March 29, 2015

Interview with Pavana Jain – Motown India

By: P.Tharyan

Can you tell us briefly about your company ShiftMobility?

SHIFTMobility’s all-in-one platform for the automotive industry was designed from the ground up to vertically integrate manufacturers, distributors and repair centres to make their businesses smarter, faster, and more agile.  SHIFTMobility innovations in business-to-business commerce, for example, accelerates products to market for distributors over mobile devices. As a result, you can reach your buyers anywhere and at anytime in seconds. With the new W3C standards for connected cars, SHIFTMobility is also in a position to deliver rapid connectivity with in-vehicle devices and infotainment systems.

In essence it means it reduces delays and improves efficiency?

Yes.  Imagine an auto part being manufactured in one location and stocked at other places for distribution.  Now, when a car is brought into a dealer or a repair shop for either maintenance or when something breaks down, the symptoms need to be diagnosed, parts need to be researched and ordered, hopefully you get the right one to replace otherwise you need to return it back to the distributor, and re-oder the right one. All this leads to delays for the customer. You obviously want your customers to be happy but you cannot deliver a good experience with broken systems.

SHIFTMobility’s all-in-one platform and smart applications instantly connect a car with specific repairs and diagnostic services, this includes accessing instant part and labour information, you can also quickly locate the preferred brand and the right part with your nearest distributor who can deliver it fast.  Now you have more time to spend on other vehicles or your next customer.

For example, in the US as well as here perhaps, just to quote for a job it takes at least 20 to 30 minutes. But with our app, you can do it in just 30 seconds. So you are all of a sudden finding the time savings to be a huge advantage and that’s encouraging.  That’s the sort of efficiency that people get excited about with our solutions.

In the developed countries like the US and in Europe, ShiftMobility seems to have a great future but what about in India where jobs are done in more traditional ways?

The primary challenge facing Indian part manufacturers seems to be the time it takes them to reach their target markets in Asia, Europe and US with their legacy EDI systems and B2B infrastructure. One of the main reasons is that their product data is not standards compliant and the markets may have shifted by the time their products finally reach there. For example, US distributors will not be able to sell their products with paper catalogues and it would cost them a lot more to enable it for commerce. We launched ‘VroomBox’ for ACMA members at the AutoMechanika event.  Using this mobile cloud based application, manufacturers can create ACES and PIES compliant files within minutes. The catalog is mobile optimised for ease of view and use.  The images are optimised for faster delivery on the mobile device.  Once the catalogue is published, distributors in our network can sell these parts anywhere and anytime. The manufacturers were very excited with what they could finally see themselves realize with VroomBox.

So have you made a beginning in India?

Yes, as I said, we just launched VroomBox for Indian Part Manufacturers.  We shall be offering this app to all the manufacturers through ACMA. A lot of manufacturers at the Automechanika seminar event were intrigued by this offering and were keen to get into the programme.  We shall be engaging them soon.

Why be a part of this Automechanika show, why not an Auto Expo, which is much larger in size and stature? 

Automechanika events are capable of bringing people together in an effective way.  They are targeted and provides an avenue to meet the right people.  It is more personal yet big enough to meet lots of people!

Is the business model of ShiftMobility unique or are there similar offerings from companies globally?

SHIFTMobility is the only company bringing aftermarket manufacturers, distributors, and repair shops on to a common platform.  We are also the only company to offer branded mobile apps for all their clients.

Are you a car person or a software person? Tell us briefly about yourself.

I am a software person who happens to love cars and have fun tinkering innovations.  The automotive industry is going through a wave of rapid transformation, there is a lot more to it than what we could talk and demonstrate today given the limited time.  It suffices to say, cars are becoming smarter.  You would be able drive an autonomous and connected car soon.  Aftermarket needs to follow suit and shift to mobility using modern technology and platform.

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