Continuing our tradition of bringing the stories of startups and new ventures to our readers, we talked to Rakesh Sidana of MeriCAR.com–a web portal that brings car servicing to your online presence.
Q1. Tell us something about yourself.
I am founder, CEO of MeriCAR.com. It is first in India focused car-servicing and repair web portal. The team is helping car owners to find the right workshop based on reviews and industry standards.
Q2. Talk about the genesis of the startup. How you thought of starting this venture?
MeriCAR.com was set up in Aug 2008 as a one-page website for online car servicing booking. I thought of starting MeriCAR when I could not find any directory or agency which can help me finding the right car workshop. In 2009, MeriCAR.com was evolved to become a network of car workshops and the idea took its real shape last year 2010. Now the venture has small call center which provides personalized support to car owners to find the right workshop based on reviews and industry standards.
Q4. What is the business and revenue model of your venture?
The business model is to earn from car workshop members and lead conversions. Customer memberships are another stream of revenue.
Q5. Talking about competition in this segment, do you feel you have an upper-edge over others?
Being focused and first mover always help. Having associations with dealers and corporate companies would definitely give us upper-edge over new comers.
Q6. What type of scope for innovation lies in this and when you plan to explore it?
I would like to explore my technical skills to build large web and mobile applications around this model.
Q7. Talk about your customers and your first big success.
First time when my team distributed leaflets in the newspaper and we got 15 registered customers online, that was the day i got my passion for MeriCAR.com and believed that customers need it.
My belief got stronger with achievement of success when MeriCAR was selected one of the finalist for the best business plan by The Economic Times initiative last year.
I am on my journey of entrepreneurship and have small successes. I am waiting for big success.
Q8. What are the future plans that you have for your startup?
Q9. As an entrepreneur, what life has taught you and how you apply it in your professional career?
Entrepreneurship is a journey and keeping passion for something makes life different from others.
Q10. Any message to our readers and budding entrepreneurs?
Be consistent and do not give up.