The Need for Speed

Ozair Puda, Founder and CEO, reflects on the journey to establishing a unique car service concept



Published: Fri 30 Sep 2022, 12:27 PM

Last updated: Mon 3 Oct 2022, 1:04 PM

As a passionate automotive and tech enthusiast himself, Ozair Puda, Founder and CEO of Service My Car, said that he noticed a gap in the market, which convinced him to merge the two industries to create a modern auto-tech solutions destination to meet everyday automotive problems.

“The determination to make every car owner’s life easier was the impetus behind starting Service My Car,” said Puda. “Having a strong automotive background, I always wanted to do something in that space. When I visited Dubai in 2017, I was fascinated by the number of cars distributed here.”

With Dubai’s fast-paced environment, it was obvious to him that that no one had the time or patience to get their cars serviced by driving to a workshop and waiting while their car got fixed. The over-abundance of workshops also raised implications of reliability and trustworthiness.

However, he added that the decisive factor behind starting Service My Car was the thriving OEM and aftermarket parts industry in the UAE. Since these parts were available to be purchased and sold, it played a critical role in the launch of Service My Car. “We also enlisted some of the best workshops to join our service network and became the UAE’s first and largest car service network. To make everything simpler for our customers, we enhanced our technology by developing an online booking system and a mobile application that let our customers get everything done in a few clicks,” said Puda.

Initial challenges

Looking back at some of the hurdles faced during the initial phase, Puda said: “It was rather evident at the onset that the automotive service industry was fragmented. Most out-of-contract car owners here did not have the time to source their own parts, or deal with the hassle of finding a good workshop. With that in mind, we targeted the region’s biggest parts suppliers and the best workshops.” However, it took some time for business owners to understand the business model, and how it could potentially benefit them too. The concept of collecting and delivering your vehicle on a vehicle carrier was also something that took a while to understand said Puda.

“We focused on key messaging and built a strong brand identity with our awareness campaigns to highlight the benefits of using a service like ours, developing trust with our customers,” he added.

Competitive edge

Puda said that his biggest competitive edge is that he can never switch off from work, a trait that he has nurtured into the work ethic of his company. "I also think it’s important that Service My Car doesn’t get complacent just because we were the first ones to do it,” said Puda.

“I am constantly working to grow the company and the business. I strongly believe in hard work paying off, to the point where I work like someone is trying to take everything away from me. It’s that belief, coupled with the fact that while the others rest, I toil away and move ahead in the race, that sets Service My Car apart from our competition,” he said.

Incorporating technology

Technology plays the most critical role in the functioning of the company said Puda, adding: “We enhanced the legacy car service industry by using technology to improve our product, our daily operations, and our marketing.”

He reaffirmed that the company’s technology-first approach has also led it to be at the forefront of the latest trends and changes. Service My Car has launched the region’s first car service app, and it is the first car maintenance providers to accept payments in cryptocurrency.

Milestones and achievements

Service My Car has been servicing cars all over the UAE since 2020. The company’s regional expansions have since served as milestones – Oman in 2021 and the UK in 2022.

“We have also been awarded by the region’s leading business publications. We won the 'SME of the Year Award' in 2018 and the 'Editor’s Choice Award' in 2019 by Arabian Business,” said Puda. The company also won the 'Digital Car Service Company of the Year' by Entrepreneur Magazine at the e-Business Awards in 2021. “Most recently, we won the 'Fastest Growth Award', and I won the 'CEO of the Year Award' by Entrepreneur Magazine at the e-Business Awards in 2022,” said Puda.

He added that the company’s main achievements lie in its numbers. He said: “Till date, we have serviced over 26,000 cars without owning a single workshop, and supplied over 120,000 spare parts without holding any inventory.”

Future plans

The future looks great at Service My Car said its Founder adding that the astounding validation of the company’s product-market fit, as well as recognition within the startup ecosystem, positions it well as it continues global expansion.

“We aim to continue our GCC expansion by launching in Qatar and Saudi Arabia by the end of 2022. Our global expansion will also continue with the launch of Service My Car in the USA and India by the end of 2023,” he said.

Puda signed off by saying that the endgame of Service My Car is to disrupt the global car servicing industry, which is currently underserved, with tech innovations.

“By doing this, we ensure that car maintenance gets easier for every car owner in the world when they use Service My Car,” he concluded.

— ali@khaleejtimes.com


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