At the AutoExpo 2020 in Delhi we took the chance to have a chat with Rama Shankar Pandey, Managing Director of Hella India Lightning Ltd. as well as Chairman of the Aftermarket Committee at the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India ACMA. Hella is among our first data suppliers in India and together with ACMA we are establishing a local version of our TecDoc Catalog leading the way for the digitization of the Indian Automotive Aftermarket.
Can you describe the efforts you took so far in terms of getting all stakeholders together to work on a joint data base?
I am extremely happy that – what our dream of a catalog was – is now taking shape, because we always had this vision in our Aftermarket Committee (ACMA). We need to standardize and then we need to digitize the aftermarket. How is it possible? It starts with the identification of parts and the identification of vehicle tables. And this job: somebody needed to do it. I am really amazed about how long it took us. Personally, I have been working on it for the last ten years, but we never came such close to giving birth to a catalog. Thanks to all the stakeholders who enabled us to come to a situation now that we are able to organize our aftermarket and where TecAlliance is coming to India and taking this call and investing into the country to bring the first catalog.
What do you think are the challenges that still need to be overcome?
I know that it’s not that easy and it doesn’t make a full commercial sense now. It’s an investment of TecAlliance, but I am also certain that the country needs it, and this is why it is also quite necessary that all of us support this initiative. Ultimately this is a platform. What TecAlliance is trying to do: get the data, get the vehicle table up, get the K-Type working in our favor, but it’s like “garbage in, garbage out”. If we are not able to provide the input, it will not be a worldwide catalogue. Today what we give to the industry – what the retailers and the distributors and the technicians are using – many of them actually struggle to make a choice because we have more and more varieties, more and more model numbers, more and more vehicles coming in. We need to quickly sort it out and become efficient. Efficiency will come when the players have the right tools and technologies.
How would you describe the current situation and what’s in for the stakeholders?
Now, the fundamental of the tools start from the identification of parts and when that happened, then, a lot of people will build points of sale, the terminals, the IT-gadgets around it and then we’ll become a digitized aftermarket. The more we become digitized, for the consumers it will be easier and most important consumers will get a genuine service. But today, they are struggling with an either high cost option or the roadside option. Now in between, if you have more information you can make conscious decisions. Actually, you have a real value proposition.
An initial version of the TecDoc Catalogue will then be a first step, what are your plans for further development?
The effort of TecAlliance is to bring the catalog. It’s something all of us need to support. Personally, I am very happy, that this is happening, and I also congratulate the TecAlliance India team. I also expect that this whole exercise not only stops here but goes to a level that we actually provide one of the best catalogs in the world. Our goal is to not only have the Indian vehicles mapped for the Indian needs, but also the global vehicles in India so that our local suppliers are able to do business across the globe through the same gateway, the TecDoc Catalog.