is the leading mobility solutions provider for retail and corporate users with a robust network extending across 50 conveniently-located stations in 19 cities. Established two decades ago, the company embraces opportunities and decisively responds to challenges.
Today, under the accomplished headship of Sunil Gupta, MD & CEO, Avis has attained market leadership in the car rental segment in the country. They are the only mobility services provider which offers customers chauffeur-driven and self-drive cars in India and 110 countries abroad through their website and mobile app. They launched their operating lease business in 2012 and within 7 years became one of the most successful players in this industry.
The post-graduate from IIM-Kolkata, Sunil, has ensured over the years that Avis remains committed to catering to corporate and retail customers with its suite of mobility offerings comprising cars on chauffeur drive, self-drive, operating lease and fleet management. The fundamental focus has been to meet our customers’ changing mobility needs, providing digital access to our services and offering the best travel experience. From operations in only 9 cities, the company today has a network of 50 conveniently located rental stations in the top 19 cities in India.
Sunil further added, “During the pandemic, we launched Avis Secure Shuttle, especially for corporate employees. The service is accessible across India providing customers and office-goers looking for a pick-up and drop-off service. We have also launched AVIS Flexi 12 which offerscustomers a new car under white plate private registration for a period of just 12 months, without a down payment.”
Avis continues to invest in IT applications, to improve its internal processes and to provide a seamless rental experience for its customers. Their rapid growth at more than twice the average growth rate of the industry is a testament to the fact that the customer has become much more discerning and is willing to pay a modest premium for a clearly perceptible superior service which provides tangible value.
When Avis launched operating lease services in India 7 years ago, it was a comparativelylate entrant to the industry. It drew on its heritage of superior service quality, reliability, transparency and competitive pricing and in this short period it has become the best performing operating lease company in India.
“We have a shared responsibility to drive adoption of green mobility.. The enabling ecosystem is not yet in place for this and a lot more needs to be done by automobile manufacturers, the government and regulatory bodies to drive this” states Sunil.
Revolution and Industrial Change
‘Revolution’ is one of the most misused terms in history! What is usually seen as revolutionary is often a series of innovative steps envisaged with prescience and foresight and executed with speed and conviction. In a rapidly globalized and digitized world, success has many imitators and so along with execution speed, the scale also becomes a key differentiator. The focus is rapidly shifting to electric vehicles, owing to environmental concerns due to the increased use of fossil fuels. Even on the shared mobility front, India could emerge as a leader by 2030, providing opportunities for electric and autonomous vehicles. The automobile industry has been undergoing a significant transformation over the years.
“Over the years, we have had a lot of opportunities to learn, innovate, and grow. Avis has emerged as the pioneer in the car rental segment and has been at the forefront of drivingthe industry’stransformation over the decades . In the past 10 years, our revenue has grown six-fold on the back of rapid growth in the car rental business owing to the acquisition of new businesses like the chauffeur-driven service for Emirates First Class and Business Class passengers and the launch of a new operating lease, fleet management, and employee ridesharing services” affirms Sunil.
Difficulties of Automotive Industry
Climate change is one of the biggest issues confronting the world. And the automotive industry has to rapidly move towards a far more sustainable future and a greener footprint. There are disruptors already at playglobally and as soon as technology reduces the cost of electric mobility and the ecosystem is better oriented towards addressing customer concerns of range and choice, the incumbents will face challenges at multiple levels - ranging from shrinking of auto parts manufacturing and supply chains and other impacts on upstream and downstream businesses
Sunil emphasizes, “Since we at the customer-facing end of the supply chain, we will be able to pivot easily but incumbents in the automotive industry need to evolve strategies to move to a more sustainable future and remain relevant. I am proud to mention that we continue to innovate, with initiatives like GPS-based billing so that the customer actually pays for what theyuse smoothening customer access to our mobility and fleet management services,etc
Sunil, at Avis, is responsible for maximizing the profitability of the business through operational and financial interventions, sharpening the Company’s customer-centricity, driving the strategic development of the Company and leveraging its expertise in fleet management for rapid growth. In his view, leadership is about driving team excellence through shared goals simply articulated and monitored.
Leadership entails driving collaboration and getting people to see beyond silos, and finally, as a leader, he lives his leadership style by practicing authenticity and credibility. The CEO also believes that the biggest enabler of creative thinking in any organization is giving them the freedom to all employees to voice their opinions and share their ideas.
“I believe that the reason behind Avis’ success is both internal and external. As a forward-looking brand, Avis integrated its ERP with the customer’s ERP, making the complete process, including billing, really efficient.. Other such digitization initiatives have beenthe key factors behind the company’s success” added Sunil.
Risks and Automotive Sector
Sunil shares, that in terms of risks, the decision to start a new business is normally a risky one. However, having employees and stakeholders who believe inthe vision and show confidence in times of doubt goes a long way in achieving success. An operating lease was a new venture for Avis but they did what was right for the business and sought to innovate beyond industry practice.
The buzzwords in the automotive sector are IoT (Internet of Things), automation, and AI (artificial intelligence), among several others. We also expect to see electric vehicles and connected cars being spoken about with increasing frequency. The transformation has already begun and new-age techs are going to reshape the automotive industry in the years to come. So, in terms of career prospects, automotive is an ever-growing sector.
The CEO advises, “When you have to choose between analyzing yet more data or taking a decision, choose the latter. Offer your bosses solutions to problems, it is faster for them to choose than to think. Technology can deliver more, and more cheaply than you expect. And finally, remember only so much of you and your team’s past mistakes are necessary to avoid repeating them.
Company Name:- Avis India
Company Website:- https://www.avis.co.in/
The pages slugged ‘Brand Connect’ are equivalent to advertisements and are not written and produced by Forbes India journalists.