If you love your car, you’ll love the steamy mypitstop. That’s apparently the essence of the services provided by this startup, an idea for which was born in “God’s own country” and borne ironically in the “City of dreams“. Here is an interview with Rohit Mathur (@rohitmathur9) who provides insights into how the idea turned into a business.
By the way, check out the embedded video. It will surely make you fall in love with what mypitstop can do to your car.[hero heading=”Rohit Mathur, MyPitStop.in”]For a startup, it is very important to have mentors who have been through a similar process of starting or have business experience[/hero]
1. The Pitch
My Pitstop is a door-to-door car steam clean service launched for the very first time in Mumbai. Our services go beyond the everyday traditional car wash, as the steam technology we use is both Eco-friendly and car-friendly. We not only remove dust but also sanitize and deodorize every square centimeter of the automobile (otherwise impossible to reach) making it visibly clean, hygienic and germ-free.
One can avail our services, just by the click of a button. The entire booking process is online and user friendly.
2. The Motivation
Basically from personal experience. The exchange of opinion on the existing state of cars in Mumbai and current unorganized sector, struck this thought of not only providing car owners with impeccable car solutions, but to also create an organized sector with one of its kind doorstep automobile solutions.
3. The Big Idea
To get into start-ups one needs to have an idea and come up with a business model that is scalable and repeatable. Here is how it happened in our case.
So, it’s the weekend, and you think let the new week bring a better conversation starter, so you take the car to the cleaners and as you do that you realize that half a day of your holiday is gone in the effort of leaving the car to the laundry and then getting it back and then re-loading your daily luggage. Well, you ask yourself if there could there be a better solution – by way of time, result and yes, cost. The Eureka moment was during our board meeting at Kovalam, to create a solution that takes care of your driving partner inside out.
4. Value Proposition
The “hottest” cleaning process – Steam is known for being the best disinfectant to drive away germs and bacteria.
- Drive convenience to your home with our doorstep service.
- Our 29 minute exterior steam clean, save on a lot of precious time.
- Eco friendly-Traditional car washes use an alarming 200 liters of water per car, while we use just 8 liters per car.
- Safe for electronics and engines of the car.
- Access to your automobile, while the steam clean process is being done.
5. About Founders
We are a team of four. Rohit Mathur, @rohitmathur9 (Founder), Tyna D’cruz (Head Customer Retention and Relation), Amit Thapar (Head Business & Strategy) and Sanjeev Sinha (Head Operations & Technical). For a startup, it is very important to have mentors who have been through a similar process of starting or have business experience and that our team had.
For 12 years, the management team has shaped the entertainment industry in India and is credited with setting up the first ten pin bowling center in the country. Having hands on experience in project planning, execution, budgeting, team building and operations, the entrepreneurial spirit has lead the team to change gears and explore new verticals.
One of the key members, with 30 years of background in automobile sector and immense passion for the same, encouraged the team to accelerate to a new space in automobile sector. This is how the idea was seeded, which saw the birth of MyPitStop.
6. Initial customers & Market validation
We started off with targeting housing societies by placing our kiosks on weekends which grabbed a lot of eyeballs. Once this strategy gained momentum our sales team moved on to Hotel fleet cars, used car showrooms and Corporates for lump sum order. We also captured the IPL season by releasing print advertisements in newspapers.
Our digital marketing platform like FB advertisements also added to our clientele list.
7. Growth & Metrics
Honestly, the response has been tremendously positive. People are amazed to see how the steam technology works and are amazed that it even gets rid of stubborn grease and grimes in just a few minutes.
We are definitely looking at repeat orders and we are showing 100% growth month on month.
8. Growth Pains & Lessons
One of the major challenges we came across was to attract and hire talented and skilled car cleaners. Being an unorganized sector getting the right kind of manpower was the biggest challenge. The second challenge was penetrating into the traditional car wash sector. People try to compare an INR.400 car wash to our service.
The biggest advantage of our start-up is that we are an asset light company, as we just import and invest only in steamer machines while the rest of the equipment like the generators, MUV are all outsourced currently.
9. Growth Plans
We are looking for funding as we geographically move to other cities like Gurgaon, Delhi, and Bangalore where there a large number of working class families who do not have time to visit car cleaning stations to get their car cleaned. We will need more machinery and manpower to take this forward. We are also looking at adding other auto ancillary products that can be provided at a customer’s doorstep in the same automobile category like replacing old tires, oil changing etc. Take it Pan India.
We are looking forward to expand the brand, coming up with new ideas and an easy accessibility for all our potential customers through a proper channel.
10. Growth Funds
We need $1 million for our first leg of expansion and we are in talks with VCs.
11. Hiring Effectively as a startup
Effective people are the biggest assets of any company and finding skilled manpower is the biggest challenge. Car clean specialists were the most difficult to find and hire considering their communication limitations. We offer high incentives to retain staff at this level.
12. Help from the Startup ecosystem
Helped with online logistics, social media promotions and marketing.
13. Ideal startuphubs
Mumbai, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi.
14. Areas needing help
Funding for our first leg of expansion and a bigger team.
15. Advice to Entrepreneurs
Capitalize your money, take risk. Focus & patience is the biggest key.
16. In summary
Car steam wash is a fairly new and revolutionary concept in India and we would like to capitalize with our brand. The biggest key is awareness about this concept hence we require VC funding to make it larger.
Stop and fall in love @ mypitstop.in
[Edited for clarity]
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