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Creating an online auto ecosystem

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Anurag Jain, Co-founder & COO, GirnarSoft (CarDekho)

Jaipur-based Anurag Jain, co-founded the IT firm Girnar Software Pvt. Ltd. in 2007 along with his brother Amit Jain when they decided to follow their dream of starting a business from their home town Jaipur. Anurag Jain an IIT-Delhi graduate of 2002 batch, together with his brother came up with the idea of during their visit to the auto expo 2008 in New Delhi. In March 2008, the flagship portal of GirnarSoft - kicked off. Anurag completed his 5 year integrated M. Tech in Maths and Computing from IIT Delhi in 2002. In conversation with Dominic Rebello he reveals his intentions to make his company a multi-billion dollar company by 2021

What drives you?
In India, there are several gaps in the consumer fulfillment. To me, there are still many gaps in the consumer’s smart decision making in buying cars and in getting best choices in their ownership journey. At the same time there are gaps in OEMs and dealers efficiently finding and converting buyers. All this needs to be achieved efficiently for all parties concerned, and these are the challenges that drive me. I want to solve these problems using technology - by developing innovative consumer portals and content, and tech-enabled tools.

How big is the potential for a business like yours?
Over 2 crore vehicles including passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, three wheelers and two wheelers were sold in 2015-16, according to Society Of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). The market that we are chasing is worth $10 billion including advertising, leads, warranty, insurance, auto loans aggregation, car auctions, car servicing, and car accessories including tyres and batteries.

Any major customers that you now cater to?
We are laser focusing ourselves to make products and services finely tuned to enable all the stakeholders of the auto ecosystem. Our major customers are vehicle buyers and auto OEMs and new and used car dealers. Besides that we are catering to banks, insurance companies and accessory makers.

For car buyers we have solutions like:
-    Search for any car by make, model, price, features and compare up to four cars for decision making
-    Rich editorial content - Expert reviews, road tests, picture galleries and more than 200 videos of cars
-    Unique fully immersive online car experience – Feel The Car a unique online tool that gives 360 degree interior/exterior views with sounds of the car
and explanations of key features
-    First time ever comprehensiveCarDekho Score for cars so that buyers can make fact-based decisions while comparing. This is derived from scientific testing of cars on critical attributes like comfort, noise, vibration, steering and pedal hardness, acceleration and braking.

What kind of numbers do you expect from a business like yours?
We receive 33 million visits every month from all auto portals including CarDekho, Zigwheels and We expect to double our traffic in the coming year.

On the businesses side, we cater to over 4500 new and used car dealers. This will grow significantly. We also have direct tie-ups with all major auto manufacturers and deep integration with major banks and insurance companies.

Our newly launched auto finance vertical has received loan applications amounting to Rs.350 crores from across the country through tie-ups with banks like HDFC, Au Financiers, ICICI and Induslnd Bank. We have provided roadside assistance to 10,000 car owners through tie ups with 5,000 service providers and these numbers will all grow rapidly in the coming months.
Any statistics to compare the market size with international standards?
According to a study, India’s auto market is expected to grow 15.6 percent this year, nearly five times faster than the global growth rate.

How do you plan to scale up?
We are a new age digital company but our foundational values are time-tested principles that have created successful businesses for generations. We run our business venture with an aim to operate profitably or invest with very clear timelines for profitability. Our growth in the future will come from tech innovation which will fuel faster adoption from both consumers and auto OEMs and dealers. Since we believe in keeping good unit economics, our business growth while funded from investors, will come from revenue growth accompanying our innovations.

Who would primarily be your consumer audience?
As mentioned earlier, we cater to all the stakeholders of the industry.

Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
Our vision is to be a multi-billion dollar company by 2021 with a global footprint.

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