Boodmo.com plans to reach more cities, double sales this year
Boodmo.com, a unit of Smart Parts Online Pvt Ltd, the country’s largest online marketplace for auto components buyers, is planning to set up new hubs in Tier - 1 cities across the country. This is to make sure that the portal delivers the goods within 2 days to a wider customer base. Founded in 2015, the company has a huge database of genuine and aftermarket replacement parts offered by over 400 suppliers across India. Boodmo brings both car owners and auto parts dealers to a single platform.
“We will open hubs where our reliable customers are. We will open one hub in Jaipur this year. The next one will be in Pune. We will go to Bengaluru and Chennai by next year,” Oleksandr Danylenko, Director of Operations and Finance, and cofounder, boodmo.com, told Auto Components India.
The hubs are like a warehouse and the company has one in Delhi. “Ït is a warehouse, but it is not for keeping products. It is used mainly to repack and for quality-check. If a customer places an order from different vendors of a company, or a brand, we bring them to our hub, check and pack them in one box and send. Some of the suppliers send directly, but most of them send to us the products with the invoice,” he said.
The company was started by Yevgen Sokolnikov and Oleksandr Danylenko who came to India from Ukraine. They said that the online marketplace served 10,000 customers in FY 2017-18, with approximate 40% of returning users. They also said that they witnessed an average of 400,000 visitors a month which translates to a growth of 200% YoY. “We definitely see this as a good sign. Our aim is to increase this number at least 2 times this year. It is just our milestone for us and this is just our beginning here,” Oleksandr said.
The time for delivery depended on various factors, he said. “At first the product has to be available at the warehouse or with the vendor. In the spare parts market, the products are available only on demand. If the product is available with the vendor, he will dispatch it on the same day or the next. The location and the time to reach it is the next issue. Right now, our main suppliers are in Delhi and Rajasthan. But, half of our customers are in South India, which means the average delivery time is more than 5 days. The new hubs that we are opening in the Tier 1 cities will carter to those needs. We also give them a tracking option through which the customers can know where the products are,” he said.
About the reason to choose India, Oleksandr said when they visited India to start an e-commerce business, they found that the automotive spare parts business was not well organised. They realised that the segment had huge potential if the business was digitised and the products were delivered on time to the customers. “We thought of bringing in a solution that can exactly do this. Since we knew how to do online business, especially the spare parts business, we do well here. Something like this was not available before and there was no information about the spare parts. They were very fragmented and what we did was to combine all the vendors and their products online. In this way we will try and please the customers,” he said.
Speaking about the auto components market in India, he states that right now it is a slow market and it will play a major role in the future. “Even when cars go out of markets, the aftermarket will still exist, and we will be there for years.”
On how unique their online marketplace is, the co-founder states that the main difference lies in the information that they provide. The firm wants to give genuine and reliable information on catalogues about spare parts, price, the delivery time etc., to the customers. They spend a quality time and pay attention on the catalogues to make sure the information is correct. The company cares about the customers and tries to build lasting relationships.
At present, they concentrate only on the car segment as they want to play according to their strengths. “Because we wanted to be focused. Yes, we want to get on the bike and CV spare parts market also. But, at first, we want to stick to our position here. When we get success in one part of our strengths, then we will venture into the bikes and CVs. This comes only when we are ready. When we know how to manage the products, we will be able to handle the market then, Oleksandr said.
He says that boodmo.com is the convenient marketplace available in India as anybody can order online. If a person wants to find a different product for a replacement, boodmo provides various choices from different vendors with different quality. This leaves the customer with a variety of options to choose from. The products are 100% original and there are no counterfeits. The marketplace acts as a one-point contact for all the spare parts requirements.
One of the main challenges for the automotive industry is tackling the problem of counterfeit products. The low-quality parts pose threat to a vehicle’s performance, to the safety of the vehicle and the occupants. Oleksandr says that it is also the duty of the suppliers to check the quality of the products. He said, “We also control the quality of the products and check almost all the parts. We want them to be reliable. So far, we have not received any complaint from the customers about such issues. If at all a customer say that the quality is not good, we re-check it and if not installed we will take it back without asking questions. But, now, for example, Maruthi cars do not come with metal fuel caps. They have changed it to plastics and we also have to. For some parts, it has to be like this and we have to cope up with this.” So far the company has tied up with only the distributors and not directly with the manufacturers. Boodomo.com also wants to be a direct distributor of OEMs. The change-over to electric vehicles, Oleksandr feels, will not have any big impact on the spare parts industry. “Except the engine, everything else will remain the same. Only a few things like sensors and the software in the EVs will change, the rest will remain.”