Visionary entrepreneur sees opportunity in untapped market
Car battery maintenance is something that is often forgotten or taken for granted. Time and time again we would chance upon stalled car with battery-related problems, waiting for help to arrived. What an inconvenience! AT the same time, many also view battery maintenance as a hassle.
Since convenience is always a motivation for the modern-day consumer, a company saw that as an excellent business opportunity. Car battery delivery is not only helpful in times of emergency, but it is also a market that had been overlooked and untapped all these years.
When MALAYSIA SME spoke to the founder of Bateriku.com, Azarol Faizi, he said, “I read about Zappos which is the world’s largest shoe online retailer and how they are able to sell a conventional product on an online platform. They grew so big in a short span of time an they used social media.”
Azarol understood the business model and wanted to move towards that direction. He was also confident that the small team that was with him would make it possible. Equipped with proper website, phone application, call centre and riders, he kick-started a one-of-a-kind car battery delivery sales and maintenance service.
“There are still a lot of gaps in the market for us. The more creative we are in promoting,the will be more possibilities for us to get more customers. We want to have control of that.” he said.
Being an SME that is constantly looking for ways to improve, the company is also advocating environmentally-friendly battery disposal, where old car battery will be collected and sent to a disposal centre.
Bateriku.com has been receiving great response although it has been in service barely a year. According to the former employee of a Japanese automotive firm, ” We have 2,000 customer from last year, so we know that they could our recurring customers because after a while the battery will run out. On top of that, we can offer free battery checks for them.”
We are at the expansion stage. We get 12 – 20 calls in a day. We get 80% of our customer during the day. Our delivery starts at 8:00 AM and ends around midnight,” Azarol added.
Delivery and installing batteries is a very extensive process, which is also labour intensive. For that reason, the human resource management and customer feedback are crucial. As Azarol stated, “The decision makers for us are all the people out there. So if we do a good job, people will talk about us more.”
The holding company, which is Green Initiative Sdn. Bhd. has more than 10 employees at the moments and is still looking for people to recruit as their services are increasingly being sought after.
“Delivery is free with the purchase of a battery. Our reach is not yet extensive, but we can deliver to our customers in Klang Valley within an hour. We have a help-desk that will inform the customer on the estimated time of arrival. We spend very little money on advertising, but we try to maximise on social media,” he expounded.
Listed on the company’s agenda is to have more hubs that are closer to the customers, which would make travel distance for riders shorter. Currently, the headquarters in Shah Alam stores all of the batteries and pick-up trucks that are required for operations.
An entrepreneur should not be easily contented with what they have achieved, and this is also the case for Azarol, He shared, “We do have competitors, but they are usually the workshops that have the means to do delivery to their customers. But for us, we want to bring this to the national level. We have received inquiries from Johor Bahru and Terengganu, even though we are not there yet.”
WE TRY TO EXCEED CUSTOMER’S EXPECTATIONS, WHICH IS BY UNDER-PROMISING BUT OVER-DELIVERING. IT IS VERY INTERESTING BUT CHALLENGING. – Azarol
Emphasizing on some of the difficult part about being an online-based delivery company, the visionary business owner mentioned that keeping time for the riders is essential. “We try to exceed customer’s expectations, which is by under-promising but over-delivering. It is very interesting but challenging.”
Article from: Malaysia SME March 2015