Samir Malhotra, CEO, Shriram Automall, traces the evolution of the pre-owned construction equipment domain and explores the customer benefits and new dynamics of the current marketplace.
Over time, the pre-owned construction equipment market has almost become equal to the new equipment one, in terms of volume. However, the age-old pre-owned construction equipment industry in India was highly dominated by conservative and unreliable trade practices till a few years back. People used to acquire and get rid of used construction equipment through local dealers/brokers and personal sources.
The industry seems to have come a long way ahead now, moving to a much more structured scenario with many renowned organised players regulating the market. Today there is drastic change in people's perception with regard to new versus pre-owned equipment. Individuals as well as businesses are far more realistic and practical these days as opposed to a few years back when the thought of pre-owned equipment was looked down upon and this space was merely catering to less privileged customers. This is surely not the case now, for even the bigger companies believe in the profitable idea of investing in used vehicles and construction equipment.
The pre-owned construction equipment industry was used to functioning through negotiated sales in both the organised and unorganised markets. However, technological development has given new dimensions to buying and selling used equipment through easy and convenient platforms such as physical bidding, online bidding, desktop live bidding and SMS bidding.
Shriram Automall brought the physical bidding concept for pre-owned construction equipment for the first time to India by launching its first Automall in Chennai in February 26, 2011. Since then, there has been no looking back. Till date, the company has inaugurated over 60 Automalls across the country. Currently, it is conducting several physical bidding events at more than 150 bidding locations, including over 60 well-structured Automalls.
Today at our bidding events, people even from the remotest corner of the country take part to buy the best pre-owned construction equipment at an optimal price. These events follow an organised procedure where a customer can visit his/her nearest Automall to inspect a range of pre-owned equipment, register as a bidder by paying a Refundable Security Deposit (RSD) amount of Rs 19,999, and finally bid on the selected equipment.
The physical bidding platform facilitates the acquisition and disposal of pre-owned construction equipment. Physical bidding provides:
Proxy bids: There is facility for proxy bidding (which is an implementation in which the winning bidder pays the price of the second-highest bid, plus a defined increment);
Live event display: Many events are displayed live on social media platforms;
Drive Your Trust (DYT) cards are available for customers for easy and quick participation in bidding events.
With online bidding, SAMIL enhances the reach of pre-owned equipment while taking them to a huge number of customers sitting at home. Some features are:
BIDS.SAMIL.IN - User-friendly interface and an easy bidding process;
Life-time membership through one-time registration;
Free training for users;
Automated SMS alerts and website updates.
Desktop Live Physical Bidding
Another technological development is to help customers to participate in physical bidding events anywhere from their desktops. This mode has the following features:
Bid from wherever you are through your desktop;
Pay the RSD amount online;
Ability to listen to live bidding events for transparency in the process.
To make the transaction easier, Shriram Automall has introduced another convenient way of acquiring equipment - SMS bidding.
The Other Way -Private Treaty
Since the deals involve big ticket and heavy articles, our customers also prefer to do one-on-one deals to buy or sell their equipment through our private treaty platform. This platform enables them to directly make the transaction without having to participate in the bidding process. With personalised approach and negotiated deals, every need is fulfilled with customised solutions through private treaties.
Multiple bidding options: As Shriram Automall provides multiple bidding options for disposal and acquisition of pre-owned equipment, customers can choose the optimal way as per their convenience.
Larger number of inventories at a single place: Thanks to a number of tie-ups SAMIL has with leading banks and NBFCs, OEMs, construction companies and contractors, we source the best inventory for our customers at optimal prices. Having laid its foundation on the core principles of trust and transparency, Shriram Automall endeavours to provide for a wide variety of equipment such as hydraulic excavators, wheel loaders, backhoe loaders, cranes, motor graders, dozers, piling rigs, off-highway trucks and other mining machinery under one roof.
Customised handholding: Shriram Automall has professionally trained and experienced teams to serve customers relating to end-to-end solutions for buying and selling pre-owned equipment.
Multiple financing options:
Being a big-ticket segment, it is always tough to carry out a complete transaction in cash. So, Shriram Automall provides multiple financing options to its customers.
SAMIL can cater to the needs of people who are associated with the company and are happy on receiving the holistic services provided by us. We identify the requirements and accordingly provide the solutions, bringing down the cost and hence benefiting the customers the most. Our customers regard our bidding processes as reliable, efficient and transparent, making us the undisputed market leader.