This Entrepreneurial Story is about Deepak, Ahuti & Abhishek who Founded ‘autogully.in’ located in Dwarka, New delhi, India.
About Founders –
- Deepak Chopra -CEO, Btech in interior design,Rafflesinstitute,newdelhi
- Ahuti Hota – Co-founder, Btech in mechanical,kurukshetra University
- Abhishek Hota – Co-founder, Btech in Automobile engineering MIT, manipal, karnataka.
When Started: July 7 2013
[Answers by Deepak Chopra]
What motivated you to start your Business?
The love for cars. I was always passionate about them. I always checked out the shining new cars of our neighbors that I found parked in my parents driveway every time we had a get-together.
Once I got my graduation degree, I started researching on innovative car designs which actually look great and are cheap too. I was surprised by the lack of availability of quality choices in the automobile field.
This and my passion for cars led me to start autogully.
Tell us about your Business
We are an e commerce start-up focusing on supplying standard automobile accessories, modified headlights, taillights, projector lamps and unique items like grills, cutomkits, microfibergloves, logo lights and conversion kits. We are the only start-up in the Indian market that supplies customized head/taillights. We have an offline operation where we offer customized car washes at affordable rates. We are planning to offer fitting and packaging at low rates.
What is a Day in a life of you like?
We start our day @9am . By 11-1130 am, we compile a list of all the online and offline orders of the day. We then go to the suppliers and get the inventory. After customizing and assembling the orders ,we pack and ship them. This goes on till late in the evening. After dinner, we customize and experiment on different designs. At night, we upload our latest designs on facebook, update the site and check out new innovations in the automobile field.
One particular skill you got right and gave you best results.
The skill of negotiation. In our line of business, we need to deal with local shop owners who quote high rates and sometimes are pretty arrogant. With lots of time and patience, we made them our friends. This taught us a lot about how to build business relationships and only make promises that we can keep.
What have been your biggest challenges in running your Business so far?
Two main challenges-money and supplies. Since a majority of our items are imported, sometimes there is a delay in the arrival of products and this causes a delay in our deliverance. Money, initially, was scarce. Because we have CCavenue payment gateway we receive payment after every 2 weeks, so in between those 14 days there is a lot of panic.
How did you overcome these challenges?
For continuity of orders, we have collaborated with lots of local offline dealers so that we can have the supply as soon as they hit the shores. In the near future,we are planning to make a foreign trip and directly meet the manufacturers. For money, our parents supported us initially. We are planning to make our own payment gateway for reduced transaction fees. And we are in negotiations with a couple of VCs for seed investment. We now are just breaking even.
What have you found the most effective way to get new clients?
We have a three proven way of acquiring new clients.
- Word- of- mouth
- Social marketing
- Advertising in newspapers and applications like justdial etc.
I have found that the most effective way is by delivering the best possible customer support and quality products and never making false promises. If we satisfy one customer a day we consider ourselves successful in our mission. Word of mouth does the rest.
What advice do you give to other business owners?
Never give up on your dreams and always be self-reliant. People make tons of promises and they rarely keep them. Learn to do maximum things by yourself, be a one man army. Be a gladiator in flip-flops.
How did you keep motivated through difficult times?
Times have been tough. We had financial and other difficulties. Our passion for the project and the many possibilities of the automobile sector kept the team motivated.
What are your Marketing, Funding and Team Building Strategy?
For marketing we are planning to use social media aggressively, we have opted a promotion plan of facebook and are posting new deals and related articles. We have submitted our stories to various startup websites like yours to increase our presence in the start up community.We are planning a series of information workshops in auto shows and college fests. Initially we tried for seed funding but investors were more interested in the profits than the business plan. We are planning to approach VCs and angel investors once we develop our infrastructure to the required level.
We are a small team and this makes us quick and strong.We have been receiving CVs of many engineers from reputed colleges seeking to work under us. We will build a team only if we need it. For now we three are enough.
We are pretty popular in delhi, especially dwarka region and have established contacts with various suppliers and dealers and are the one of the most viewed and popular automotive e commerce startup.
Whats your favorite quote?
Move fast and break things, unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough-Mark Zuckerberg
Who inspires you?
The huge potential in the automotive sector and the passion for automobiles .
Do you have a Business Philosophy?
Give quality support, quality products and an awesome shopping experience at affordable rates.
Startup Freak wishes Three of you, All the Best!