Lu­cas In­dian Ser­vices bid to build prod­uct and ser­vice brand eq­uity

Auto components India - - CONTENTS - Story by: Anusha B & Bhar­gav TS

In­dia is the largest pro­ducer of two-wheel­ers, ahead of even China. It is es­ti­mated that 890 types of two-wheeler vari­ants are on the road which give rise to a plethora of parts and part num­bers. A few thou­sand parts should be in place to cater to all the re­pairs in the af­ter­mar­ket. Com­po­nent-wise mak­ers, buy­ers and sellers are avail­able. But if the prod­ucts, ser­vice and ev­ery­thing else a cus­tomer needs are un­der one roof, that will add value. It can be a Rs 20,000 crore mar­ket. But there is not even a sin­gle player who touches Rs 200-300 crore. This the mar­ket to be tapped.

Lu­cas In­dian Ser­vice Lim­ited (LIS), en­gaged in sales and ser­vice of Lu­cas-TVS auto elec­tri­cals and Del­phiTVS diesel fuel in­jec­tion equip­ment, por­trays it­self as a so­lu­tion provider, rather than a prod­uct or ser­vice provider, in the af­ter­mar­ket. The com­pany which man­u­fac­tures also the Lu­cas brand of ig­ni­tion coils and so­le­noid switches, aims to be­come In­dia’s pre­dom­i­nant ser­vice provider in its area of spe­cial­i­sa­tion.

New ap­proach

“We want to be in the mar­ket as a so­lu­tion provider. We have SAP con­nec­tiv­ity which gives us en­tire spec­trum of man­u­fac­tur­ing de­tails and fa­cil­i­tates ef­fec­tive con­tacts with the re­tail­ers to track the in­flows and out­flows. We are also ca­pa­ble of pro­vid­ing train­ing to the af­ter­mar­ket me­chan­ics. These ca­pa­bil­i­ties make us dif­fer­ent from the fel­low play­ers. We have more au­tho­rised and gen­uine parts which give the cus­tomers war­ranty. This is en­tirely a new way of ap­proach in the mar­ket,” Mu­ralid­ha­ran S, Pres­i­dent, LIS, told Auto-Com­po­nentsIn­dia.

The com­pany is train­ing me­chan­ics and elec­tri­cians and it has 15,000 re­tail­ers. LIS is the largest play­ers in the mar­ket, it does not claim com­plete mo­nop­oly. “We are reach­ing the re­tailer net­work with our prod­ucts and our slo­gan ‘Mera Dhukan Mera LIS’. Very soon we will have 40,000 re­tail­ers and from there we will move on to 70,000,” he said.

In the af­ter­mar­ket, the last mile con­nec­tiv­ity is a chal­lenge. LIS con­verts that to an op­por­tu­nity. Tech­nol­ogy is loom­ing in the af­ter­mar­ket seg­ment. Still the grey ar­eas are to be cov­ered. ‘Skill the me­chan­ics’ is the present pro­gramme of LIS.

The af­ter­mar­ket has to face the me­nace of spu­ri­ous parts, es­pe­cially for non-crit­i­cal

parts. The crit­i­cal parts are touch­ing spu­ri­ous-free zone as the au­to­mo­tive af­ter­mar­ket is be­com­ing more qual­i­ty­con­scious. Bet­ter qual­ity of prod­ucts re­duces the af­ter­mar­ket de­mand, but the in­creas­ing num­ber of ve­hi­cles on the road makes up for that. If ma­neu­vered well, this bal­ance will give the el­bow room for the af­ter­mar­ket play­ers. Ev­ery year the seg­ment is grow­ing 7-8% and this is pre­dicted for the next 5 years.

Mu­ralid­ha­ran said, “The term coun­ter­feit is con­nected with spu­ri­ous, but such parts are not nec­es­sar­ily spu­ri­ous al­ways. They might be lo­cal makes with dis­counted prices ow­ing to less over­head ex­penses. With var­i­ous cam­paigns, there is an in­crease in sen­si­tiv­ity but with the same qual­ity the lo­cal make still goes good. If a gen­uine part is avail­able at a less price while en­sur­ing safety, fuel ef­fi­ciency and is en­vi­ron­ment­friendly, the big driv­ing forces, peo­ple will go for it.”

LIS, in ad­di­tion to TVS-parts, is try­ing to keep parts from other OEMs. The cus­tomer will ask for any brand from the re­tailer and if there is no avail­abil­ity, the pa­tron will be left out with other op­tions in­clud­ing Chi­nese makes. Ca­pa­bil­ity of sourc­ing the part num­bers of other OEMs is also made vi­able.

“We want to place our­selves in ar­eas where there are not much show­rooms. We look at tier 2 and tier 3 places. Cur­rently we are lo­cated in 1260 towns and sales are more in small towns. The am­bi­ence we pro­vide to the dis­cern­ing cus­tomers will give a pre­mium feel to the cus­tomers. If we give 6 months war­ranty on the parts it is go­ing to fur­ther in­crease the cus­tomer con­fi­dence,” Mu­ralid­ha­ran said.

As the mar­ket is mov­ing for­ward with click-away ser­vice styles and tech­nol­ogy over­drives, the af­ter­mar­ket seg­ment has to keep pace with the mega trends. Even the un­or­gan­ised play­ers are forced to fall in line. LIS wants to so­lid­ify the space with mul­ti­ple parts and part num­bers and make the cus­tomers as­so­ciate Lu­cas brand for the so­lu­tions they re­ceive. Stock­ing ev­ery­thing and keep­ing a track on the stock-in and stock-out need tech­nol­ogy in­ter­ven­tion.

Tech­nol­ogy is ad­vanc­ing in such a way that a cus­tomer can book a ser­vice in his smart phone men­tion­ing the is­sues and get the es­ti­mate sheet based on which he can take a call for ser­vic­ing. There are a mul­ti­tude of mod­els and keep­ing ev­ery­thing in mem­ory is a her­culean task for the deal­ers and dis­trib­u­tors. For LIS the sales of parts are go­ing to be SAP-linked where sales-men can punch or­ders in the app. Next stage would be the cat­a­logue which will add value to the spate of mod­els and vari­ants on the road.

LIS mar­kets wide range of bat­ter­ies

Mu­ralid­ha­ran S, Pres­i­dent, Lu­cas In­dian Ser­vices Lim­ited.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.