Steering The Auto Marketplace Towards A Scintillating Future: An Outlook

Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, DroomBased-out of Gurgaon, Droom is India's most trusted online marketplace to buy and sell new and used automobiles. This rapidly growing mobile-first entity is the only Indian online company enabling end-to-end transaction with cutting-edge tools and facilities such as auction and pricing engine as its unique attributes.

Driven by the humongous growth of mobile-only Internet users, mobile wallet is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for all monetary transactions, because of its varied offers and convenience. Not only mobility, but the other technological break throughs which include cloud computing, Big Data and open source technologies are now the enabling centerpieces of a successful business. The rapid growth has also compelled the industries to outrun others, and automobile domain is no different. While the Indian automobile realm has been hovering around the global market as the third largest, the growth is also fraught with several challenges in its fold.

However enticing a technology be, its complexity can often serve as a hindrance. They have to be robust, yet scalable and easy-to-use. In addition, India-bound by the old fangled thinking and the increasing scams is relatively a low-trust market, which makes the task of establishing a business tougher. Especially in e-Commerce domains like used and new car markets, which strives to eliminate the middlemen and craft a paramount transactional experience, people tend to demur in buying a vehicle from an unfamiliar individual, despite e-Commerce's capability in bestowing a better experience with its return and refund policies.

Further, the risk is accompanied by the meager policies, unlike in U.S., where they have Lemon Law to compensate for the defective consumer goods, Kelly Blue Book for the best pricing, a separate vendor for inspecting vehicle history and
tighter law enforcement that binds all the aforementioned criticalities together, while India is set a mile back in pursuing those. Furthermore, India needs one lakh trained technicians who can perform independent inspection chains. According to me, not just the scrutiny, but there should be an integration of the disparate systems like police, insurance, service logs and registration records, that would serve as a window into the complete history of the vehicles, which in turn helps the buyers to alleviate the risks of falling prey to a web of deceit.

Droom Buyer Protection policies allows buyers to book their preferred option by paying two percent of the final selling price online, which is refundable

A Catalyst to the Transformation
Droom has been instrumental in building such ecosystem from scratch and is successful in filling the voids by infusing transparency, trust and even pricing advantages. We offer a premium listing for free, and we largely focus on B2C transactions where we have created enterprise class tools and technologies for the business sellers. Our Droom University leverages cutting-edge self help selling tools that enable even novice buyers to cognize the intricacies around a transaction and make an informed decision. Sellers have to answer 43 questions - which covers OTP verifications, an access to upload reviews and clear photos of RC books, insurance and such other service policies and details - which boils down to a minimum level of information and transparency for a buyer.

We have institutionalized a unique algorithmic engine named Full Circle Trust Program and a pricing engine. Devising the platform with robust technologies and data sciences, we have filed a U.S. patent for the same recently. Noting that 80 percent of the cars sold in this country have tampered odometer, we have introduced a scoring system, where a seller can score points proportionate to the details he provides. To come on top he can run an auto inspection by an independent party which ensures a comprehensive analysis into the vehicle's actual quality, condition, history and cost.

These mirror our methodological processes that have built to crystallize trust. Adding to this, Droom Buyer Protection policies allows buyers to book their preferred option by paying two percent of the final selling price online (which is refundable), while the remaining 98 percent marks the closing of the transaction offline. We also have an automated dispute resolution program that helps us to mitigate anxieties and manage expectation of the both parties.

Summing up, be it addons to these platforms or a different innovation altogether, there is a need for cutting down search time and the cost. Information asymmetry creates longer cycles for a transaction to take place, there by leading to a lesser trade velocity. However, in tandem with these developments, an integrated information system, embracing best practices and ensuring a win-win experience for both buyer and seller, will create a heavenly ecosystem in industry to grow multi fold.