Make your customers so lazy that they won’t go to your competitors: Suvajit Karmakar

The CEO and Whole-Time Director of ALD India believes that a company should focus on providing a solution to a client's problem in the form of a service, so that the client does not need to call and explain what needs to be done

The advent of Industry 4.0 has ushered in a plethora of new business prospects, but they have necessitated a shift in strategy for every industry, including the automotive sector. Today, both the automobile and the customer’s interaction with it are fast evolving from the physical to the digital, marking a turning point in the automotive industry. Automakers are investing adequately to adapt to the digital transition to increase profits, offer personalised customer services that keep customers satisfied, and stay competitive.

ET Insights spoke to Suvajit Karmakar, CEO and Whole-Time Director of ALD India, about a variety of topics related to digital technologies, smart mobility, and customer service. ALD Automotive is a global leader in vehicle leasing.

Interview excerpts

What do you see as the most important digital trends in your industry for this year?

While most OEMs are working on electrification and a variety of other initiatives, our company is concentrating on streamlining the whole customer life cycle through a digital platform. The entire process entails a customer identifying an automobile, obtaining the best price on that car, the delivery procedure, and the car’s life cycle while the customer owns it.

Our company focuses on customer requirements, including maintenance, insurance management, claim processing, and breakdown help. Our aim is to assist the customer with Ugo Digit, a new technology within our organisation, if he or she desires to replace their car after 5 years. We are also launching a smartphone application that will aid customers during the entire procedure. I am glad to say that existing customers are quite happy with the digital experience.

Customers, have a plethora of brand from which to choose in the modern market. What makes you unique, and how do you ensure that your customers remain loyal?

Irrespective of the brand or the class of the car, ALD Assurance ensures the top class service for all its customers. We have been consistently scoring above 60 in NPS. We have delivered 95% of the vehicles as per the promised delivery date. Moreover, we are certified with ISO 9001:2015 for Provision of Customer Services during lifecycle management of vehicles. All these aspects helps us retain a customer and also makes us unique in the auto leasing industry.

Where do you see your organisation and its industry going in the next five years?

We are currently living in fascinating times. There is a merger in the works with a major brand and we will follow the creation of a new firm, a new core, a new name, and all other details will be determined over time. With the merger of two organisations, we will manage a global fleet of almost 3.5 million automobiles.

We aspire to be present in all mobility-related arenas. With the exception of “ride hailing and ride sharing,” we will be present everywhere else, including subscription, new auto leasing, and general mobility technologies. Our goal is to be the first name people think of when they talk about mobility.

What advice would you give to aspiring CEOs, especially those who are creating strategies? What warning signs should they watch out for to avoid unexpected setbacks?

If CEOs or strategy planners want to stand out, they must continually attempt to discover a problem that the client may not even be aware of. After you have done that, you can focus on finding a solution that will make the customer happy and bring forth positive emotions. This will allow you to remain ahead of the competition. Moreover, sustainable growth has become important in the modern day. If a company delivers a solution to a client’s problem in the form of a service, such that the customer does not need to call the company and explain what needs to be done, this should be the company’s primary focus. Make your customers so lazy that they won’t go to your competitors.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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