Fleet management systems likely to grow at 14% yearly to 6.8 mn units in 2025

Fleeca India Private Limited is a Jaipur based one-stop tyre management solution company. To understand how Fleeca’s tyre management system works, we interact with Mr. Tikam Jain, Founder and CEO at Fleeca.

Mr. Tikam Jain, Founder and CEO, Fleeca

Tyres are one of the most important components of an automobile yet we often tend to ignore them. As they say, brakes stop the wheels, not your vehicle. It is actually the tyres that stop it. So, when it comes to safety, tyres are one of the most important components of an automobile. One should always check the air pressure of their vehicle’s tyres and regularly maintain them by rotation, alignment and inspection. By doing this, one can ensure their safety as well as save some money on rubbers. 

Now, when we talk about tyre management systems, Fleeca India Private Limited is a pioneer in this space. Fleeca India Private Limited is a Jaipur based one-stop tyre management solution company. It was founded in the year 2016 by Mr. Tikam Jain with an aim to add value to fleet businesses by helping fleet owners to leverage the merits of advanced technology and optimize fleet expenses to make them profitable in terms of efficiency. The company currently operates in 21 states with more than 1300+ Fleeca centres and 100 re-treading centres across the country. Fleeca is also recognized by the Rajasthan government’s iStart initiative.  

How is the tyre management and fleet care service sector shaping up in the country?

Mr. Jain says that the logistic industries rely heavily on the tyres. In India, the logistics industry, which includes trucks and buses, is the largest tyre consumer, accounting for 55 per cent of the total tyre usage. In addition, the largest category in this is the replacement, with 61 per cent of the overall share in commercial vehicles. After gasoline, a logistic company spends the most money on tyres, making them a critical component for sector. Moreover, in the vehicle maintenance expenditures, tyres often account for roughly 15-20 percent of the entire cost. 

During the pandemic, what was the most challenging thing the company has faced and is the recovery strong enough?

The Covid-19 pandemic was wreaking havoc on the fortunes of automobile companies, particularly commercial vehicle operators in India with total sales down to 21 per cent in FY2021. According to Mr. Jain, during the pandemic, Fleeca encountered a variety of problems, including a shortage of human resources, a low number of moving vehicles, no financial flow, and termination of agreements, among others, which they quickly overcame. Moreover, Fleeca provided unabated solutions to the industry to ensure quick supply of essentials including liquid Medical oxygen during the second wave. The company’s trained professionals provided tyre repairs on highways across the country. 

What are your views on the transformation of the automotive industry in 2021?

The automotive industry is undergoing a major transformation fuelled by cloud technological improvements, the introduction of EVs, and a lot of technological advancements. Mr. Tikam Jain says that we should expect the pace of development in the automotive market to accelerate in a world where consumers expect a smooth purchasing experience, a desire for mobility options, and for their automobiles to be as customized as their smartphones. He further added that the automakers can leverage cloud computing to apply the recent AI developments to help create vehicles that are secure, more convenient, and eco-friendly.

Explain the significance of tyre management skills in the auto industry?

Mr. Jain quotes that tyres account for one-third of a fleet company’s annual maintenance budget. To evaluate the impact of driver behaviour on tyres and take corrective action if necessary, fleet operators should establish driving policies and procedures in place. Excessive braking, speeding, and poor tyre care are bad driving practices that result in higher operational costs. As per studies, poor driver behaviour can account for up to 30 per cent of additional fleet expenditures. Moreover, he says that this industry is mostly served by unskilled professionals using makeshift tools and devices. Identifying this gap, Fleeca is training professionals to serve the huge industry.

What are the major challenges faced by fleet companies and the strategies to overcome them?

While the global recession exacerbated by the current COVID-19 pandemic has halted the growth in the fleet management industry, the challenges are expected to be short-lived. From 3.5 million units at the end of 2020 to nearly 6.8 million units by 2025, the overall installed base of fleet management systems is expected to rise at an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14 per cent. Simultaneously, the penetration rate of commercial vehicles and passenger automobiles in fleet use is expected to rise from 10.2 percent in 2020 to 15.5 percent in 2025. He added that shortage of drivers, fuel prices and maintenance cost, shortage of trained human resources and minimal use of technology are some of the challenges in this industry. 

Fleeca’s strengths and weaknesses and the company’s growth journey so far?

According to Mr. Tikam Jain,  a widespread network of more than 1300 Fleeca Centers across the country along with Skilled professionals, Tech-enabled Predictable Solutions, Training to Drivers, Mobile Application, Tyre Management As a Service (end to end solutions), and access to the wide network of Bridgestone, thanks to a strategic investment of Rs 25 crore from the company, are some of the strengths of Fleeca. In terms of weaknesses, he says that lack of trained human resources, lot of investment in training, slow speed of developing infrastructure, unavailability of proper training in the sector are some of the challenges. 

How will you cater to the customers once EVs become mainstream in India?

Whether the vehicles run on fuel or electricity, the expenditure towards tyre will still remain more or less the same. Savings on the fuel will mean that industry can then spend an extra buck to afford tyre management solutions. We by then have to really gear up to extend our service network to serve even a bigger market when EVs become mainstream in India.

What are the company’s future expansion plans?

We are proud and overwhelmed with the journey so far. The start-up was started with only two staff members in Jaipur back in 2016 and now has footprints all over the country. Looking at the future perspective, we want to continuously grow and expand in terms of financial as well as geographical territories. We are currently operating in 12 states and aim to provide our services all over the world. We are also looking for establishing more training centers to provide tyre management skills and hoping to collaborate with more institutions to train the students. We are also in the process of increasing the accessibility of our solutions through more tie-ups to spread the range and scope of our services to a large territory.

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