20 Dec, 2023, New Delhi, INDIA
The 9th edition of the one and only IVASS – India Vehicle After Sales Summit was held recently at New Delhi. Organised by the World Auto Forum (WAF) each year, it brings together the top leaders of the After Sales Service community of the country under one roof. The theme this year was “Customers, Profitability & Growth” – Back to Basics Backed by New Thinking and Faster Execution”
Anuj Guglani, CEO, WAF said,’The vehicle sales have been booming, compensating for the Covid Lull. Crowded vehicle showrooms subsequently lead to flooded workshops! This is the time to balance Customers, Profitability and Growth inline with the theme of the IVASS.
Mr Guglani added,’It’s also the time to recognise Innovation and Best practices in the Industry. A time to show our gratitude to the Industry seniors who have served the industry, selflessly and diligently!’
The 9th IVASS program was spread across 3 Power Panel Discussions and 5 Keynote Sessions of Top Industry leaders. The program also saw two very interesting ceremonies of WAF Industry Best Practice & WAF Global Hall of Fame.
WAF Industry Best Practice Ceremony
At a glittering ceremony during 9th IVASS by WAF, 4 Auto Makers and 1 Aftermarket Body were felicitated for their innovations and pioneering initiatives and declared as WAF Industry Best Practice for the entire ecosystem to get inspired by and follow. In no specific order, they are-
Ø MG Motor India – For being adjudged CSI no. 1 consecutively three times, amongst all car makers.
A car brand just a little over 4 years old in the market. Establishing customers’ confidence and winning trust while maintaining the highest standards of customer service. Hence being Numero Uno in CSI for 3 years in a row, cannot just be a coincidence!
Ø Volkswagen India – Exceptional and Innovative Customer Service & Evacuation during Chennai & AP Floods
VW India’s remarkable integrated and comprehensive strategy involving exceptional work, innovative methods, social media outreach, Free RSA for supporting their customers during the recent Chennai & AP Floods.
Ø TVS Motor Co – For Innovative & Impactful Digital Tools and Apps for Dealers and Customers
TVS Motor Co was recognized for its innovation in developing digital tools and applications that make a significant impact on both dealers and customers, enhancing overall engagement and efficiency.
Ø ASPA – World Class Training & Skilling of Automotive Aftermarket Workforce
ASPA (Automotive Service Providers Association) secured recognition for its commitment to providing world-class training and skilling programs, contributing to the development of a highly proficient automotive aftermarket workforce.
Ø Hyundai Motor India ( HMIL) – Innovative Extended Warranty & RSA Packages and Proactive Customer Remote Troubleshooting
HMIL stood out for its cutting edge innovations in offering a unique bundled package of Extended Warranty & Roadside Assistance. This year they even pioneered proactive customer remote troubleshooting where their contact centre now reaches out to the customers in case the former remotely detects a fault in the latter’s car. This is done via OBD II Digital Trouble Codes. With these two innovations this year, the company has rewritten the rules of customer satisfaction and service excellence and thereby earned the laurel of WAF Industry Best Practice.
WAF Global Hall of Fame
Three leaders of the Automotive and Mobility Industry got inducted to WAF Global Hall of Fame. In no specific order, they are –
1. Raman Sharma, Former HR Head – Honda Car India and Former CEO ASDC – Automotive Skills Development Council.
Mr Sharma has spent decades in employee welfare, training, skilling and development of the automotive Industry workforce- Manufacturing Units, Warehouse and Retail Network.
2. Anil Chhikara, Former Deputy Commissioner, Transport- Govt of NCT of Delhi.
Mr Chhikara has worked at Auto OEMs as well as Govt Transport Departments. Last several years, he has championed the cause of Modernisation of Vehicle Fitness Testing centres and transformed driver licensing, driver training and their welfare. He has worked extensively on Road and traffic safety initiatives at Delhi.
3. Pratap Singh Raghuvanshi, Vertical Head – Voice of Customer Group, National Service, Hyundai Motor India
Mr Raghuvanshi has dedicated quarter of a century of his life to serving the customers of Hyundai Motor India. His contribution to customer satisfaction, customer retention, handling field teams and network have been immense and impactful.
The first IVASS power panel discussion’s theme was “2023 Best Practices & Innovations in Customer Experience, Satisfaction & Retention”. It was powered by 9 Top Industry Leaders As follows –
1. S Muralidharan – Chairman Mobility Aftermarket – Session Chair
2. Pankaj Narula – Former ED – Maruti Suzuki India
3. Charu Kaushal – CEO , Allianz Partners India
4. Dr. Dinesh Bhasin – Former After Sales Service Head, Tata Motors PVBU
5. Garima Misra – MD, Group Landmark
6. Ramesh Rajagopalan – Head – Customer Services & Network – Volvo Eicher CV
7. Anuj Tyagi – National Head, After Sales – Ford India
8. Jayant Rawal – Zonal manager West & Central, Skoda Auto VW India
9. Ramakrishna Reddy – CEO & Founder – Spoors
The clear writing on the wall was that “Tech shall continue to power the customer experiences, more and more. It’s not just fancy cars and EVs that are connected. For instance each and every truck or bus manufactured by Volvo Eicher now is a ‘Connected Vehicle’ by default as a factory fit!
At the same time, losing the human touch and overdependence on IVRs is a sure shot recipe to lose customers. The ability to access customer feedback via all channels integrated into a central hub to sense the customer pulse is now hygiene.
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. He emphasised that within the automotive service industry, Henkel is a trusted provider of solutions for mechanical repairs, windscreen repairs, body repairs, and body protection.
Addressing the post-COVID landscape, Mr. Sharad Malhotra, President of Automotive Refinishes and Wood at Nippon Paint India, highlighted the evolving dynamics of the vendor-customer relationship, traditionally centred around price, quality and delivery. There’s an imperative need to transform ‘Supplier-Customer Engagements’ into ‘Partners in Progress’ amidst the unpredictable and rapidly evolving tech ecosystem.
Detailed Speaker by Speaker Notes can be found at WAF Think Tank
The IVASS Power Panel 2 delved into the Best Practices & Innovations in Workshop Productivity & Profitability and was powered by the following speakers:
1. Vitaly Chebotarenko, Country Manager – Vehicle Repair & Maintenance – Henkel, India,
2. Harsh Vashist, MD Satyam Group
3. Vikrantt Mohan, National President – AIAWA- All India Automotive Workshops Association
4. Dimple Mehta, Customer Care Domestic & International – Tata Motors PV
5. Naveen Gupta, Founder & CEO – Intellinet Systems
6. Anuj Guglani – CEO – WAF Group – Session Chair
It was interesting to note that despite the theme of the discussion being Productivity and Profitability, most speakers spoke about Training, skilling and workforce development! Most workshops are overflooded with vehicles due to the stellar sales in the last few business quarters. Optimised workshop efficiency, fast turnaround time, skilled workforce and fast network expansion were hailed as key focus areas!
Then came the 9th IVASS Power Panel 3, titled EV After Sales Service & Customer Support – Let’s Build Together! It featured prominent speakers at the forefront of EV innovation and transformation like :
1. S Punnaivanam, CXO – Quality & After Sales – Greaves Electric Mobility
2. Arindam Lahiri, CEO – Automotive Skill Development Corporation ASDC
3. Rama Shankar Pandey, CEO – Tata Green Batteries
4. Jatin Tiwari, Head Field Service Vertical, Hyundai Motor India
5. Micheal Hajj, Global Head of Application Engineering, Henkel Adhesives Technologies
6. Amit Asija, National BD Manager – India & Sri Lanka – KECO Body Repair Products
7. Anuj Guglani – CEO – WAF Group – Session Chair
Diverse consumer behaviour & RSA Requirements of 2W, 3W & PV EV Customers were brought to light. How they are different amongst themselves and how they differ from ICE Customers, was discussed. The favourite and most frequently used adjective for the EV Ecosystem during the entire discussion was “Evolving”.
Evolving Battery and safety standards, skilling of workforce, customer awareness, charging network, solutions to range anxiety, workshop preparation for EV and ICE vehicles were a few amongst several things discussed.
During his keynote address, Naveen Gupta, Founder & CEO of Intellinet Systems, addressed how their cloud-enabled solutions ensure accurate spare part identification, fix system feedback loops enabling better quality products, smoothen warranty claims process, and enhance the utilisation of manuals through digitization and AI integration.
The program concluded with the Valedictory Ceremony where all WAF partners and associates 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 9th IVASS a success, with the presentation of Certificates of Appreciation.
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