Di­a­logue: Su­nil Sar­fraz Munj

Pak­Wheels.com has emerged as a one-stop web­site for ev­ery­thing re­lated to au­to­mo­biles. Chair­man Su­nil Sar­fraz Munj talks to Slo­gan in this ex­clu­sive in­ter­view.

Slogan - - FRONT PAGE -

What role has Pak­Wheels played in the Pak­istani auto sec­tor?

Be­fore Pak­Wheels, buy­ers and sellers used news­pa­pers, car bazaars or deal­ers to buy and sell their cars, which was an ut­terly time con­sum­ing and cum­ber­some process. Now, with Pak­Wheels.com, not only can buy­ers and sellers meet, but they can also con­duct rel­e­vant re­search on their de­sired ve­hi­cle, get valu­able info from re­views of a par­tic­u­lar model, trou­bleshoot var­i­ous car-re­lated prob­lems and en­gage with other like-minded car en­thu­si­asts through our dis­cus­sion fo­rums.

There­fore, when it comes to chang­ing in­dus­try dy­nam­ics, the man­ner in which buy­ers and sellers in­ter­act with each other as well as how po­ten­tial buy­ers do re­search, Pak­Wheels has been at the fore­front of it all.

Which is the most pop­u­lar car model on your web­site?

There is no one par­tic­u­lar model, to be hon­est. There are dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories of ve­hi­cles with 2 or 3 im­mensely pop­u­lar ve­hi­cles in each cat­e­gory. For ex­am­ple, in the small hatch­back cat­e­gory, Suzuki Mehran, Dai­hatsu Mira, etc. are the most pop­u­lar. In mid-size sedans, the Toy­ota Corolla and Honda Civic are in high de­mand. Sim­i­larly, in the SUV seg­ment, Toy­ota Prado and Toy­ota Land Cruiser garner a lot of at­ten­tion whereas in the hy­brid cat­e­gory, the Toy­ota Prius and Honda Vezel have man­aged to gain quite a bit of ap­peal.

What is ex­pected in the auto pol­icy for 2015-16?

My com­ments would be based on noth­ing but mere spec­u­la­tion and I be­lieve spec­u­la­tion is not good for busi­ness. We take the automotive busi­ness very se­ri­ously so no com­ments on the up­com­ing auto pol­icy and its draft. How­ever, this I can as­sure you, that if you were to ask for a list of sug­ges­tions, it would be very long!

How suc­cess­ful are the Pak­Wheels auto shows and what do they achieve?

The suc­cess of the Pak­Wheels Auto Shows can be gauged from the fact that each year’s auto show turns out to be big­ger than last year’s show, both in terms of num­ber of cars dis­played and the peo­ple who at­tend. This has all been made pos­si­ble by the sup­port and en­cour­age­ment of the Pak­Wheels com­mu­nity.

Does Pak­Wheels sup­port the im­port of used cars?

Pak­Wheels has al­ways been con­sumer-cen­tric; hence, we be­lieve that car im­ports cre­ate a com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment in the in­dus­try, which is good for both the in­dus­try and the con­sumers. Yet, we be­lieve that it is nec­es­sary to pro­vide lo­cal car man­u­fac­tur­ers with the op­por­tu­nity to im­prove their pro­duc­tion and tech­no­log­i­cal pro­cesses. This is some­thing that the gov­ern­ment can en­cour­age lead­ing to in­creased growth of the auto in­dus­try. Lo­cal auto man­u­fac­tur­ers will also ben­e­fit from the in­no­va­tions and new ideas that are gen­er­ated as a re­sult.

Where does the com­pany see it­self in the next 5 years?

Ac­cord­ing to some in­dus­try an­a­lysts, the in­ter­net pop­u­la­tion of Pak­istan will in­crease from 30 mil­lion users cur­rently to 100 mil­lion users in the next 5 years. With de­vel­op­ments such as these, pro­vided the auto in­dus­try and the econ­omy con­tinue their up­ward trend, we ex­pect to see Pak­Wheels cross the $1 bil­lion val­u­a­tion in the next 5 five years.

What is the sta­tus of Pak­Wheels in­dus­try re­la­tions in the mar­ket?

The con­sumer has been the fore­most for us from the very be­gin­ning; yet, that doesn’t mean that we take the in­dus­try for granted. Pak­Wheels is well con­nected to all its stake­hold­ers such as con­sumers, au­tomak­ers, car deal­ers and even auto work­shops. We are work­ing in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with all of them so that we sup­port prod­ucts and ser­vices that are of value.

Was a ser­vice like Pak­Wheels needed in the Pak­istani mar­ket?

There are more than 3 mil­lion cars in Pak­istan. Out of that fig­ure, 0.7 to 0.8 mil­lion are traded each year. Some 40 to 50% of those cars have al­ready been placed online The es­ti­mates are that they would all shift com­pletely online in the next 5 years. This is be­cause with the ever-in­creas­ing num­ber of peo­ple cur­rently online, there is an in­crease in the de­mand for easy ac­ces­si­bil­ity to in­for­ma­tion re­lated to cars as well as a process that fa­cil­i­tates the smooth buy­ing and selling of cars. So yes, there was def­i­nitely a need for this kind of ser­vice, even back in 2003.

In what ways can Pak­Wheels be­come even more use­ful for auto en­thu­si­asts?

We have a motto, “Think Wheels, Think Pak­Wheels.” This motto drives us to keep adding new and in­no­va­tive prod­ucts and ser­vices that are of in­ter­est to auto en­thu­si­asts across the coun­try. We cur­rently have some projects lined up which are ex­pected to dras­ti­cally im­prove the user ex­pe­ri­ence of Pak­Wheels.com. We are also open to sug­ges­tions, hence, we regularly con­duct sur­veys to find out what our users want and in­tro­duce new fea­tures based on their needs.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.