Owning a car has its perks but it also comes with its own set of drawbacks. We develop an emotional connection with our trusted four-wheeler over time and even a small dent on its bodywork is enough to make a grown man cry. But now that the streets are more crowded than ever, scratches and dents on our beloved vehicles seem inevitable. Enter Fixcraft. They claim to be India’s only exclusive chain of Auto Collision Repair Centers and we recently got a chance to have a word with Mr. Vivek Sharma, Co-founder & CEO, Fixcraft and this is how the conversation went down:
What started the journey of Fixcraft?
Fixcraft’s journey is 2.5 years old and was started in Oct 2018 by Vivek Sharma. The genesis of the company was clubbed with personal experience and market opportunity. When Vivek wanted to get his car’s dents repaired, he had to choose between OEM Workshop which was expensive and the Local workshop, where he could not trust the mechanic. This led to identifying that there was no nationalised trusted brand in the auto repair segment, where there is standardised experience with transparent pricing and operations.
Fixcraft solves the low trust problem in this sector by offering complete visibility on the process, analysis, spares used by the means of technology.
What difference is Fixcraft bringing into the market than others?
Fixcraft is the only player in the industry that owns the entire customer journey, starting from the estimates to the drop of the car at doorstep post service. Unlike an aggregator that relies on a local workshop for the work, Fixcraft does the entire job in-house for a reasonable price. This enables Fixcraft to have a much better control on quality and output, simultaneously ensuring that the customer is not left hanging in case there is an issue with the car. Fixcraft is a technology first full stack player, hence, is in a position to offer a superior customer experience.
How have investments been for Fixcraft?
Fixcraft has raised an undisclosed amount recently through AngelList platform with marquee angel investors participating in the same. Some of the investors are Rishab Malik (Co-Founder, Droom.in), Sandeep Aggarwal (Founder, Shopclues and Droom), Rahul Taneja (ex CBO, Jabong), Jimmy Jagwani (Director, Bayer’s group), Saahil Malik (Partner, Oliver Wyman), Dhruv Vohra (Director, Facebook) and Alexander Souter (VP, TIER Mobility).
Until now, how much of the customer market has Fixcraft served? Or the number of vehicles serviced?
Fixcraft has done work on 10000+ panels and boasts of a strong 3000+ customer base, operating in a space which sees a low frequency. The brand holds an impressive customer rating of 4.8 and 4.7 on Google and Facebook, respectively.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected business for the Auto service sector?
During covid, just like any other business, the times were bad for the auto service sector too. However, the post covid recovery has been very good. The preference has shifted more towards personal cars rather than cabs or shared transportations, which has led to a boost in demand for the repair and service sector. The discretionary spends are down, but the mandatory repairs and services are being taken more seriously. The company has grown more than double in the last 6 months as a result of unlocking of this demand.
What are the prevailing challenges in the sector and how is Fixcraft addressing the same?
The sector has been marred by operating in the same opaque manner for decades. Fixcraft is changing the way it’s done by bringing in the required transparency, in both the work as well as the costing. Until now, one was required to go to the workshop to find out how much money it is going to cost for repair. On Fixcraft, it is all digital. One can just upload the photos and the AI tool will estimate the amount and time it will take to repair the vehicle. Thus, there is a uniformity, transparency and trust in the procedure.
With the help of technology, Fixcraft is able to update the customer on progress too, unlike an OEM workshop where one only gets to see the vehicle once everything is done, without offering any awareness.
Elaborate on the tech utilization in the model?
The technology is at the core of the model. The customer service has gone a notch up with the android mobile application by Fixcraft. The application offers transparency, live updates, AI driven estimations etc. Apart from this we are implementing WMS, logistics suite, end -to-end fleet management suite, full stack suite of APIs for integration with existing partner systems and other solutions to operate more precisely.
What is the current manpower?
The company employs 50+ people for the complete execution, and aims to double the same in the next 6 months time. The primary hiring will happen in the Technology and Operations team.
How many centres do we have and how are we planning to expand
Fixcraft, in its Phase 1, is operating 3 workshops in Delhi NCR, and aims to open 10 workshops by the end of this year in a phased manner. In Phase 1 the brand will aggressively expand across Metros, followed by Phase 2 in which it will be a mix of tier 1 and tier 2.
Share your plans for the coming fiscal year and 5 years from now.
Fixcraft plans to go very aggressive on expansion. Having proven the business model in 2 owned workshops and one partner workshop in Delhi NCR, Fixcraft is planning to open 10 centres by the end of this fiscal and will be looking to have a nationwide presence in 3 year from now.