In conversation with Sumit Garg, Managing Director and co-founder, Luxury Ride
Luxury Ride is the country's biggest chain of dealerships which deals in the buying and selling of pre-owned luxury cars. Founded as 'Koi Bhi Car.com' in 2012, the company has seven showrooms in Northern India and has aggressive plans to spread its network with 50 showrooms throughout the country. Luxury Ride's forte is to shake off the mindset of pre-owned luxury cars being too expensive to maintain. Moreover it also plans to make buying and selling easy and safe with its future contactless plans. We had a chat with Mr. Sumit Garg, Managing Director and co-founder of Luxury Ride to know more about this space and how the company came to be.
Team evo India: Tell us a bit about yourself and how Luxury Ride came to be?
Sumit Garg: So, I am from Karnal, Haryana, born and brought up in a small town called Gharaunda. I have done civil engineering in Bangalore and that wasn't of any interest to me. I did it because I didn't have any guidance. I have had a passion for luxury cars since childhood. I remember we didn't have any luxury cars or expensive cars in my hometown. But I used to have knowledge of all different categories of cars as I used to read so many magazines and used to see TV shows of exotic cars. That's how my passion for cars was built up. Then after finishing my college I started a business which was again of no interest to me and because I was incurring losses in it, I decided to do something of my own interest. That is when I started a company called ‘Koi Bhi Car.com’ in 2012. It was an online platform, a market place basically where the buyer and seller were meeting and we used to get a percentage of the deal. In 2014 I met our co-founder Mr. Dhainu Das and our business was in Karnal only so he said Sumit why don't you start something in Delhi, there's a huge scope out there and lets do something. So we opened our first showroom in 2015 in Delhi and we changed our name from Koi Bhi Car.com to Luxury Ride. So we were now a company who would be only selling luxury cars from now on. This was the first showroom where we started only buying and selling. The same year we encountered a problem, people were facing a problem in the after sales. So buying a car is one process but getting it maintained every time is a difficult task, it is a costly part. It pinches the pocket every time. A person who is buying a car of Rs 20 lakh which costs Rs 50 lakh, he has a mindset of Rs 20 lakh but in reality the expenses of that car are of a Rs 50 lakh car. OEMs are charging more or as much even to the pre-owned customers and that's why we evolved an idea about coming up with a service centre as well. In 2016, we opened our second showroom in Karnal which is India’s biggest pre-owned luxury car showroom today. It is one acre big, is four storey high and has a 150 car park. It's a good huge facility where we cater to the customers. We then moved to expanding our network and opened in Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Dehradun and recently we opened our seventh showroom in Gurugram on Golf course road which is a big facade of 125 feet. We are getting a good amount of clientele daily and we are trying to have more and more stock to feed those requirements on a daily basis. So basically we are a 360 degree solution for your luxury car needs, we cater to any problems that you face with your luxury car. Whether it's buying, selling, insurance, detailing, nano-ceramic coating, servicing, accidental claims or anything. That’s how we are coming up and we are also building up on technology and soon we'll be coming up with our mobile application, which is going to be a very integrated solution.
Team evo India: So can you tell us more about the services that you offer other than the sale of pre-owned luxury cars?
Sumit Garg: Buying and selling is the main thing that we are doing and additional to that we also provide an in-house insurance facility, in-house loan facility. If a customer is buying a car and needs a loan so my in-house team will help him. The main part which no one is solving in this industry, which I always call a virgin space, where no one is able to cater to all those things are the service centres. We are building up service centres in all of our locations and have some already working. The service centre is a very big solution which nobody is giving, from basic periodic maintenance all the way up to accidental damage, body shop, everything we are providing under one roof. That's a big USP for us which we offer our clients and also car care, stuff like nano ceramic coating, beautification of your car, all these things we are providing under one roof.
Team evo India: Where do you source the genuine parts from, have you tied up with the manufacturers?
Sumit Garg: Spare parts we procure from the manufacturers, we are also registered with them, with brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and then we have also collaborated with vendors who are the importers of those OEM products. We also have a tie up overseas also, where if we are not getting a certain part or an uncommon part, we import those from foreign countries. Recently we repaired a Jaguar XJL and we couldn't find a few parts for it in India even with the OEMs, so we procured those parts from Germany itself. We now have those kinds of facilities which we can provide for utmost customer satisfaction. All the dealerships combined we have nearly 200 employees onboard.
Team evo India: Can you take us through the process of how you’d buy a car from a customer? Do you have a checking/inspection process?
Sumit Garg: Good question. This is also one of the great USPs of Luxury Ride where we are very strict about our procurement policy. We reject eight cars out of every 10 cars that we inspect everyday, because we are very particular about our requirements and our policy. We have 151 check points, which our team takes care of while acquiring a car. We also get our procurement done from various OEM sources, dealerships provide us the leads and they give us the car and also the repeat customer cars we've sold. Whatever it is we do not compromise with the quality and we procure only niche cars. Cars which are in absolute brand new condition, they are pre-owned but very well kept cars.
Team evo India: Do you offer any warranty from your side on the cars you sell?
Sumit Garg: If you buy a car from Luxury Ride, it comes with a 6-month engine and gearbox warranty, as they are the most expensive parts of a car. Additionally we also give an extended warranty of up to 8 years, which no one in India is giving. That is a unique service that we provide although at an additional cost, which is very nominal. You can avail that warranty at any of our service centres.
Team evo India: Have you planned to expand your network to any other parts of the country?
Sumit Garg: Yes, we have a vision of opening 50 showrooms pan-India by 2025
. We are having very aggressive plans on expansion and currently by the end of this year we will also be closing down our options for Pune, Bangalore and Chennai. We are a company where we are making people so comfortable like they are buying a car like you buy from Flipkart or Amazon. That kind of thing, where you’d buy a pre-owned car where you'd buy a luxury car without even seeing a Luxury Ride employee. We just sold an Audi A6 to a lady in Pune, the lady has never visited any of our showrooms. She saw the website, and contacted us and we put the deal through. We give 15-days money back guarantee, if you don't like the car return it and get your money back. No one in India gives that.
Team evo India: Have you seen a shift to online sales? How big has this shift to online been?
Sumit Garg: Yes definitely we have seen a huge shift to online in the recent years and moreover so after the Covid-19 pandemic. People are more hygiene focused now and they want to come to a certified showroom like us where they are sure about the quality and atmosphere, they are making sure they are going to the right place. In comparison to before, the walk-ins have surely decreased a little bit, but business is growing due to the online presence.
Team evo India: Do you organise any type of events or drives for your customers?
Sumit Garg: We don't conduct any type drives as such but we do conduct a lot of events at our showrooms, for example at Christmas, almost every year we have a Christmas party for the customers, their kids. Kids are making paintings on cars and families are enjoying a carnival sort of thing.
Team evo India: Have you considered selling superbikes and luxury motorcycles?
Sumit Garg: No, we tried but motorcycles are a segment with a very low margin and no good amount of audience. It is a segment which is yet to be grown. There are different challenges too, like handling. In the case of a car, our driver can pick it up and drop it. That is not possible in the case of a bike, they must go on a truck et cetera and there are so many handling issues. The other thing is less volume. We used to sell superbikes, but we didn't enjoy it. India is yet to be grown in that segment.
Luxury Ride is basically solving all luxury car needs through technology, the kind of which we are developing and will be launching in a couple of months that will have an impact which nobody has had in India. We are making it so simple that people don't need to spend a lot of time to buy the car. We will provide packages where cars like an Audi A4 will get three services at a total cost of only Rs 30-32 thousand. Only 10 thousand a service, which is on par with cars like a Hyundai Creta, Toyota Innova or Fortuner. That Luxury Ride will provide. We’ll take good care of cars, for them to run better. My team takes care of my personal Audi A6 and it gives 17kmpl! That is the same quality of service we provide to our customers. The fear in the consumer’s mind is what we’re trying to remove that luxury cars are hard to maintain.