• Thursday, Sep 29, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

This startup is digitizing the automotive industry

  • Published at 01:35 pm August 11th, 2021

The startup has so far impressed a number of investors who have already invested in the company. BDVenture, Bangladesh Angels, Accelerating Asia and a few angel investors from Singapore have participated in raising funds

Aiming to digitalize the automotive maintenance industry, Shubho Al Farooque, the Founder and CEO of Zantrik came up with the idea of connecting various technicians, garages, vehicle owners, drivers, and parts suppliers into a single platform to offer value for money, transparency and efficiency for everyone. As a result, not only these stakeholders are benefited, but also the whole industry will eventually be upgraded to a new level.

“We believe, by digitalizing the automotive industry we are helping the country achieve the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ we are striving for,” says Shubho. After graduating in Computer Science back in 2003, he gained experience while working in several local and multinational companies—which eventually led him to open his own software firm.

After launching Zantrik in 2018, the startup has grown and is now currently employing 34 people directly, there are many more that are some way or the other involved with the organization.

Zantrik provides roadside assistance to its customers all over the country, no matter where they are stuck.  

This is an idea he came up with back in 2017 when his vehicle broke down in the middle of the road. Not being able to leave his car unattended, he couldn’t go look for workshops nearby. Eventually, after three long hours, a stranger came to his assistance and that’s how he got out of the situation.

There are many vehicle workshops mushrooming up in every corner of the city, but very few have the proper knowledge about the vehicles, eventually ending up damaging them more; in many cases. These workshops do not maintain any standard pricing of parts and services for which customers often feel they are being taken advantage of, and on top of that—transparency on the maintenance work and cost is also a big issue. Through Zantrik’s mobile application, the customers can get access to nearby workshops and get quotations beforehand.  

The startup has so far impressed a number of investors who have already invested in the company. BDVenture, Bangladesh Angels, Accelerating Asia and a few angel investors from Singapore have participated in raising funds. A total of $600,000 has been raised so far. Zantrik is also looking into raising more funds so the company keeps on growing.

Currently, Zantrik also offers b2b services and has a number of corporate clients among which are Berger, JTI, ACI, MIR Telecom and Shohag Paribahan. The startup provides a platform for these organizations to schedule their maintenance work and get complete visibility and control over the expenses.

The growth of the business was however hampered due to the Coronavirus pandemic, admitting to having an extremely challenging time. He added: “We were unable to move and run our business properly due to restrictions over the last one and a half years. Many of our employees and their families suffered due to Covid and many of our clients also couldn't avail services for the same reason, but the good thing is, we developed some advanced technological solutions during this period which will help us a great deal to achieve our goal of digitizing the industry.”

There are however a few more organizations that are providing a similar service. Most of them follow a “Service marketplace” model, where they connect vehicle owners with service providers. 

On the other hand, Zantrik operates at a deeper level-- utilizing technology and process innovation to solve the real problems in this industry to ensure benefits for every stakeholder. Therefore, they are standardizing the automotive industry, whereas others are not. To understand this better: The startup is developing a ‘Digital garage system’ so that, whenever any vehicle enters and exits from the garage, the vehicle owner, garage owner and Zantrik is notified in real-time with the vehicle information (number plate and vehicle picture), through a computer vision-guided system that reads number plates and attaches a unique identifier.

“We also developed a ‘Digital Job Card’, which is used at the garages to trace the workflow of all the maintenance processes, with service and spare parts information.  This gives the customer peace of mind about their vehicle as to the entire operational process and payment flow is very transparent,” Shubho added. Currently, the startup is developing a ‘Digital parts supply chain’ so the workshops can access and source the required spare parts in less time. 

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