New Delhi, Auto Desk. As we all know that we are currently going through a bad phase of a global pandemic, but in this era also there is a need to adopt a positive attitude. In this difficult period many questions are arising in the minds of many people about the economy of the country, due to which Jagran Hitech has brought his new series #NayaBharat, where we join the people of the industry and with them all kinds of new India including Talks on issues. In today’s episode of #NayaBharat we are joined by Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director (Marketing & Sales) of Maruti Suzuki, who has been discussed in detail by Siddhartha Sharma, Editor of Jagran Hitech. So let’s know this conversation in detail –
Siddhartha Sharma – What Covid-19 epidemic has hit the Indian automotive industry?
Shashank Srivastava – Auto sales have been almost zero in April this year. In such a situation, the company has been under a lot of pressure regarding the sales point of view. Before the pandemic, Maruti Suzuki had a month sale of one lakh 30 thousand. Usually the last week of March sees good sales. Right there In the Indian calendar, the time around Navratri in November is considered to be the best time in terms of auto sales. From then until March, dealers have a lot of stock. But our dealers have suffered a lot due to the sudden lockdown. Cash flow was the biggest problem faced by the dealers. Despite this, the Maruti Suzuki balance sheet is quite strong. It is also a debuted free company. As you know, there is zero sale in April. But it should also be known that zero also has its own strength. The company is also moving forward in this phase of lockdown with positive energy. In such a situation, the company got an opportunity to stop and think about how to carry on the business after the lockdown. The company also saw its benefit, as soon as the showroom opened, we started to get a large number of sales.
Siddhartha Sharma – Will digitization be the new way of business in the auto sector after the lockdown? Meaning is there a round of buying vehicles online?
Shashank Srivastava – This is a very important question. The time ahead is going to be quite digitally, but I believe that the business of buying a car will not be completely digital nor offline. In buying a vehicle, the customer goes through 28 points, such as visiting the showroom, test drive, going to the bank for a loan. Of this, about 17 to 21 points are digitized out of 28. The rest of the points will also be digitized faster after Kovid-19.
Siddhartha Sharma – PM Modi has announced a package of Rs 20 lakh crore for Small and Medium Class Business (MSME). As such, we know that the entire automotive industry including Maruti Suzuki deals with MSME. In such a situation, what will you say about this relief package?
Shashank Srivastava – Maruti Suzuki and its dealers have suffered the most due to cash flow during this period. The same applies in the case of vendors. Despite this, PM Modi’s announcement of a relief package for small businessmen is quite a right step. After this announcement, people will be able to take cash at a lower rate. This loan will be guaranteed by the government. The interest rate of such loan is very low. In such a situation, Maruti is confident that after the lockdown, the company will get a large amount of sales.
Siddhartha Sharma – Maruti Suzuki is the most employable company in the automotive industry. In such a situation, how is Maruti Suzuki helping its employees during the lockdown? Also, what steps has the company taken on behalf of its customer during this period?
Shashank Srivastava – The company is very active in protecting its employees. The company is taking care of employees not only physically but mentally. The rest of the company is also taking other steps including social distancing, thermal screening for employees. Apart from this, the company has also created the Myntra app, where employees will be provided with many fun loving things besides staying healthy.