Key Takeaways on Customers, Growth & Profitability of Vehicle After Sales Service | 9th IVASS

The 9th edition of the India Vehicle After Sales Service (IVASS) organised recently by World Auto Forum brought together industry leaders to discuss and share insights on Best Practices & Innovations in Customer Experience, Satisfaction & Retention. 

The First IVASS Power Panel, chaired by Mr. S Muralidharan, Chairman Mobility Aftermarket, featured discussions from prominent figures in the automotive after-sales service sector. 

Mr. S Muralidharan, as the Session Chair, kicked off the event by highlighting the collective experience of the panelists, totaling an impressive 200 years. Representing diverse regions across six states, the panel discussed the evolving ecosystem of the automotive industry, emphasizing the transformation into a “tech on wheels.”

Mr. Pankaj Narula, Former ED – Maruti Suzuki India, stressed the importance of strong dealers for profitability. He underscored that customer retention is directly tied to satisfaction, advocating for continuous measurement and improvement. “If you can’t measure, you can’t improve,” he emphasized, emphasizing the need to track customer feedback through various channels.

Ms. Charu Kaushal, CEO of Allianz Partners India, shared insights into turning moments of distress into delight within the Roadside Assistance (RSA) context. Highlighting a 99.8% service success rate, she emphasized the significance of knowing customers well and adapting to the high-tech, high-touch philosophy amidst the changing automotive landscape.

Dr. Dinesh Bhasin, Former After Sales Service Head, Tata Motors PVBU, focused on the human touch aspect in the service industry. He added a new dimension to the traditional 4Ps, stating that in the service industry, it’s about physical infrastructure, processes, and people, emphasizing that human touch is indispensable.

Ms. Garima Misra, MD of Group Landmark, shed light on the post-warranty period, where customers become cost-conscious. Emphasizing the importance of value for money and viability, she highlighted the efforts of her company in conducting validation activities through a substantial call center team. Ms. Misra highlighted the need to focus on the vehicle itself, especially concerning further lease options.

Mr. Ramesh Rajagopalan, Head of Customer Services & Network at Volvo Eicher CV, underscored the critical role of driver training in ensuring uptime. He discussed their proactive approach to service transparency and efficiency, covering 350 calls in less than 3 hours with a 94% success rate.

Mr. Jayant Rawal, Zonal Manager West & Central, Skoda Auto VW India, shared the strategic shift undertaken by VW to address initial market perceptions. By focusing on child parts and introducing service value packages, VW achieved growth and increased customer retention.

Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy, CEO & Founder of Spoors, highlighted the importance of immediate customer support. He revealed that Spoors resolves 98% of the 1276 daily calls within 40 minutes, emphasizing the role of ‘EFFORT’ a no-code platform in providing real-time information and quality services.

Anuj Tyagi – National Head, After Sales – Ford India discussed the apprehensions concerning ford post restructuring and how confidence in customer satisfaction plays an essential role. He highlighted that out of the box thinking is not mandatory until there is an out of the box problem and concluded that sticking to basic needs of customers, employees, floor service providers and other stakeholders is the key. 

In his keynote address at the 9th IVASS, Mr. Santosh Chitapure, Sales Manager at OES India – Henkel Adhesives Technologies, highlighted the expansive role that Henkel plays in the Indian market. Operating across two pivotal business areas, namely Henkel Adhesive Technologies and Consumer Brands, encompassing well-known brands such as Loctite, Bonderite, Technomelt, Teroson, Aquence, and Schwarzkopf. He emphasized that within the automotive service industry, Henkel is a trusted provider of solutions for mechanical repairs, windscreen repairs, body repairs, and body protection. 

Program Press Release can be viewed here at WAF Press Room

In his keynote address, Mr. Guruprasad Shinde, VW Service Brand Ambassador at VW India, discussed Volkswagen’s commitment to innovation, quality, and long-term customer loyalty. He highlighted the brand’s holistic 360-degree approach, providing value packages such as 4YS, 1YR, 2YRS, Hi5 packages, SVP Lite, and Body Paint Value Pack to enhance customer experience and reduce the cost of ownership. Mr. Shinde also emphasized the importance of lead management, involving lead gathering, creation, follow-up, qualification, and conversion. Furthermore, he underscored the brand’s focus on marketing and manpower, deploying training programs to ensure service excellence.

Addressing the post-COVID landscape, Mr. Sharad Malhotra, President of Automotive Refinishes and Wood at Nippon Paint India, emphasized the shift towards delivering value beyond products. He highlighted the evolving dynamics of the vendor-customer relationship, traditionally centered around price, quality, and delivery. In the era of commoditized B2B transactions, Mr. Malhotra proposed a strategic shift to escape the commodity trap by adopting a smarter approach. Drawing inspiration from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, he presented a model tailored for the service industry, encompassing vanilla needs, economic needs, ease of doing business, subjective value, and inspirational value. This framework aims to redefine supplier-customer engagements in the contemporary business landscape.

During his keynote address, Naveen Gupta, Founder & CEO of Intellinet Systems, tackled crucial challenges in the automotive industry. He addressed the issue of accurate part identification, highlighting the complexities of understanding part applicability and the lack of technical literature in various languages. Intellinet offers solutions to this problem. Mr. Gupta also discussed the challenges in warranty claim management, citing cumbersome systems, compliance issues, misleading feedback loops, data security risks, and limited visibility. Finally, he delved into the digitization of manuals, pointing out information overload in traditional formats. Intellinet addresses these issues by converting manuals into interactive HTML from PDF, enhancing analytical capabilities and providing comprehensive solutions.

The IVASS Power Panel 2 delved into the Best Practices & Innovations in Workshop Productivity & Profitability and was powered by the following speakers:


Anuj Guglani, CEO – WAF, the moderator for the discussion, Mr. Guglani focused on convincing the industry of the value proposition in optimizing workshop productivity. He stressed the interrelation between profitability and productivity. He called for a central depository for slow-moving spare parts and the establishment of training centers for automobile engineers.

Harsh Vashist, MD Satyam Group underscored the critical role of workshops in light of escalating new car sales. Emphasizing customer satisfaction, he called for a concentrated effort on manpower upskilling, urging OEMs to actively participate in training initiatives. He highlighted collaborative efforts with entities like WAF and ASDC to address skill gaps, advocating the LEP (lean earn pay) approach. Furthermore, Mr. Vashist emphasized the need to bridge the practical and theoretical aspects of the market. 

Vikrantt Mohan, National President – AIAWA, addressed the need for OEM support, Mr. Mohan advocated for synergy between OEMs and the aftermarket, particularly in terms of spare parts and technology support. He emphasized the requirement for a real-time training environment and sought additional efforts from OEMs to support these initiatives.

Vitaly Chebotarenko, Country Manager – Vehicle Repair & Maintenance – Henkel, India, highlighted the significance of productivity along with price efficiency, stressing the importance of innovation and skill development. He spoke about the role of training programs in enhancing productivity, aligning with global best practices. Additionally, he emphasized the need for cost efficiency with high productivity and quality.

Naveen Gupta, Founder & CEO – Intellinet Systems delved into the challenge of data overload in catalogs, proposing the development of an industry portal as a solution. He highlighted how customers need to be addressed immediately and technology can aid in growth of companies by customer satisfaction. 

Dimple Mehta, Customer Care Domestic & International – Tata Motors PV outlined the evolution of mobile service vans, transforming from mere servicing to a driver of sales. He emphasized the expansion of networks, training initiatives, and the deployment of productivity enhancement tools, with a particular focus on recruitment in tier 2 and 3 towns.


In his keynote, Sumit Arora, Partner at Pvalue Analytics, presented a telecom case study on CE/CSAT/NPS evolution. He introduced the Integrated Business Intelligence System (IBIS) focusing on NPS measurement, advanced analytics, and text analytics. Mr. Arora stressed the importance of meta-analysis, utilizing Text Analytics to delve into consumer voices, identifying frequently used terms, classifying sentiments, and performing segmentation analysis. These tools aid in understanding reasons behind consumer satisfaction, allowing for effective action planning and knowledge transfer across different business segments. IBIS emerges as a robust system, enhancing customer experience through comprehensive data insights.

IVASS 2023 Power Panel 3, centered on EV After Sales Service & Customer Support – Let’s Build Together! featuring prominent speakers at the forefront of innovation and transformation.

Anuj Guglani, CEO – WAF: While kick starting the panel discussion, Mr. Guglani highlighted the primary requests for customer and dealer support, addressing concerns about EV fires and advocating for collective action on safety and skill development. He emphasized the need for embracing the evolving nature of the EV sector, positioning Roadside Assistance (RSA) as a valuable partner for brands.

S Punnaivanam, CXO – Quality & After Sales – Greaves Electric Mobility:

Mr. Punnaivanam explored the challenges in the EV sector, discussing dealer margins, high sales inquiries, adherence to AIS standards, and the complexity of battery repair after the warranty period. He underscored the importance of advanced Battery Management Systems (BMS) and the integrative approach to address these challenges.

Arindam Lahiri, CEO – Automotive Skill Development Corporation ASDC:

Mr. Lahiri discussed the resource challenges in delivering skill development, emphasizing the need for qualified manpower to train young enthusiasts  and strategic partnerships to provide the right training environment. He outlined the 3S model (Service, Sales, Skills) and the imperative for high-voltage safety training in the EV domain.

Rama Shankar Pandey, CEO – Tata Green Batteries:

Mr. Pandey provided insights into the transitional phase of the industry, highlighting the digitalization trend, changes in garage and training systems, and the growing importance of customer profitability. He stressed the need for mindset change, partnership opportunities, and the evolving landscape of the industry.

Jatin Tiwari, Head Field Service Vertical, Hyundai Motor India:

Mr. Tiwari addressed solvable problems in the industry, focusing on the importance of self-image and motivating factors for staff at the workshops. He explored the emotional aspects of customer needs of flatbed repairs and discussed the role of EV in reshaping the curriculum for ITI students.

Micheal Hajj, Global Head of Application Engineering, Henkel Adhesives Technologies:

Mr. Hajj emphasised the urgency in addressing consumer expectations for faster service, underscoring the responsibility of OEMs in equipping the industry. He outlined comprehensive plans to support ecosystem challenges, including diverse battery architectures, up-skilling initiatives, and the ethical considerations in repair practices.

Amit Asija, National BD Manager – India & Sri Lanka – KECO Body Repair Products:

Mr. Asija highlighted the changing perception of careers in the automotive industry, noting that the youth, drawn by technology and EVs, now aspire to be recognised as mechatronics engineers rather than traditional mechanics.

The program concluded with the Valedictory Ceremony where all WAF Annual partners,

Exhibitors and associates, especially like Qik Digital and Chopra AV were felicitated. In his Vote of Thanks, Mr Anuj Guglani, Founder and CEO WAF Group, acknowledged the role of all partners and stake-holders in making the conference a success, with the presentation of Certificates of Appreciation. He ended with a promise to congregate again in December 2024 for the 10th IVASS India Vehicle After Sales Summit by WAF. 


About WAF 


World Auto Forum (WAF) is a Global Auto & Mobility Think Tank Platform – a place as relevant for Chairpersons and Top CXOs as it is for interns and trainees. Established in 2009, it now has community members across 125 Countries. WAF Auto News is the World’s No 1 in World Auto News. WAF TV is its online broadcasting arm where one can watch hundreds of videos on the Auto & Mobility Industry. WAF also organizes popular programs like WAFit!, IVASS , WAF Awards, and CXO Roundtable Discussions where top leaders of the industry take their Dialogue to Action!


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