CredR, the online marketplace for used bikes and scooters which has helped about 2.5 lakh customers in buying or selling their two-wheeler since 2015, has tied up with Ather Energy and Ampere Electric to offer instant quotes for old two-wheelers thus reducing the purchase price while facilitating the easy switch to electric scooters. We caught up with Sasidhar Nandigam, the Chief Strategy Officer at CredR to ask him about how collaborations with the EV companies work:
How does CredR exchange work for electric vehicles?
Sasidhar: We have a mobile app, which is given to sales executives of all the OEMs including Ather and Ampere. A customer can walk into the showroom to trade in the vehicle and buy an Ampere or Ather vehicle or even a petrol vehicle, our app captures all important parameters of the used vehicle, and within no time, he can get a price, which a customer can agree or not agree to trade in his vehicle for.
If a customer agrees to the price, we go ahead and buy the bike. For example, you wanted to buy an Ather scooter, which costs about 1.5 lakh , you trade in your bike at Rs 50,000 from our app. So you end up paying only Rs 1 lakh to Ather and Rs 50,000 will be paid by us to Ather.
Who are the intenders of electric vehicles?
Sasidhar: Lot of people who are fundamentally in the price brackets of big bikes are able to buy electric scooters, because they can afford them. An Ather buyer comes from a middle and high income family, or there are prospects that already have a premium bike like Royal Enfield KTM or super bike owners, he or she is comfortable shifting as the price points are similar. There are some socially conscious buyers but it is difficult to categorize them.
Are you intending to be an enabler to switch the prospects to a new way of electric mobility?
Sasidhar: The used two wheeler market is highly fragmented and unorganized. We are the only institutionalized brand in the market offering all the solutions in the used two wheeler market similar to a new bike market.
There are two sides of our business, one we exclusively fund a vehicle and one where we buy and sell. Over a period of the last five years, we have facilitated exchange of 2-2.5 lakh old vehicles to new vehicles.
How the market will evolve in the next five to ten years is a very big question mark. I’m not sure how quickly the adoption will happen. But we want to be the player at the top on the cusp, who can play an important role in driving this transformation. So anyone who wants to move from petrol to electric, we are at the top of the funnel. Anyone who wants to shift, we are the only institutional platform who can help them in the shift.
Any specific number can you share on trading in for electric vehicles?
Sasidhar: We started only in the month of July with Ather. There is a bit of learning curve that happens with every OEM. We are growing 150% month on month with Ather. We started with Bengaluru, we will soon be in Chennai and Delhi showrooms. Ather is a very niche market. With Ampere we will be going live in Bengaluru, then NCR and move to Pune and Hyderabad
How do you intend to build your business in the EV space?
Sasidhar: A customer can come to our website, express interest in buying an electric bike by trading in their scooter. We offer him the option to choose between Ather and Ampere and drive him to the respective brand based on his budget. Usually, people who go to Ather showroom or Ampere showroom, they cannot trade-in at the showroom. At CredR, we have also started home delivery of bikes.
In the next few weeks, we will be launching an initiative, wherein a customer can directly buy from our platform. We will manage all the formalities, we already do it for the second hand bikes.
It is a bit of a challenging year. People don’t come to us asking for an Ather bike or Ampere, we passively help them. With our forthcoming partnerships, we will be going to the next level by augmenting new bike sales on our platform.
What are the expansion plans for CredR?
Sasidhar: Our goal is very simple, any customer who is looking to buy a second hand vehicle, we want to be the default option. Whether through OEM tie-up, at select showrooms or our own platform, there are multiple ways to acquire customers. A direct sale through a website will add to the business.
For us, EV is a good way to enter a new segment. Now the question is how fast it will come up or how it will come up is a matter is difficult to say. There are a certain set of customers who are more inclined to go towards EVs, but the current pandemic has not been kind to the segment, because people are losing jobs. In this kind of scenario, the propensity of customers to go for high priced vehicles is less. That is something which is worrying us.
Clearly, the future is EV, how soon it becomes mainstream is anyone’s guess. The B2B side of business is coming up in a big way. One of the biggest challenges of EVs is the charging and maintenance, which done on a mass scale in B2B business will bring down acquisition and operating costs. That is more interesting for us.
Are you looking at launching an interface specifically for B2B say for someone like a Swiggy or Zomato to convert their fleet to EV?
Sasidhar: We are in discussion with one name, where we want to convert the entire fleet of vehicles to EVs. The pace of adoption is something which we have to watch out for. In any business, the technology will have a research period, then it will have a stability period, then it will have a scale. For mass adoption, scale is the key, we have seen it worldover.