Company Description: Established
in November 2003, Rai Automotive Systems (Rai Auto) is into selling and
servicing of automotive body and paint shop equipment in India. The products and services offered by them are
used for various purposes like crash repairs, safety, part replacement, cutting
& welding procedures, paint refinish application etc, as per OEM’s repair
standards and guidelines. It offers crash repair systems from Car-O-Liner,
Sweden, paint refinishing systems from Festool, Germany, paint spray booths and
prep stations from Blowtherm, Italy, tyre servicing equipments and diagnostic
equipments from Ravaglioli, Italy, welding system from Gys, France, among
Could you please start with the
genesis of the company?
Rai Automotive Systems is a 10-year
old company which was floated with the idea of providing a complete set of
solutions for body and paint shop equipment. In 2003, we began by establishing
the first training facility for such equipment in India. We have managed to
train around 4,500 technicians from different OEMs like Maruti, etc. We were
involved in such training activities until 2004-05 which ultimately
revolutionised the body shop business in the country. Nearly 7-8 years back, we
were the largest seller of crash repair systems in India. Eventually, we have
now evolved into a complete solutions provider. Apart from body and paints shop
solutions, we are also offering the products that are required by the workshops
owners of all the car manufacturers. Apart from selling the products to our
customers, we are also providing end-to-end solutions required to run them.
How has the garage equipment
industry in India evolved over the years?
Nearly 10 years back when we rolled
out our operations, these workshop owners had serious resistance to our
products. For them it was pretty capital
intensive to shell out 20 lakh for a specific product. But every authorised
dealer in the country today is seeking our products for their crash repair or
body repair activities. So the whole scenario has changed a lot. This is
primarily because there is a seismic shift in technological capabilities of a
car and its after-sale services. For example, a workshop owner needs a proper
computerised wheel alignment system to do his job. Moreover, the safety
parameters have also become indispensable for an OEM (to sell his products to
the end customers).
Which specific segments are you
catering to? And which segments give you the maximum volumes?
Our primary target customer would be
all the OEMs who are in the passenger car space. But we do offer our solutions
to HCV and LCV makers. Even though we
are not catering to the two-wheeler segment as of now, we might consider it in
the distant future.
Are your products locally produced?
Or are they imported?
No, our products are 100pc imported.
We have been dealing with various European manufacturers like Celette, Rotary,
Blowtherm, GYS, Space, Steril Koni, IRT, etc. As of now, we have no plans to
assemble them. But definitely we can assemble them at a later point of time to
reduce the products’ costs.
Could you please talk about
your training facility at Faridabad?
We have recently come up with a
training facility at Faridabad which is around 48,000 square foot in size. The
facility is equipped with world-class equipment. We are conducting programmes
for various OEMs and their technicians. We have signed a training agreement
with one of the European companies and have also conducted a couple of courses.
We are in similar discussions with other European brands and will shortly make
What kind of services are you
offering to your customers?
We provide services to our customers
in terms of installation, training, usage, etc, of the products. These services
help them in enhancing their productivity by using our solutions in an
immaculate manner. We are also offering after sales support in case there is
any breakdown of sorts.
Are you running a chain of outlets
to showcase your products?
No, we are not running any chain of
outlets. However, we are running our regional offices and operate through our
own channels. As we are basically an equipment supplier, we are not interested
in establishing any outlets for either retailing or showcasing our products.
Do you witness any decline in sales
due to the downturn in the economy? Besides that, what are the other
Our sales have definitely been
impacted because of the downturn in the economy. Everything boils down to the
sales of the cars. If the car sales drop, then the workshop owners will be
deferring any capital-intensive investment like installing our equipment. That
really affects our business. Furthermore, the hike in foreign exchange rates
(on imported goods) compounds the problem.
As we are dealing in premium products, it’s very difficult to compete
with these Chinese and other companies. Having said that, people are slowly
realising the durability of our products. Another challenge is that even though
our turnover is going up, our profitability is going down. We are trying to be
sustainably profit in our operations.
Lastly, what is your long-term
agenda for the company? Where do you want to see this firm in the next few
Our primary agenda is to address the
dire need for a skilled manpower in the country. We would like to tie-up with
Diploma colleges and would like to train the workers who can later be inducted
by car manufacturers and their dealers. We are in serious discussions with
various government agencies for the same. We have started the move by opening a
training facility. We consider it as a
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to generate employment
opportunities. From a business point of
view, we are expecting some enhanced business opportunities from European car
manufacturers. When I talk in terms of turnover, we should be achieving 100
crore in the next five years from 35 crore currently.
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