Are You Planning To Buy A Car ? Try


[This interview is sponsored by , India’s leading aggregator of co-working spaces, meeting rooms and shared offices. If you have additional office space and are looking to rent it, please do list it on If you are looking for space for your startup, do visit]


How Vijay is preparing for future and is sure to capture 10% of the market in next 5 years and reach a $200 million company vision .

Question 1 – What motivated you to start and what is it all about?

Vijay – Passion for automobiles from my child hood ….

As many of you know, buying a car has become an increasingly stressful and expensive activity. Without a doubt, it is essential to make the correct choice that you will not regret. The average person is generally not too familiar with the nuts and bolts of car buying.

When shopping for a new car one of the most important steps is the test drive. You should never consider buying a car without taking it out on the road for a test drive. There are many things about a car that you can only experience by sliding behind the wheel. If you are like most people, you will be driving your new car for at least 3 years so it is important that you are comfortable with the way it feels and drives. Here are a few things to consider when test driving a car.

  • We believe the test drive of a new vehicle is a very important step in the car buying process. We cannot imagine spending money on shoes without trying them on, and we sure cannot imagine making the second-largest purchase without driving what you are buying.
  • The test drive is not just fun, it is important! Make sure you do it right and take your time.The test drive is an important component of buying a new car.

“It is surprising how many people decide ‘not’ to test drive a new car before they buy it. It is often that potential buyers are simply looking at the aesthetics and kicking the tyres instead of actually understanding the engines”

The test drive is an important component of buying a new car. It’s a good idea to check both the interior of the car and how it drives.

new car is a big investment so you should make sure the car that you purchase is a good fit for you, both inside and out.

Question 2 –  Could you please tell our readers what is your current team size and introduce them?

Vijay –  We are just 4 .


Started as an entrepreneur in 2008(college 2nd year) and tried various job roles in – Insurance , Online marketing , Sales – 2 and 4 wheeler , Recruitment  and IT . And finally started FirstRide.

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Previous experience with start-ups added great value to the team Themediaant : Head – Engineering. RedBus : Performance Engineer.

Question 2 – What is the current size of the market/industry? Any projected growth rates? Who are your major competitors and how are you differentiated?

Vijay – As per FADA 20,00,000 passenger cars are sold annually in India . The total market size of revenue is  3000 CR . We wish to effect the 10% of the market in next 5 years and reach a 1000 Cr company vision .

We do not have direct competitors today but we have potential competitors like CarDekho , Carwale , JustDial etc who can also take part in the game .

Advantages :

  1.  Why are we betting on TD (test drive)?? The conversion of a TD to a sale is 30-40% . In the industry , Car dekho leads (Online leader) have a conversion of 5-10% whereas Just dial leads (Offline leader) have a conversion of 10-15 % . The conversion percentage of TD leads is almost equal to the walking conversion percentage which is 30-40% .
  2.  Helps in understanding the customer behavior pattern based on the cars test driven.
  3.  We would use the TD data to request manufacturers to roll out exclusive offers since they are the hot customers .
  4. Saves time , money , fuel of both the customers and dealers .
  • Total number of TD requests raised through all mediums .
  • Peak timings , days .
  • Preference towards a specific brand/model/fuel type.

This results in better usage of the inventory i.e. Test Drive Cars Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 4.25.30 PM

Presently , 7000-9000 cars are sold in metro cities on an avg. Following the 1:4 ratio , to achive this number 28,000 – 36,000 TD have to be given. On an avg , TD vehicle at showroom can give 6 Test drives and Outdoor vehicle can give 2 test drives . Avg , comes to around 4TD/day/vehicle. To handle 36,000 TD requests @ 4TD/day , we would need 300 cars/day . On an avg , every dealers has around 10 TD vehicles …avg .80 dealers in a city ….Our system total would list avg 800 number of Td vehicles / city …

Vehicles are more , not used properly … one sudden day more , other day very less …. No system to predict the flow of customers ….

By 2020, people will be actively buying cars , accessories , loan , insurance and service  online . We are getting ready for the future .

Question 3 – What is your revenue model? Would it be possible to give a ballpark figure of your current revenue? Anything in which you are comfortable with.


Primary Source of Revenue : 1 – Pay per successful Test drive. 2 – Commission on new car sales – 1% on ex-showroom price ( presently dealers  get         3-4% on the ex-showroom price ) 3 – Commission on loan processing – 1% on the loan disbursed . 4 – Commission on Accessories Sales (non-electronic).

Data of very niche segment

  FirstRide can help car manufacturers in producing bemer cars by studying Customer behavior towards the cars after the test drive •  Test Drive is a key factor while buying a new car. We will have database of Filtered Car buyers . It’s a Great platform for : (a) Car manufacturers – to release specific offers / launch limited edition models. (b)  Auto Loans and Insurance companies . (c) Accessories .

For the first financial year , we had a revenue of 12L (till March 2014). We are planning to cross the 1 Crore revenue this financial year (by March 2015) .

Question 4 – How do you market online/ offline ? Do you use any social media platforms?

Vijay –

  • Promoting in IT companies through Concierges.
  •  Affiliate Program for Test Drives and New Car bookings.
  •  Digital Branding – SEO/SCM/SMM.
  • On ground Events ( Like Test Drive Festival – our flagship event).

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 3.42.16 PM Image Source:

Question 5 – What are the challenges that you have faced/are facing in marketing

Vijay – Convincing dealers to use our application so that we can sync vehicle availability at their end , building a reliable application with fewer resources . We had multiple meetings with dealers , built a rapo and then slowly made them use the application . With constant feedback , we kept improving our services which strengthened our relationship .

As with everyone , funds was a major problem. We started with boot  strapping for couple of months n then we raised angel funds which helped in surviving for almost 12-14 months .

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Question 6 – What advice you would give to someone starting new?

Vijay – All you need is to believe in your Idea . You cannot expect people to give you much support . No one else will have a better knowledge compared to you since it’s your idea which has born out of your imagination . Keep moving , don’t compare with people who are doing jobs leading a happy life … You need to be determined and committed in executing the idea …. Don’t give up … you will discover new things on your way which will be the future …. 

Don’t wait for money …. keep validating the idea and come up with a proven business model …. keep the team size and expenses as low as possible …. document all data … concentrate on associations … concentrate only on 1 area first …. then money will follow you ….


[This interview is sponsored by , India’s leading aggregator of co-working spaces, meeting rooms and shared offices. If you have additional office space and are looking to rent it, please do list it on If you are looking for space for your startup, do visit]

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