At a time when fuel prices are still at a higher level and interest rates are moving northward, Indian automobile industry needs a robust marketing strategy with special focus on digital sales and services, says Odyssey Motors (NEXA) director Ruchi Jalan in a tete-a-tete with Orissa POST. She also suggests production of battery charges as EVs would be the future mode of mobility.

What are major problems the automobile industry is facing?

There are a host of challenges like rising fuel prices, interest rates, and inflation, to name a few, that the Indian automobile industry is facing now. However, the most crucial issue that all original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are currently facing is the global shortage of semiconductors.

What measures would you suggest to improve sales and services in the automobile industry?

Since many customers now prefer online purchase including four-wheelers, digital marketing with solid customer reviews should be the priority. We must ensure that our showrooms and products are showing up in local Google search results as part of the overall marketing strategy. Proactively asking for feedback is the best way to improve customer service. Investing in digital communication systems and platforms like WhatsApp and customer relationship management (CRM) tools can help provide instant and efficient customer service.

How has the journey of Odyssey Motors (Nexa) been so far?

Nexa was launched in 2015 in India to go beyond selling cars and create a differentiated and exclusive experience for car buyers. We opened our first Nexa showroom in 2017 with the aim to provide state-of-the-art sales and aftersales services. We have always tried to ensure that the customers get the highest level of satisfaction. We opened our showroom in Angul in 2019 and have placed employees in the entire western Odisha region. We will be coming up with Nexa service workshop in Angul and sales in Jharsuguda and Bolangir soon.

India aims to become a global EV hub by 2026. What are your suggestions?

India, being the second most populated country in the world, definitely has the potential to become a global hub for the electric vehicle (EV) industry as the demand for such vehicles would be huge. We require a systematic line of production to match the demand, technology, and manpower in order to sustain consistent development and growth. The focus should be on the production of battery chargers and recycling. The reduction in customs duty on lithium cells and subsidy extensions on batteries announced in the Union Budget 2023-24 steps in the right direction.

Tell us briefly about your education and your organisation’s goals?

After completing of MBA in Finance and Marketing, I worked in the banking sector for some time before joining the True Value department of the business establishment run by our family in 2016. Initially, I was working at Arena Showroom in Bargarh and Sambalpur. Nexa opened a new opportunity. And, I hope to continue leading the organisation and doing the best for all stakeholders from customers to employees.

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