MeriCAR.com partners with ValueFirst for mobile messaging

PRESS:PRESS:

Gurgaon 16 Dec.2008:
MeriCAR.com, an online car servicing web portal, is now associated with ValueFirst for providing facilities to car owners to send enquiries using Mobile Messaging. With MeriCAR.com you can easily search for a dealer in your locality, register and send enquiries. MeriCAR.com will be using ValueFirst’s application to then send SMS to its customers. This ensures easy accessibility to car servicing solutions.

ValueFirst, a leading provider of enterprise mobile messaging services, proposed a solution based on API (Application Programming Interface). ValueFirst APIs would work with MeriCAR application layer to send enquiries on the SMS to car service dealers. Car dealers would be informed about car servicing enquiries through SMS and email.

Mobile messaging for car servicing truly makes MeriCAR services device-agnostic, enabling millions of car owners to access dealers on the move, with just an SMS. The use of this application is revolutionary as till date mobile messaging for such applications has been a niche activity in India. Mobility has become a necessity and MeriCAR.com has mobile-enabled its customers to ensure cost-efficient and timely service using ValueFirst’s enterprise application.

“Mobile messaging would help car workshops dealers who do not check emails regularly. It would be quick and easy for car owners to be in contact with car service dealers” says Rakesh K. Sidana, CEO, Amoeba Webware Pvt. Ltd.

“Large enterprises where the requirements are too complex and varied can incorporate the API function calls in their CRM / ERP applications. This SMS gateway API will enable high performance of MeriCAR.com. This application is Cost Effective, using IP connectivity to reduce costs and dependence on any specific mobile network. It also enables high bandwidth connectivity and provides customers with high message security through the implementation of 128 bit algorithm based encryption for all traffic. We at ValueFirst are delighted to handle all complex messaging requirements that MeriCAR may have”, says Vijay Shukla, Co-founder & Country Head for India, ValueFirst.

Relaunch of MeriCAR.com – Focus on Total Car Care Service

Today MeriCAR.com has been relaunched with new sections and features.Today MeriCAR.com has been relaunched with new sections and features.

To meet objective of “total car care services”, MeriCAR.com has added new section Car Insurance. Ask the expert for car problems is improved section.

Design of MeriCAR.com is more focus with just three option broadly – Car Service, Car Insurance, Car Problem. The team may be just running around these three options to get revenue from the portal (and keeping an option for advertising in future.)

Car Service section has major improvement over just simple sending enquiry form. Now customer has two options while sending enquiry, one is MeriCAR.com recommendation and other is simple customer’s choice. MeriCAR.com recommendation will improve services at car dealers side and give benefits to customers of competition.

It was seen that popular car dealers do not care about customers and MeriCAR recommendation will help customer to get car service done in time (when car dealer’s driver just forgot picking up customer’s car and customer was just waiting – it was funny).

Having implemented Mobile SMS along with Email for password verification are great improvement over last version.

MeriCAR.com would be planning to have reviews from customers to help car dealers to improve their services.

Hope you like new site. Please do send feedback. Thanks.

India’s growth drivers are still positive – meriCAR Investors

In 2008,, there is less investment by PE-VC in India. Yet, investment activity in India is likely to rebound fater than in western markets. India’s growth drivers are still positive — (source; outlook business, PE’s here to stay – by Rajiv Memani, Ernst & Young).

When car manufacturer have stopped production, some have shut down plants, yet, car services business would increase. MeriCAR.com is still positive on having arrangement for investors.

MeriCAR is doing ‘the right’ alliances to improve the way we are doing presently. I hope everybody would like it.

Experts commented on MeriCAR.com

While we are enjoying media coverage on While we are enjoying media coverage on
TATA NEN StartUps Awards website, i noticed following comments made for MeriCAR.com

Experts Comment 1:

“The company has a unique concept, but for it to succeed, it requires to change user behavior, which is generally tough.
However, the company if it can create right alliances, it has a good potential. The real challenge would be get alliances in place, which are mutually beneficial.
Besides, it needs to create awareness among the users to convince them to experiment. Once, they experiment, it needs to get the right user experience.
This is definitely a long shot, but if executed right, it has a great potential.”

Experts Comment 2:

“Mericar is targeting the increasing number of car owners,by providing a simple solution to access car servicing solutions.
This might be very useful for car owners who have moved away from the area where their original owner is located.

However, one wonders whether this service is substantial enough to build a company around, or whether the barriers to entry sufficient as competition could fairly easily enter the market.
Perhaps Mericar would do well to work with one of the car sales sites, and provide an additional service alongside.”

I agree with experts comments when they say – “to succeed, it requires to change user behavior…..”. I can understand it very well and i take it as a challenge.

If i just look at back…I used to organize meeting in 1997 when nobody knew about “internet”. I wrote an article on the subject “how free email works” in The Times Of India. How funny would it look today if i write the same article again. I used to sell modem and internet connection at that time when “asking for internet connection” was difficult. Today car dealers have no time to think about “car service booking online”, but they have to and MeriCAR.com has his first existence to make it happen.

I want to be focus with “car care”, and not thinking to have site on sell and buy car subject.

Based on suggestions and comments, we are doing some changes on MeriCAR.com, so you would see more changes on our website.

Car servicing boom when car production is slow

Global economy crisis has made all car makers to think about their production. Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. has cut its production target while there is a slowdown in the automotive sector. (source – HT news today). Source says, other car manufacturers, Tata motors is also planning.Global economy crisis has made all car makers to think about their production. Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. has cut its production target while there is a slowdown in the automotive sector. (source – HT news today). Source says, other car manufacturers, Tata motors is also planning.

I think when people are not buying new car, it may be obvious used cars and car servicing business may boost. Service industry in any sector gets boost when production gets slow.

A slowdown in auto sector would give chance to un-authorised service station to do good business. They need to improve their services. When you know you have to pay 3 times the cost of unauthorized car service center for standard things like washing/oil check etc – your vehicle, you will avoid going to authorized car service centers. I know for repairing some parts people do not take risk to go to unauthorized car service center.