Exclusive | Opportunities galore, ZigWheels' Chaturvedi

Zigwheels.com is India’s No. 1 auto site Catering to auto enthusiasts and buyers, Launched in Aug 2008, ZigWheels is a part of the Times Internet a digital venture of Times of India Group, It was conceived as India’s first brand within the category to have a footprint over Print Supplements, Magazine & online. Driven by a team of experiences auto journalists it offers unbiased reviews, on road comparisons and a replete with specification and price of each car and bike in production within India.  

Moving ahead ZigWheels.com launched the First Edition of the Commercial Vehicles Conclave 2015. The event saw Industry stalwarts like Anant Geete, Union Minister, Heavy Industries and Public Sector Enterprises. R Ramakrishnan, Senior VP, Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors and VG Ramakrishna, Managing Director, South Asia, Frost and Sullivan. The commercial vehicle industry impacts the country’s industrial activities and overall GDP. The domestic market forms 90 % of the total commercial vehicle market and remaining is contributed by the exports where the share has been increasing every year. And, fuelling this surge is the First Edition of the ET ZigWheels Commercial Vehicles Conclave 2015.

Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister, Road Transport, Highway & Shipping addressed the conclave through a video where he touched on various new government policies and schemes. He also stated that the government is planning to open nearly 10,000 truck driving schools across the country and also spoke about developing water transport along with surface transport.

At the conclave, Anant Geete, Union Minister, Heavy Industries and Public Sector Enterprises, said, “India has tremendous potential in the Commercial Vehicles Segment and we need to feed this potential by working in union with the manufacturers. And, at this ET ZigWheels Commercial Vehicles Conclave 2015 I assure that they will get all the support possible from the government.”

While there was an unending discussion about how the industry has potential and what all can be done, we at Adgully caught up with Akshay Chaturvedi, Business Head, ZigWheels to know more about their plans for the year ahead.

Adgully (AG): When was ZigWheels launched?

Akshay Chaturvedi (AC): We have been in the automotive space for the last 8 years.

AG: Where did you feel the need for an event like this?

AC: We felt that a platform that commercial vehicles segment an important category in auto sector which directly impacts the GDP of a country was not getting the attention it deserved. We decided to bring in domain expertise and build a platform where the category as important as this and can be bought to the forefront.

AG: How long did it take for you to conceptualize the same?

AC: It took us close to a year to come with this first in kind conclave where we have worked from scratch. We contacted all the stakeholders' right from manufactures to dealers, fleet operators, component manufacturers and the policy makers.

AG: How has been the response?

AC: By far this has been the biggest conclave held in the commercial vehicle category in India and we got a very encouraging response. With partners like TATA and Scania as supporting partner and backing from government bodies like ACMA, FADA, ASDC & AIMT and knowledge partners like EY, Frost & Sullivan and Roland Berger this was destined to be a success.

AG: What kind of traffic do you have on your website?

AC: As per ComScore India we had a total of 2.1 million unique visitors on our website in the month of December 2014 which is about 35% of the market share.

AG: Is the network looking at any acquisitions in this space?

AC: We are not compulsive about acquisitions, wherever there is relevance and wherever it adds to our category or to our business strategy we will look at acquisitions.

AG: Do you also cater to used cars on ZigWheels? What would you like to do in the used cars segment?

AC: It has not been one of our key focus areas however, going forward we are going to introduce a robust product portfolio in this space. One is around a gap in the overall certification side of the used cars segment. And the second is becoming a digital enabler for used car dealers.

AG: What is your growth strategy?

AC: We started as a content engine where we largely looked at reviews and news. But today we are a complete transaction portal. And going forward, we want to focus on consumers where buy and sell will be our fundamental operating lever.

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