Integrating Car buying & after-sales deals using Technology

BookMyTime founded by Tony Hadzi, Raghurama Kote and Muki Regunathan, serial entrepreneurs, is a next-generation automotive platform that is helping car owners save time and money while buying or servicing their car. It is an end-to-end mobile-based platform connecting automobile owners with car dealers and service providers. It aims to make buying cars, car service and repairs, worry-free and transparent while ensuring impeccable quality at the best price.

BookMyTime brings together a group of people who are interested in buying the same brand of car and leverage the power of collective bargaining. BookMyTime team negotiates with multiple car dealers on behalf of the customers to get the best discount. They get the best deals available in the market for the customers and the help their time.

BookMyTime not only helps in finding the best and nearest service provider but also has in-house car experts who guide and support the car owner make informed service, repair and maintenance choice for their cars. BookMyTime has currently tied up with 182 authorized and multi-brand garages for car services across Bangalore to provide various services ranging from free services, regular paid services, paints, dent removals, ad-hoc repairs, replacements (tires, windshields, batteries, etc.) and, car spa. The company’s vision is to transform the new car buying and after-sales car market in India by leveraging technology.

Mr. Muki co founder of BookMyTime is a design thinker and digital marketing expert. He is also the founder and CEO of Pepper Square, one of India’s finest digital agencies. In his 22 years career he has successfully influenced over 250 companies from brand building to exit strategy in India and USA.

Mr. Muki Regunathan shares some interesting insights with team ABT below.

Tell us about your career, interests & passion

The kinds of opportunities that are available in India right now are very exciting. The main focus for me is to look for the right idea and bring the right people to execute that idea. My passion is solving business problems by design thinking. I spend quite a bit of time researching and meeting people from interior part of India on Alternative medicine that can cure many deadly diseases.

Who is your greatest inspiration & why?
There are multiple people who have influenced me and continue to inspire me. From the context of the Indian business strata, I have been inspired to a great extent by Narayana Murthy and Azim Premji. Both of these legends are self-made and extremely down to earth.  They started their companies with the limited resources that were available to them in those times. They have succeeded in building an organization and not merely a “brand”, which has created a source of income for millions. Distinctive qualities of the Indian value system are reflected in each and every decision or step that they take. That’s a great lesson for all of us. What our grandparents and parents have inculcated in us is what we should be following. Remember to look inside first and not outside.

Tell us about BookMyTime & the business model. Why is it unique value proposition?
BookMyTime is all about automobiles and currently we are focusing on cars. The USP of the company is that we are ideasthatmatter-1trying to increase transparency in buying and servicing of cars. We are the only company in India that operates on the Group Buying concept. We also have a strong back-end team that includes in house service engineers who guide users with neutral feedback on how to maintain their cars and to which dealers, service centers or garages to approach. We ensure that our customers get the best deals on new car buying, servicing or repairs.

Where did you meet your partners/co-founders?
All of us have known each other for the last 15 years and have even done business together previously.

How did it all start? How were the initial 90 days like?
The original idea was conceived by Raghurama Kote; one of the Co-founders. India is the third largest market for automobiles and the Government of India estimates that the industry will touch 60 Billion Dollars by 2020. In spite of this, we strongly believe that the power of the digital experience has still not been utilized by the market. We started BookMyTime because of our understanding of what is currently lacking in India. The industry has hardly changed in the last 20 years, particularly in the case of selling and servicing cars. We want to improvise this with technology so that the industry becomes customer centric and not product centric. Urbanization and globalization is changing India and the focus of Indian consumers and we want to make sure that Indian consumers do not have to worry about their car in their plethora of priorities.

The first 30 days were very exciting. First, all us Co-founders debated about WHY BookMyTime and what we hope to achieve with the company. Once we were convinced there is huge opportunity; we focused on how to build the brand “BookMyTime” for the next two months. After this, we shifted our focus on to finalizing the most important processes and guidelines of the company. We did not start the company by conducting customer surveys; we started the company because we know what is lacking in the Indian automobile industry and the problems we and our friends and family experienced. We also created Minimum Viable Production three months, then went public with it and got honest feedback from the users. The version of the application that is currently available is a completely upgraded version from what it used to be.

What’s your philosophy when it comes to doing business?
I strongly believe that every business should be an ethical one. The value system of the organization should be experienced by customers, partners and employees. The business idea has to bring immense value to the user or customer. We have strived hard to ensure than we maintain the highest standards of ethics in BookMyTime.

What are your expectations from the Automobile Industry in 2017?
My Expectation from the Automobile Industry is that they should deliver innovation and aim to be bringing zero pollution automobiles to India by 2017. The need of the hour is to have cleaner and environment friendly automobiles particularly in India, where most cities have been cited as too polluted to live in.

Did you manage to raise any funding?
All the Co-founders have put together close to a million dollars into BookMyTime and we are in talks with investors for the next round of funding.

What would you like to achieve in the coming years?
We want to be the number one brand for Group Buying of cars, service and repair across India by 2020.