facilitated through a separate dedicated unit. At the Automalls apart from trading, the asset owners can also explore financing and insurance options, as also minor and major reairs while the fatigued truck drivers can avail the rest room facilities as well. Set to function as a centre for refurbishment, Shriram Automall provides services in changing tyres, repainting, changing the windshield or the window glasses. Though the grave technological revamps like fixing a new multiplexing system, engine replacement, renovating cabins etc. are not yet undertaken, minor repairs are reasonably handled to get the vehicles back to the score. At present the repair service primarily focuses upon the day-to-day requirements and implications but certainly aims at offering way more in future, depending on the demands.
Valuation: Used vehicle equipment market has been an unorganized segment. As a natural consequence there has been irrelevant valuation system and manipulations in the matrices used to fix rates. SAMIL, in an ardent effort to fix this state of affair, comes up with some of the most efficient and reliable experts to standardize the concerned parameters. The valuation is done on the basis of the validity of the documents held by the vehicle owner, the current market rate of the vehicle of the same brand and model, the special application of the vehicle (if any), the cost of the technology that goes with it and the Sameer Malhotra, CEO,Shriram Automall India Limited, SAMIL Online Bidding Platform as per customer’s convenience.
past on-road and field performance record of the vehicle. Hence,valuation helps greatly in the price escalation of the vehicles.Parking Facility: Safe and secured parking facility is provided to the clients for parking their valuable assets on a daily/ weekly/ monthly rental basis. This service has been observed to have been widely used by Banks, NBFCs, Large Dealers, fleet operators and individuals who wish to park & dispose their assets.Transparent Platform: In the quest of delivering significant benefits through its bidding platforms, SAMIL ensures near certainty of sale,fairness in deals and complete transparency in business transactions.While it is imperative that a buyer would most certainly inspect a used vehicle or equipment physically before buying, the Physical Bidding platform offers the most viable option to serve the concerns of such customers. Interested users are trained online and over telephonic conversation prior to participation in the bidding platforms.
Non-net savvy users can also participate in the event by using the proxy bidding option. SAMIL also facilitates Private Treaties or negotiated deals between owners of high value or bulk assets and prospective customers with utmost professionalism and transparency. It can rightly be compared to tenders wherein individuals offering highest quotes, can negotiate on a mutually acceptable price directly with the sellers. SAMIL also offers a unique intranet based classified kiosk – Shriram One Stop, a yet another augmented platform that provides real-time information about preowned commercial and passenger vehicles available for sale and simultaneously facilitates registration of individual buyer’s requirements. This is a smart initiative to preach a transparent business environment in terms of buying and selling of vehicles. This platform also helps the individual and fleet operators to interact and strike deals.
New Look Services (Refurbishment): A plethora of services are counted under New Look – a floor where refurbished pre-owned commercial vehicles are put on display for buying with in-built financing options. Finance: Users can avail the facility of easy finance to expedite the deal through Shriram Transport Finance Company (STFC)-one of the largest asset financing NBFCs in India with a niche presence in the financing pre-owned trucks and Small Truck Owners (STOs). STFC offers very low EMIs that help the borrower to widen the choice of vehicle since the validity increases with ready finance option. Insurance: SAMIL also offers exclusive insurance plans to make
certain the bidders are sheltered against the financial implications of equipment damage or loss. The service offers coverage against damage or loss to vehicles / assets selected through physical /online bidding events. Other types of insurance options like – life insurance, on-site property insurance, cargo insurance, etc are also made available.
Shriram Automall, a trend-setter in Transport industry
India is one of the most progressive nations in the world. While the country has a rich industrial base supported by massive infrastructure on the one hand, it has diverse transportation system catering to billions of people, on the other. Studies point out that the sector contributes more than 5.5 per cent to the nation’s GDP, with road transport having a major share. Knowing that the economy thrives on logistics, infrastructure and agriculture, Shriram Automall India Ltd. (SAMIL ) realized that the opportunities to contribute to the growth of the State are infinite.
The Indian automotive industry is like a “rising sun” and is one of the world’s fastest growing markets for
manufacturers. Be it passenger cars, two-wheelers or commercial vehicles, India is a key market. The country is seen as an export hub for SUVs. India has also witnessed rapid growth in farm equipment. As agriculture upholds the nation’s growth, increasing demand for farm vehicles is inevitable.
The key drivers of any industry are the common people who form the base of the pyramid. Similarly, for the transport industry, contractors, transporters, drivers and farmers toil day and night to make a difference in every aspect. In a unique endeavour, India’s largest player in commercial vehicle finance, Shriram Transport Finance Company Ltd. (STFC) devised a transparent and customer centric platform for transaction of used commercial vehicles and agricultural equipment. Identifying an opportunity and leveraging on its experience in the segment for decades, the Shriram Group has launched the concept of SAMIL which happens to be the country’s only organised player today. On February 26, 2011, SAMIL opened its first unit Automall in Chennai. It was inaugurated by then Union Minister for Home Affairs, Mr. P. Chidambaram. The enterprise since then has been a source of prosperity to numerous contractors, fleet owners and farmers who explored the benefits of pre-owned vehicle and equipment with Shriram Automall. The company today boasts of full-fledged Automall facilities in 24 key locations across India. Going by the industry’s observations, the Indian infrastructure industry has the biggest potential for growth and opportunities for investment. Based on the sizeable growth potential, SAMIL anticipated a positive growth trend in transport & equipment purchase. Acting on the expectation, SAMIL built the vigorous network of Automalls across the country. The growth of the company in terms of the geographical expansion is exponential in nature and envisions establishing 60 such strategically located Automalls by the end of the fiscal year.
SAMIL started its business with commercial vehicles and later expanded into tractors, construction equipment and two-wheelers. Today, the company has a strong association with big corporate, banks, NBFCs, manufacturers, dealers and fleet owners. Though the organisation has made remarkable presence in the industry, it feels that educating the people on this model remains the biggest challenge. Nevertheless, “SAMIL is very clear in its vision that it has to bring presence of any moving asset in their transaction”, says the CEO, Mr. Sameer Malhotra.
SAMIL has also timed its online presence to expand its horizon and spread its wings to conquer all barriers. Realizing that providing services online is an effective way to further engage with your customers, SAMIL launched its corporate website on February 9 last, located at the same address: www.samil.in By moving to a more customer centric layout, the revamped website now allows visitors to access information based on their own requirement rather than go through the entire website to decide what is of interest to them. Automall’s unique concept caters to its customers with different platforms. Physical bidding events offer the likelihood to inspect a vehicle in person. It is possible to touch and feel a vehicle before selection. The prospective bidder can actually inspect the actual condition of the vehicle to his satisfaction. Traders are finding this opportunity useful to network with each other and exchange valuable market trends.
SAMIL organizes approximately 100 physical bidding events every month. These events are well organized by skilled workforce and team managers to bring unforgettable experience to each user. It also ensures complete transparency to each of its customers. With an aim to reach out to remote areas, the company set up a network of one-stop kiosks at all Automalls and about 500 Shriram branches all across the country. It is a computerized touch screen which is a virtual Vehicle Bazaar, providing real time information about used vehicles available for business. It displays over 15,000 pre-owned assets at any given point of time mostly comprising trucks, passenger vehicles, and construction and agricultural equipment sourced from various consigners, including end users visiting the Shriram branches from time to time. The kiosks are a highly interactive medium and are easy to use just like bank ATMs where customers not only can go through the details of the equipment but also can register their requirements.
SAMIL also provides its users with internet-based platform for online bidding. Interested bidders get pre-hand training free of cost on how to bid online. Prospective bidders can download vehicle inventory lists with the single click of a button and physically inspect the vehicles thoroughly around two three days prior to the online event. Online platform is an ability to reach customers at all times of day or night across the world, which is expected to spur growth for the businesses. Taking business online is also helping in introducing niche services to those beyond their local target market.
SAMIL believes that offering services online provides opportunities to serve more customers, which will help the company to succeed even in the most competitive marketplace. The company has carried out 1,000 bidding transactions in its pilot testing itself through this platform. Apart from organizing planned bidding events, for consigners and bidders who are looking for much personalized service, SAMIL has realization.
With this, SAMIL opened its gateway to international transactions and bought global buyers and sellers on this unique platform. Along with all the above-mentioned platform, SAMIL has created New look. This platform is set to give a new look to used vehicles. Vehicles are inspected and refurbished or reconditioned according to the need and are made easily saleable.
To provide real market value of equipment, Automall has Valuation Service where a team of expert professionals does an asset valuation and helps a financer to determine the right worth of an asset before approving a loan. SAMIL also offers allied services like parking, easy finance options, general insurance, life insurance and assistance in documentation to ensure smooth transition. Thus the concept is all about complete fleet management in order to create a transparent platform for buyers and consigners. So now, fleet owners, contractors and farmers who face acute problems in terms of sourcing commercial vehicle, construction equipment and agricultural implements can heave a sigh of relief.
hriram Automall’s initiatives, both online and offline are a step in the right direction to end the unreliable practices prevalent in pre-owned vehicle transactions by cultivating an organized vehicle-trading mechanism. Moving on, SAMIL is also looking at venturing into the passenger vehicle segment which has so far been controlled by local dealers across the nation. As the company sees huge volume from this segment, it plans to offer this service through all its platforms – physical bidding, online bidding, one-stop and private treaty. Hence, It would not be wrong to say that SAMIL does not want to leave even a single option untried that adds value to the concept.
Sameer Malhotra, CEO Shriram Automall India Limited (SAMIL), is counted as a veteran in the infrastructure and construction equipment industry. Bagging a deep depth experience of over 20 years, Mr. Malhotra has been showing his expertise in Shriram Automall ever since its establishment in 2011.
Under Mr. Malhotra’s able leadership and supervision, SAMIL has seen a magnificent spread over the last two years. His knowledge of the market dynamics and the expertise to handle all the key areas of management along with a vast exposure on man management, sales, vendor development, marketing etc. is highly commendable. His strategic analysis and efficient management skill has acted as prerogatives behind the flourish of SAMIL within such a short tenure.
“We have pioneered this concept and there is no other company in the country with such holistic bidding solutions. I can proudly say that we were the first ones to take cognizance of the needs of buyers and sellers. In fact, we came to the customer rather than the customer coming to us. To be honest Shriram has no competition whatsoever”, commented Mr. Sameer Malhotra, CEO of Shriram Automall India Limited.
Mr. Sameer Malhotra realizes the aim to create an organised and reliable structure for the trading of pre-owned commercial vehicles with utmost transparency. He says, “Through our Automalls, we have given the buyers and the sellers a unique platform where they can conduct transactions in a hassle-free manner. Also with this initiative we intend to help the pre-owned vehicle and equipment market grow in India.”