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How Droom emerged as the biggest online automobile marketplace in India

Classifieds for Automobiles

Many people in India had a hard time trusting online marketplaces with their money. When it comes to the platforms that sell clothes, commodities, food, etc., this has changed a lot. However, in the case of bigger investments, many are sceptical about online sources. At the same time, India is the third biggest car market globally. Such a huge business opportunity can only expand with the use of the right technology. In a situation like this, an online classifieds for automobiles was the solution everyone was waiting for. Droom successfully brought about this change in the country.

Droom (1) is an online marketplace for selling and buying new as well as used vehicles. It was founded by Sandeep Aggarwal, who is also the founder of ShopClues. From the year 2014, the platform has promptly made an effect on the Indian E-business industry. By the year 2018, the company had 2,30,000 car vendors on their portal. Today, it is en route to becoming a brand name in the global automobile market. As of now, Droom is one of the biggest online automobile marketplaces in the country. They own nearly 70 per cent of the total online sales of vehicles. They are also the third biggest internet business organisation in India after Amazon and Flipkart.

Droom also focuses on other services like vehicle assistance, accreditation assistance and monetary assistance. Droom is the leading entirely transactional online portal that allows direct and safe transaction between the purchaser and dealer. Their schemes like Full Circle Trust Score, Buyer’s Protection, Orange Book Value, etc. tend to any problem that the purchaser might have. They help to solve all troubles associated with the upsetting cycle of purchasing or selling a trade-in vehicle. The platform offers a wide inventory of vehicles from cycles to aeroplanes.

How was Droom born?

The founder of Droom, Sandeep Aggarwal, often wondered about the wide scope of automobile business in India. In the 2010s, the Indian vehicle industry was experiencing an extremely energising time. India had risen to be the world’s third-biggest car market on the planet after China and the USA. The major difference from these countries is that India has a low trust market. The people of India are not willing to take the risk of exploring the sources by themselves. In fact, the country lacked any trustworthy online sources for this. Even though there are numerous categories of cars available in the online market, people still approach a local car dealer for guidance.

Sandeep Aggarwal, the founder of Droom

In this era of technology, sticking to the traditional method was a bad idea. This idea is what encouraged Sandeep to come up with Droom. Around the same time in May 2014, he received a call from the Chief Executive Officer of Beenos Group, Teruhide Sato. He wanted to meet him at the Great Eastern Restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown. During the meeting, Teruhide talked about how Barack Obama had decided to visit this café. He also told Sandeep that he was excited to hear him talk about his next huge business concept.

Teruhide listened eagerly as Sandeep told him about an online portal for used vehicles in India. Interested in the idea, Teruhide said to him that he is prepared to place in a million dollars as funding. Sandeep, who had spent the earlier week setting up the business strategy for Droom, was energised that it had received approval. The next week, he met Itchak Friedman, Chaim Friedman, and Jonathan Friedman, financial specialists from Lionbird Ventures who had put resources into ShopClues. After Sandeep was able to convince them about his idea, they too invested one million dollars.

Challenges and growth over the years

When Sandeep Aggarwal came up with Droom, they received a surprising acceptance in the country. Many people started trusting this online source for buying or selling an automobile. Nevertheless, just 4 per cent of the families have a car in India, and 25 per cent of families have a bike. Droom also had to face troubles posed by the competitors in the market like Carwale, CarDekho etc. They continued to build innovation with artificial intelligence to keep up their commercial position. They used the funding amount to enhance their service and fintech offers.

Furthermore, the company’s MOU with Toyota played a significant role in helping them expand. Droom has come up with a pricing medium called Orange Book Value (OVB) which will give you the market cost of any trade-in vehicle. The company also utilises deep learning for automobile financing. If you want financial aid to buy a used vehicle, you can make an application for the loan through the portal. They compare various criteria regarding the applicants to choose an eligible customer.

Droom also makes the historical backdrop of a vehicle available to the buyers as well. The Droom History is a vault of information about the 220 million vehicles enrolled in the nation. Droom regularly checks and verifies the validity of the information on it. By 2017, nearly three years into the business, the organisation claimed that they accomplished a GMV run pace of Rs 1,500 crore. In its RoC filings, the organisation’s turnover appeared as 17.2 crore rupees in 2015–2016. This was considerable growth from 9.2 crore rupees in 2014–15. The staff expense had gone up from Rs 9 crore to Rs 66 crore.

The future for Droom

Droom has the finest unit economics when contrasted with other E-business stages in India. The organization spends under 5% of GMV to run promotion and marketing. They are trying to keep such costs low. The company has only spent under 4.5 per cent on advertising. Sandeep Aggarwal prefers to make information about the whole automobile industry and sell it to the business ecosystem. He also hopes to spend more on building a tech and information sciences group.

Currently, 90 per cent of its income originates from B2C (business-to-buyer) administrations. The rest of the profit is from customer to dealer administrations. India, in spite of being the third biggest car market on the planet, comes 67th regarding per-capita vehicle accessibility. Aggarwal observes an ascent of white-collar class, salary level, training level and urbanisation in the coming years. When you add all these factors together, India will continue owning one of the biggest automobile industries in the world. Therefore, the presumable future holds more doors of opportunities for Droom.