Success can be a long and winding road, filled with many obstacles and challenges. This goes well with young entrepreneur Raj Kumar Agarwal, director of Siddhi Laxmi Mahindra. Starting from the struggling phase of life when he opened a vehicle servicing centre and till becoming the owner of a showroom, Agarwal’s journey was riddled with several challenges. Nevertheless, he tasted the fruits of success when he got the dealership for three-wheelers, and later for two-wheelers as well as four-wheelers. Agarwal finds time to sit with Orissa POST to share his experience of his entrepreneurial journey.

How do you face post-Covid sluggishness?

During pandemic, it was really tough to keep ourselves safe and simultaneously take good care of our employees’ families. The business is yet to get back to normalcy. We had an adequate stock of vehicles but people were unable to buy them because banks were not providing loans then. Even now, the sales are far from becoming impressive. However, there is adequate assistance from the company in terms of equipment and other issues post-Covid.

What are the major challenges the automobile industry is facing?

Earlier, chips and semiconductors were being imported from other countries but now, thanks to Make-in India, they are being manufactured (though not fully) in our country. And, slowly India is trying to avoid dependence on other countries in this aspect. This is being seen as a good omen for the automobile industry.

What would be your suggestions to improve sales/services in the automobile industry?

First of all, priority should be given to providing the best services to customers and the primary responsibility is to create awareness among the people regarding the services. We need to ensure that the vehicle does not stop midway and if this happens to a customer it would be our foremost duty to provide him/her with instant service. Since we are living in a digital world, sensitising customers about services has become easier now. Customers can get readily available information even while sitting at home. This helps grow sales.

How has been Siddhi Laxmi Mahindra’s journey so far?  

With the blessings of my parents and the good wishes of customers, Siddhi Laxmi is ascending new heights. We were selling three-wheelers when we stepped into the automobile business. Later, we got a dealership for two-wheelers. But the business was not up to the mark at that time. Our business expanded manifold when we got Mahindra’s dealership in 2015. Several products started landing in the market and now Bolero Neo, XUV 300-700, Scorpio, and Thar are in great demand.

Your take on electric vehicle market?

The government’s EV policy is in the right direction and it is welcome as vehicles running on fossil fuel are polluting the atmosphere. Pollution will be drastically reduced when EVs will replace these vehicles. Further, we will not have to depend on other countries for fuel anymore. Everyone should be sensitized about the advantages of EVs. The government is also providing incentives to replace old vehicles with EVs.

Your secret of striking a balance between work and family life?

Devoting adequate time to family as well as business has become difficult in this busy life. However, everything runs fine with the support and well wishes of family members as well as employees. I feel delighted to spare some time, whenever available, with family and near ones.

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