Choosing the right repair shop for car owners is like finding a good doctor. Customers look for a great service at a reasonable price.
Martin Reyhan Suryohusodo has been an automotive enthusiast since his high school years, modifying his 2010 Honda Jazz, almost transforming it into a different car. Through this passion, he learned the importance of finding a good automotive technician.
“I visited a lot of workshops for the modifications. But I actually hated going there, because I got screwed quite a lot,” he told KrASIA. He once paid around IDR 1 million (USD 71) for an auto part, only to find the same piece in a different workshop for half the price.
When talking to fellow automotive enthusiasts, Suryohusodo realized that they all have experienced the same problem. He started to think about creating an automobile aftermarket service platform to solve price transparency and other problems in the automotive aftermarket industry.
In 2019, he discussed the idea with a friend, Joseph Alexander Ananto, who was working as a manufacturing engineer in the US. Suryohusodo then met Benny Sutedjo, an industry veteran who spent around 15 years handling spare part distribution for automotive companies in Indonesia. The three men, combining their different expertise, decided to launch Otoklix in August 2019.
The Jakarta-headquartered startup manages a platform that allows car owners to book repair and maintenance services at recommended independent workshops at standardized prices. Otoklix also informs users in real-time about the repair progress of their cars within the app, while it also provides a warranty for all repairments.
The company works with a network of about 100 independent automobile repair shops in Jakarta and other satellite cities such as Tangerang, Bekasi, Bogor, and Depok, currently serving about 10,000 cars per month.
Balancing the information asymmetry
Suryohusodo narrowed the problems in the aftermarket service to what he calls information asymmetry. “There isn’t any education out there that allows customers to understand the problems with their cars,” he explained. Car owners become easy targets of malicious repair shop workers who can jack up prices or ask for unnecessary repairs, Suryohusodo added.
Independent automobile repair shops make up about 80% of the after-service market in Indonesia, according to Suryohusodo, as they are usually cheaper than authorized workshops. However, car owners tend to be wary of going there because of the lack of transparency in pricing, something the company is trying to change by ensuring quality repair services at standardized prices.
Otoklix’s app will show the service fee prior to the booking, and users will be able to pay within the app or on the spot.
Automobile repair shops have access to Otoklix’s suite of software for customer management and procurement solutions, Suryohusodo said, benefitting from cheaper procurement costs by using the Otoklix app. “We want to ensure that car parts are genuine and high quality, so we also assist workshops with sourcing parts at the right pricing.”
Previously, the company provided a marketplace platform for this purpose, but as shop owners were not that familiar with the app, Suryohusodo decided to switch to messaging app WhatsApp to manage direct communications with partner shops.
Otoklix charges workshop owners an undisclosed commission for every repair and maintenance order, while it also generates revenue through its auto parts procurement service.
A large market with few competitors
Indonesia is home to over 16 million cars, according to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS). A Global Market Insights report projected the automotive aftermarket sector to reach USD 15 billion in value by 2025. Despite the large market, Otoklix doesn’t have strong competitors in the sector.
Previously, Gojek ventured into the market with on-demand car repair service GoAuto. However, the service was closed as the decacorn streamlined its business verticals, closing down offerings that were seen as “no longer viable”. Other automotive brands like Toyota, Honda, and Suzuki offer specific apps for aftermarket services but only connected to their authorized workshops.
Suryohusodo claims that his firm has “grown revenue by 13 times and customer base by 40 times between April and October 202o.” Otoklix was selected as a participant in Sequoia India’s accelerator program Surge and just raised USD 2 million in seed funding from other investors such as GK-Plug, Play Indonesia, Kopi Kenangan’s Kenangan Investment Fund 1, and other angel investors.
Suryohusodo revealed that by December 2021 he aims to serve over 100,000 cars every month, which could be possible after increasing the number of partner repair shops to 500 from the current 100 workshops.
“We started small, with passenger cars, but we don’t close the possibility to expand to other adjacent sectors and segments like heavy-duty or industrial vehicles in the near future,” Suryohusodo said.
This article is part of KrASIA’s “Startup Stories” series, where the writers of KrASIA speak with founders of tech companies in South and Southeast Asia.