Future of Automotive Manpower

Oleksandr Danylenko, Managing Director & Co-Founder, boodmo An ACCA member, Oleksandr is a financial professional with expertise in Business planning, international Business, Accounting, Sales Management, Financial Analysis and many other fields.

The Indian Automotive Industry is expected to grow in high gear. With the increase in income and the country’s prosperity, there has been a considerable rise in people’s demand for cars: the sale of Passenger Vehicles grew by 7.89 percent (up to 40 lacs) in April-March 2018 over the same period last year. With this surge in number of vehicles, there also arises a need for an efficient workforce to address the demand for maintenance, consumables, and spare parts.

Automotive e-Commerce
e-Commerce is the new buzzword being used in every sector and industry. Beit FMCG, Retail or Lifestyle, every sector has gone online and brought itself to the doorstep of the consumer. New channel is replacing old communication channel by website and application interfaces leading to faster and more precise customers’ needs satisfaction. Over the past several years, e-Commerce companies have generated a new class of workforce with very specific skills and expertise, supporting the shift of the way how people buy and sell things.

It is time that the automotive industry joins the club. In this segment, the biggest challenge is to help a customer find the product he needs. The correct way to identify spare parts is to use a parts catalogue, like one available on boodmo. Catalogue management is an effortful process, involving tasks like planning the structure of database, collecting and digitalizing available data, interlinking interchangeable items, adaptation of data presentation for end-user, and others. With a variety of spare parts available on the online platforms for the people to choose from, the company requires a skilled workforce at the backend to manage and update the platforms in an efficient manner.

Smooth Customer Service
According to a recent survey, the employment in the automotive sector is likely to reach 1.43 crore in 2022 and new skill sets would be required for 60-65 percent of the jobs. The automotive industry recruiters need to assemble an efficient workforce in a manner that is agile and dynamic and at par with the automobile industry trends. But if we take a look
at the automotive sales industry today, we would notice that our salesmen knowledge is confined by the variety of products available with vendor.

To ensure a smooth customer service process, it is important that complete information is provided to the customers. But upon observation, one would find that most spare part retailers either lack the knowledge or the inclination to share relevant information with the customer. In such a case, the customer ends-up with non-optimal solution, leading to dissatisfaction. An online platform can be very handy. Not only would such a platform give customers complete and unbiased information of the products, but will also make the buying process easy for them.

With the advent of e-Commerce, the majority of manpower instead of interacting directly with the customer, would be assigned the task of building and maintaining a smooth platform that would act as an interface between the two parties, as well as creating and updating product catalogues that would simplify the process of procurement of the required spare parts by the customers.

"With new automobiles being sold in the market every single day, there will be demand for more spare-parts and fixings to be done each second of every day"

Learning is a Time-Taking Process
The industry produced a total of 2.9 crore vehicles in April-March 2018 as against 2.5 crore in April-March 2017, registering a growth of 14.8 percent over the same period last year. The vehicles on the road vary with new brands and models being introduced to the market, but none of them run without the need for spare part. Previous generation of service industry people could rely on acquired knowledge for decades - vehicles witnessed marginal changes. But now the number, variety, and complexity of cars are growing very fast and so is the difficulty of maintaining these cars on road. Now, the industry workforce should have wider and deeper knowledge of components and service practices, and there is no other way to stay on the edge of progress than to learn new thing continuously, and this comes at cost.

Tech-Savvy Workforce
With the technological shift happening, the workforce in automotive industry needs to be tech-oriented too and have not only comprehensive understanding of vehicle construction and role of each spare part, but also be able to use new digital tools. Technology can collect, store, and share knowledge much more reliably and faster, thus facilitating sales, leaving the humans with the work of managing and overseeing the work being done by the machines. The role of manpower shifts towards creation and support of technological knowledge database to aid their operations and functions, requiring companies to train their employees in handling technology whether for servicing cars or selling spare parts.

India is one of Asia’s largest automotive markets, with the Indian auto industry accounting to 7.1 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Indian auto industry is on the edge of technological breakthrough, where even less work will be done manually. This requires the automotive companies to hire educated staff, who are well aware of how to make the most out of the technologies available to them. We are witnessing time when the workforce demand in the automotive industry shifted from quantity to quality.

With new automobiles being sold in the market every single day, there will be demand for more spare-parts and fixings to be done each second of every day. With the right technologies being handled by the right manpower, every query can be addressed in no time and no one can stop India from becoming the world’s most flourishing automotive market!