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AutoRehman® A bootstraped journey from Small town of M.P. to Mecca of StartUps Gurgaon

UsedCar Market in India has a size of around $6.5Mn transactions per year and a CAGR of 15% which translates to roughly $25Bn USD direct revenue per year. 86% of the market share is dominated by grey market unorganized dealings and transaction (Source: IBB, Statista, ET Auto). Even after millions of VC top dollar getting invested in the space the ecosystem is still strife with major pain points for incumbents and there’s a lot of opportunity to go.

Founders have known each other for almost 2 decades as a person and as professionals. The idea for said Startup sprouted in 2009 as a reaction to a horrible personal experience of the used car by one of the founders herself which led to ultimately pulling off the founders off the hamster’s wheel and finally taking the plunge to start AutoRehman® in 2013-14.

M [Dot] Rehman (Co-Founder) an Engineer (B.Engg-Mech.) by training, an MBA drop-out from IIFT Delhi, has excelled into Automobiles Dealership operations through the various assignment in his decade long career path, as a CXO with companies of repute. He has been an indispensable clog of Honda, Maruti network previously.  As part of his last assignment, has moved from PASCO after giving his services to the company for a couple of years as a Chief Operating Officer.

Tasneem (Co-Founder) – Yet another founding member is an Engineer (B.Engg- Mech) and MBA (Finance) from S.P.J.I.M.R (SP Jain Institute of Management and Research), brings on board the acute understanding of Corporate Finance and Operations Management, has worked with Groups like BALCO, WIPRO, GMR & Bharti Enterprises before jumping on board with AutoRehman® TM.

M [Dot] Rehman and Tasneem Co-Founders of AutoRehman®

How it All Started:

Tasneem had moved to Delhi in the year 2009. She was toying with the idea of buying a car for her daily commute to GMR at D.I.A.L Airport where she joined as Maintenance Engineer, at the upcoming T3 Airport.

Tasneem asked her Eng. Batchmate and colleague to help her to find a Used Car. She connected with Rehman and he promised her to help in finding a Used Car and this way the hunt for buying a used car began. They both were Engineers (Mechanical) and were smart and worldly-wise people, both car enthusiasts, one of them even worked at a Car Dealership at a respectable position. But, as destiny had it in store for them; the used car searching, sorting, evaluating and buying experience was a nightmare for them and the transaction turned out to be a fiasco. The car they finally bought turned up a lemon and they could realise only a few weeks later that they had been duped… big time!

Seeds of the idea!

After such horrible and traumatizing experience, Rehman and Tasneem took that to their hearts and resolved to change the market for better. Together they spent months charting out and listing problems in UsedCar markets back in 2009. They started surveying & visiting greasy UsedCar hubs in Delhi NCR and pointing out main roadblocks namely, unavailability of good quality cars, lack of quality bench-marking, lack of transparency, lack of information, knowledge disparity between brokers and buyers/sellers, RC transfer issues, corruption in RTO departments and distrust among buyers and sellers. While Tasneem wanted to take it slow Rehman almost felt he got a new mission after IAS and resigned from his job in random enthusiasm to devote more time to the cause.

After several months of leaving the job and roaming in the market, Rehman was back in his senses. He realized what a monster was this market, where nothing is like what it seems, people do not mean what they say. He learned quickly that he was ill prepared and under-resourced to take it head on in a post-Recession market scenario.

Here the savings were getting eroded and with grim resolution Rehman joined back a job at one of the oldest Maruti Suzuki dealership in NCR as GM, later promoted as COO there, as he gave his best to the job. But the fire in the belly was still burning for Starting up, he consciously cultivated his contacts in this couple of years in relevant network of the market and was ecstatic to have found some great likeminded people in UsedCar Market who later were to become friends, co-founders or first set of employees.

Getting off the hamster wheel 2012

It was decided Rehman was to resign and devote his full time in Startup (start implementing solutions for Used Cars at grassroots level); which have so far been cooked and theorized in blueprints only. Tasneem was to put in papers and join SPJIMR Mumbai for fulltime residential MBA and start developing connections and knowhow of fundraising at her MBA in Finance, which can be utilized in the AutoRehman®.

AutoRehman® is a Gurgaon based Ecommerce StartUp of Pre-owned Cars, with the objective of solving the problems of India’s unorganized used car market from the grassroots with technology & innovation for the rapidly growing Used Car space which makes their customers and incumbents lives easier with their 360º approach of end-to-end services under one roof!

When Rehman was researching, they were early to realise that people were struggling with Lack of Loan availability, Insurance availability and OR transfer, RC transfer headaches etc. So, they decided to start their first vertical loan facilitation for people trying to buy Used Car. This was a Zero Brokerage Model.

To expand the customer base AutoRehman® tied up with OLA, Meru, Taxi for Sure, SuperCabz, under DCO Model (Driver Cum Owner) which played a crucial role to boost their Startup and this model was profitable and AutoRehman® started growing it.

Currently AutoRehman® is the only organised setup of Used Cars in NCR which is directly run by Professional Engineers and MBAs. Startup stands at Aggregate Revenue YTD INR 50Cr +, Funds Raised YTD (Non-Equity) INR6Cr +.

After having experimented for almost 6Years into a host of services from, only loan deals to carrying inventories and in-house workshop etc. AutoRehman® today is essentially evolving into a lightly managed marketplace which has a niche in used car transaction deals with the disintermediation model of doing business.

AutoRehman® is recognized and awarded by many Media Platforms and peer organizations, ranging from OLX, CarDekho, Cars24, CarTrade, Droom etc. for being a support to the ecosystem.

At the time of writing this piece, this bootstrapped StartUp is toying with the idea of opening their equity rounds of funding to scale up their operations.

Recently AutoRehman® is awarded by Business Mint as “Most Innovative StartUp in Pre-Owned Car space”

https://www.business-standard.com/content/press-releases-ani/the-grand-2021-business-mint-s-nationwide-tech-awards-121062900912_1.html

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