If you are in the market for a pre-owned luxury car in India, it is quite possible that you would have come across the name Big Boy Toyz. Currently standing as one of the leading retailers in the second-hand luxury car segment in India, BBT has showrooms in New Delhi, Gurgaon and Mumbai. Having more than 100 supercars, along with various other high-end luxury vehicles in its portfolio, Big Boy Toyz’s customers include the likes of Honey Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik & Virat Kohli among others. Big Boy Toyz currently sells 35 to 40 cars per month with an average cost of Rs 1 crore. With a current annual turnover of Rs 250 Cr, BBT plans to sell 500 cars a year shortly. Here is an interaction between Big Boy Toyz Founder and CEO Jatin Ahuja and Express Drives on how the company has achieved what it has and how it plans to expand in the future.
Q: It’s been 10 years since Big Boy Toyz came into existence. What started as a small business out of a rented refurbishing studio in Delhi, is now a business with a turnover of Rs 250 crore. How has been the overall journey so far?
A: The overall journey has been amazing, though it has been a roller coaster ride. I have been in the industry for 17 years and Big Boy Toyz is 10 years old. And even without this brand, I was involved in a similar sort of business. There have been various challenges in the business and numerous rewards as well. When I got into the used car business, i.e.12-13 years back, people had an opinion that they would prefer to go and buy a brand new Maruti 800 rather opting for a used Mercedes. That is what the general perception was when we used to pitch them the idea of a used Mercedes because the trust factor was never there. Used car dealers and property dealers have always been painted in grey and we are sort of responsible for it. Things haven’t been that great. There is a lot of unfilled space in this industry, through which one can take a lot of advantage, there is a lot of scope to mislead someone.
So, that is where we started from and today we are in a position wherein we sell a brand-new car at a value of X and the same car is sold at the official dealership at the value of X, still our customers are giving us a preference. Fifty per cent of our used car sales take place wherein the customer doesn’t even come to the showroom, he doesn’t even see the car, they just see the car through images (on the website) and the transaction is closed, money is transferred.
Q. Which model was the first pre-owned car that you sold? Any special memories related to that?
A: The first car which I bought, in the year 2003, when I was in the first year of my college, was a Fiat Palio. This particular car was an accidental model and I bought it for Rs 70,000 from an insurance company. I took it as a college challenge because I am a mechanical engineer. It took me one and a half years to repair that car with the repair cost coming around Rs 2.20 lakh. And we further sold it for Rs 1 lakh. That was my first transaction, so the memory is, on a one and a half year investment of time and energy, with a total investment of Rs 2.90 lakh on the product, we lost 1.90 lakh! But that was the car which taught us everything. This was the first Fiat Palio diesel which got into a major accident and as a result of this, there we no parts available in the country. Hence it was a major challenge arranging for parts.
Q. BBT currently has showrooms in Delhi, Mumbai and Gurugram with Mumbai being the latest. Would you be able to elaborate on which market out of these three brings in the largest sales for your company and by how much? Do you plan to expand your reach in the near future?
A: Our new showroom in Hyderabad is coming up in the next 6-12 months. Talking about the sales, the western region constitutes for 30 per cent, north is 30 per cent and South, without even having a presence is 30 per cent.
Q. BBT has recently ventured into online sales of its vehicles. How has the response been from the customers? Is there a sizable difference between your online sales and dealership sales?
A: At the end of the day, everything narrows down to online these days. Let’s suppose someone is travelling (to the dealership), he wants to have a look beforehand as to what exactly is he thinking of buying, what exactly are the options. Generally, with used cars, people come with a budget in mind. 75 per cent of the customers come with a budget in mind, not a product in mind and they have a couple of options. That’s how people make a buying decision as far as used cars are concerned. And the rest 25 per cent have a product in mind and they are ready to wait for it. So when one is evaluating their options, they check online on what exact product they want and in what configuration, following which they visit the dealership. This is how having an online portal helps us as it increases the overall efficiency. We get close to 25,000 visitors on our website every day. As far as sales are concerned, 35-40 per cent of our sales is online now.
Q. BBT currently deals with pre-owned cars from 24 different brands. Out of these, which ones comprise of the top-three in terms of customer demand.
A: Range Rover is a brand which is always in demand and the supply is always less. That will be the number one brand for us. Mercedes would be second for us while BMW would be third.
Q. Globally as well as in India, we have seen an increase in demand for SUVs. Is the pre-owned luxury car segment observing a similar trend? If so, can you please elaborate.
A: Yes, more or less. Whatever is happening in the new car segment, most of it translates to the used car segment as well.
Q. What are the various checkpoints that a pre-owned vehicle goes through before it reaches the BBT showroom floor? Does BBT offer any warranty from its side?
A: Whenever we make a buying decision, a car goes through 161 check-points and if is qualifies these checkpoints then only it gets into the BBT fleet. Our rejection rate is 70-75 per cent. Whatever needs to be done on a car, before selling it, we do it. If you buy a used car from the market, first you have to take it to a service centre and get everything rectified. On the other hand, when BBT buys a car, we get everything done from tyres to rubber parts, paint correction, interiors, everything and then we offer it to the customer. One just has to press the self-button and drive. Furthermore, BBT offers 6 months warranty on every product it sells along with a 25 per cent buyback as well, which is applicable for a year. We also have a workshop, with 60 personnel that tend to BBT cars alone. Customers can come and get their regular service done by paying the required amount.
Q. The Indian automotive industry is currently going through a slow down. Has the pre-owned luxury car segment also been affected by it?
A: Yes, a similar trend is there in the used car market as well. We believe in 30-40 per cent growth year on year and everybody has had a similar experience with the slowing market. In order to beat this slowdown, we are increasing our avenues. For over the last one and a half year, we have been doing a lot of backwards and forward integration. Our workshop, which is one year old and our Mumbai showroom, which is one year and two-months-old, is part of this process. In addition to this, we have recently started retailing motorcycles as well. So to keep our pace up, we are doing a lot of things. These steps are not just to overcome the market slowdown. And hence, this year too, we will be taking a 30 per cent growth.
Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.