Sameer MalhotraCEO of Shriram Automall India Limited Published On: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 Views 3522


"Our business is good when business is good, and our business is better when business is tough."

Sameer is a professional and dedicated worker with a knack for understanding the challenges of markets. He is also a balanced manager who keeps a focused eye on customer service while at the same time maintaining costs as well as achieving company targets. With more than 25 years of expertise working in several roles, he has gained immense reputation in the areas of team management, business strategy, management and business planning.

Currently, he is working as the CEO of India’s first-ever service provider to provide a well-organized and transparent exchange of pre-owned vehicles and equipment. Shriram Automall India Limited (SAMIL) is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, working to organize the currently unorganized market dedicated for the exchange of used vehicles & equipment.

What inspired you to build the above product/ service?

When we marked the beginning of our voyage in 2011, India was majorly occupied by an unorganized and completely opaque sector dedicated to the pre-owned vehicle market. In the presence of small dealers in every nook and corner of the country, every pre-owned vehicle was acquired and disposed on the grounds of nothing but a huge risk. We have removed every layer of the opaque system in pre-owned vehicle industry presented it with a process that is 100% transparent with its roots grounded in our core values & authenticity. We are an End-to-End Service Provider, offering complete solutions through which our customers get a lucrative deal in owning or disposing of pre-owned vehicles & equipment, gold and property through our unique disposal platforms like Physical Bidding, Online Bidding, One-stop Kiosk and Private Treaty. We also offer allied services – Refurbishment, Parking, Valuation, Easy Finance, Trade Advance, Documentation and General Insurance, which add value to our associations with our patrons.

What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?

Yes, there are quite a few challenges. The biggest among them is that of understanding the market. Being the first of a kind in the organized sector, we took the responsibility to educate people about our transparent & unique platforms. At the same time, hiring people with the specific skill set & again train them to be well equipped with the new process & platforms was another challenge. All the above mentioned required a huge investment of both time & money in training & development of people to make them ready to serve the customers and clients with a better & transparent way to acquire & dispose of used vehicles & equipment. It took a significant amount of time to build a team of around 1,000-trained people & establishing 55+ well-structured Automalls across the country.

How did you overcome those challenges?

Challenges are a part of every business & with some concrete strategies & a professional management, the company overcomes all the challenges. It took a significant amount of time to build a team of around 1,000 trained people, educating people about the process was one of the biggest challenges. Now the company is trusted by lakhs of customers who prefer to visit Shriram Automall for their used vehicles & equipment requirement.

Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service. 

Shriram Automall is India’s No. 1 platform for the exchange of used vehicles & equipment. It provides four unique bidding platforms, being Physical bidding – a one-of-its-kind facility where ramping of vehicles is done at their disposal. Vehicles & equipment are ramped during the bidding event, the event manager (auctioneer) and bid catcher makes the event very interesting and unique. Customers have an added advantage of physically inspecting the vehicles on or two days before the event. Online bidding (bids.samil.in), One Stop Classified Kiosk (4,000+ vehicles listed) and Private Treaty, through which customers acquire and dispose of pre-owned vehicles & equipment. We take pride in driving a customer-base of 50 lakh through Shriram Group, the only company to offer 24×7 secured parking facility. Currently, it conducts more than 200 physical bidding events every month across India. Our presence at every nook & corner of the country with our 150+ Bidding Locations including over 55 Well-Structured Automalls. We cater to all segments of the industry that includes Commercial Vehicles, Construction Equipment, Cars, Two & Three Wheelers, and Tractors etc & provide our professional services to Banks, NBFC’s, Dealer, Fleet Owners, Individuals etc.

What is your life mantra?

Building healthy relationships at every level thereby nurturing positive opportunities all the time

Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.

Shriram Automall emerges, as a 100% subsidiary of Shriram Transport Finance Company (STFC), which is India’s largest Small Business Finance Company (SBFC) & with such a strong backup in hand the company did not require any other investor to come in the management of the company.

How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?

Tell us about your company’s attrition control practices.

“We pay attention to talent, respect knowledge and have established a comprehensive incentive policy for our employees to prevent brain drain.

Now to take few measures, we emphasize on following:

  1. The culture of Support: At SAMIL, we tend to practice support in management practices wherever required to safeguard our employee’s concerns and their efforts are recognized and appreciated.
  2. Taking stock of intellectual property/assets belonging to SAMIL: These properties are ideas, creative concepts, and information system worthy of protecting.
  3. Analyze current workforce strengths and talents to determine core competencies: Through constant probation reviews and performance reviews, our managers analyze employees’ strengths and talents and take required steps
  4. Communication with employees: To know and understand hopes and goals of our employee, their strategies and plans for upcoming projects.
  5. Rules and Regulations: To prevent and discourage negative communication, we have strict rules and regulations in place which exhibit clear company objectives and standards.
  6. Up gradation: We are constantly upgrading our management practices to make it people-oriented.”

According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?

I believe every individual is blessed with some distinct qualities, however, to be successful he/she should have:

Willpower – You have the strength to see things through you don’t vacillate or procrastinate. When you want it, you make it happen. The world’s greatest achievers are those who have stayed focused on their goals and been consistent in their efforts.

Patience  – You are willing to be patient, and you understand that, in everything, there are failures and frustrations but you have to learn from your experiences to be more determined about your goals.

Passion – If you want to succeed, if you want to live, it is not politeness but rather a passion that will get you there. Life is 10 percent what you experience and 90 percent how you respond to it.

Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?

As far as business use is concerned, I use applications like Whatsapp (for easy communication), Shriram Automall application (forbidding concerns). For my personal use, I am present on all Social Media platforms to be connected to the people. I also do frequent blogging on recent issues (especially relating to Automobile industry) pertaining in the country.

Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.

Effective time management is the one habit that I think every person should adopt in order to be successful in his/her life. Pre-plan for every task will make you achieve the deadline & deliver the work on time. The most important part while doing the tasks on time is to remain diligent in your work with minimum to zero mistakes.

Answer in less than 50 words

  • One tip to success:

Follow your passion or make your work your passion

  • One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:

Being confident is good but do not ever be over-confidence as it makes you rise but over confidence make, you fall.

What are your plans for next 3 years?

Shriram Automall is moving ahead with great momentum and plans to capture a larger share of the industry. With the steady growth of pre-owned vehicles & equipment industry, Shriram Automall is also determined to grow at 15-20 % for next 3 years.

Share a quote that inspires you the most.

“Our business is good when business is good, and our business is better when business is tough.”

Dave Ritchie – co-founded Ritchie Bros

Inspiring Entrepreneurs

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