Everyone in their childhood is fascinated by cars and bikes, and they wish to be a racer. For the children of the 90s, the racing games available to them were developing, and the graphics were not in High Definition. As a matter of fact, there was not much definition. But the thrill and experience provided to every kid was a safe place for them, and this was the only way they could become a racer and fulfill their dreams. These games were the reason why most of us wanted to become racers, and we used to race with our bicycles with our friends.
However, things changed, and we became more self-aware of our surroundings and everything around us, we realized that becoming a racing driver is not a piece of cake and it takes years for people to reach where they are right now. The amount of money and investment it takes is beyond our reach, and we all had to live with this reality and choose different fields. But some people are so motivated to work around cars and bikes that they figure out ways to make things work. One example of this dedication and automobile love is Akash Sonakia.
Over the years, Akash has worked closely with some of the big names in the automobile industry as an intern for them, and he learned a lot of things. The main thing that he learned was that the sector is unorganized, and he decided to fix this issue with the help of his startup, TuSeva. It helps people in selecting the right vehicle dealer or repair workshop for their vehicles, depending on their needs. The platform currently operates in Bhopal, Indore, and Raipur, and they provide services for two-wheelers and four-wheelers.
The early life of Akash Sonakia
Born in Itarsi, Madhya Pradesh, and brought up in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, Akash completed his schooling from Delhi Public School, Bhopal. Since childhood, Akash has been an active participant in sports, which included swimming, horse-riding, football, and many other sports. His love for cars could be seen from childhood when he used to sit in the driver’s seat of his father’s government-provided Hindustan Motors Ambassador and pretend to race.
He wanted to turn his passion for cars into his profession, but instead of going for automobile engineering, he opted for Mechanical and Automation Engineering from Amity University. Later he realized that the automation in the name was not about specialization in automobiles, and it was process automation. By educating himself using second-hand books, subscribing to online tutorials, and by learning CAD, Akash was working hard to keep his love for cars alive. He joined the college team that was working together to manufacture a Formula 3 car for a competition known as Supra.
The team failed to qualify for the round in the past two years, and this time, Akash was ready to help them, and their design and analysis for the car got selected with an all India rank of 83. The bubble of joy burst when the college didn’t provide the funds for building the car, and they also failed to collect funds from outside sources. This ended up with the team losing the opportunity, and they couldn’t make the car. Akash secured an internship in Chevrolet Manufacturing Plant in Pune and worked hard during the internship, gaining in-depth knowledge of everything that he could grasp.
The team again participated, and this time they entered the competition with an electric car, and this time, they got selected and even built the car for the competition. In his 3rd year, he again got an internship with Tata Motors in Pune, and he worked hard to understand everything about the processes that were carried out by a car manufacturer. In his last year, he again participated in the competition and secured 24th position at the all India level.
Beginning of TuSeva
On completion of his degree, Akash teamed up with Ankit Joshi and opened up a car repair workshop in Bhopal, but soon the company failed due to some financial issues. From this experience, he realized the chaos in the repairs market and that the data provided to the companies regarding the customer need were not adequate. On noticing this problem, he decided to take matters in his own hands, and after extensive research and development, TuSeva was launched by him.
TuSeva stands for Turant Seva, and they launched the project intending to provide accurate data to people by helping different sectors of the industry and fulfill their needs. The concept was curated so beautifully that the platform was creating jobs and working hand-in-hand with the accuracy provided by the technology.
Currently, they are working together to launch an AI-based system that processes real-time market sentiments, product requirements, consumer behavior shift patterns so that they can prepare better solutions. They plan to be the next “One Plus” type disrupter in the automobile market. They operate in two fields- post-sales and pre-sales.
The pre-sales department handles vehicle dealers, authorized workshops, car buyers, loan providers, etc. and help them with brand promotion and other market needs. The post-sales department handles spare part dealers, garage equipment manufacturers, vehicle repair workshops, etc. and help them with market surveys and sales.
The initial challenges faced by TuSeva
Every startup faces different challenges daily, and every challenge is a learning curve for them, so mentioning all can take a while. The major challenge faced by the team was that which workshops should be added on the network. All the workshops were not welcoming of the technology-based solutions, and to overcome this, they derived tiers for the workshops from level 1 to level 4.
TuSeva and Boodmo Collaboration
While telling TimesNext, Akash mentioned that they collaborated with few companies, and one of them was with Boodmo. It is the biggest spare parts marketplace online, and he spoke to the CEO of Boodmo, Oleksandr, who came to India from Ukraine and co-founded this with his friends Yevgen Sokolnikov. Both the companies were in their initial stages, and with mutual understanding, they decided to help each other.
The first milestone for TuSeva and their current growth
Even after achieving certain milestones with their startup, the one that he finds the most important was to find a solution for such a complex problem.
The company has been working actively in the market and their pre-sales, and the post-sales department is attracting customers from both segments. Their physical presence in Bhopal and Indore is also helping them reach out to masses and plan for expansions.
Plans for the company and its future
Akash is trying his best to bring up TuSeva in a better platform and try his best to make it the most accurate and cost-effective market research company and help the automobile industry.