Vyapar Lucknow : Opportunities Unlimited

 

The contours and dynamics of retail automotive businesses are changing at alarmingly fast pace. With the Indian entrepreneurship being very different in 2020 as it evolves today. Laws, taxes, consumers and the entire ecosystem is changing rapidly leaving the Indian entrepreneur with many questions. What is the quantum of change expected? What do we need to do to keep pace with and capitalize on the evolution instead of just surviving? To perish is not an option, and thriving will need new learning’s.

 

Commencing from the year 2000, Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (F A D A) has been organizing a biennial Convention of Automobile Dealers, viz. Auto Summit at New Delhi coinciding with the Auto Expo. The Summits were a grand success.

 

F A D A's aim is to make the Federation every Auto Dealer's one stop destination for any concern related to the Automobile Retail Industry. To facilitate this in an organised way, the Federation has started organising VYAPAR Conference in every State Chapter. By doing this, F A D A aims to:

 

•  Update the dealers with upcoming changes in business dynamics

 

•  Insulate the dealers with uncertainty and make them prepared for the future disruptions in this ever changing environment

 

Thus, the birth of Vyapar, which is a miniature version of the Mega Event, Auto Summit but in no sense diluting the connect between the host and the audience!

 

After immensely successful previous Vyapar’s in New Delhi; Mumbai; and Patna, Lucknow was the fourth destination where this event was held, where we witnessed the expanse of established businessmen and women representing the State of Uttar Pradesh and from other parts of the country come together under one roof. The evening brought together entrepreneurs, who owned and operated the Automotive Retail business for passenger vehicle, two-wheelers and commercial vehicle manufacturers.

 

It was also for the first time that F A D A held this conference at such a large scale which was deeply focused for the State of Uttar Pradesh, in the city of Nawab’s!

 

To be a part of the change and brace the situation upfront was the message that came out loud and clear from the deliberations at Vyapar Lucknow organised by Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (F A D A) at Hotel Fairfield by Marriot in Lucknow on July 18, 2018.

 

Another important message emerging from the conference was that there was an imperative need for a holistic approach to tackle the twin-problem of deteriorating environment and road safety. The isolated knee-jerk reactions not only lead to uncertainty and disruption but also do not yield the desired results. All stakeholders, including the Government, industry, trade, NGOs and experts, must join hands and lay down a clear roadmap to achieve the objectives of clean environment and safe motoring.

 

Ms Veena Agarwal, Chairperson, F A D A UP welcoming all to Vyapar Lucknow emphasised on the need for a holistic approach to tackle the twin-problem of deteriorating environment and road safety. She also highlighted on the RTO related problems being faced by the dealers in the State and called upon all stakeholders, including the Government, industry, trade, NGOs and experts, to join hands and lay down a clear roadmap to achieve the objectives of clean environment and safe motoring.  

 

Speaking as Chief Guest on the occasion, Mr Swatantra Dev Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge), Transport & Protocol, Govt of UP welcomed the suggestions for improving and streamlining the licensing and registration of vehicles by the Transport Department. He also welcomed the offer from automobile dealers to carry out a campaign on clean environment, traffic discipline and road safety and to set up Driver Training Schools in the state, jointly with the Government of Uttar Pradesh.

 

 

The Hon’ble Transport Minister also instructed the dealer fraternity in the state of UP to notify him about any out of pocket expenses to be paid by them at RTO to ensure corruption free process.

 

Echoing the views of the Hon’ble Minister, the Guest of Honour – Ms. Aradhana Shukla IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Transport, Govt of Uttar Pradesh, invited the team of F A D A UP Chapter members for further discussion to draw up the collaborative efforts in improving environment, road safety and driver training.

 

The entire Transport team from the Principal Secretary, Transport to the Transport Commissioner as well as senior officials from the IT cell of the department who graced the occasion were very positive and extremely sensitive to Dealership issues. 

 

Speaking earlier on the occasion, Mr John K Paul, President, F A D A, said, “The challenges notwithstanding, the Indian automobile market offers a tremendous opportunity. I feel that there is no reason why we should not be able to surmount these challenges if a concerted effort is made by all stakeholders, including the Government, manufacturers, dealers, NGOs, R&D institutions and vehicle users. I would like to assure that F A D A remains committed to play its part. F A D A and its members are willing to work with the Government, manufacturers and other stakeholders to improve environment, road safety and to undertake drivers’ training as well as manpower training in the interest of sustained growth of the economy and auto market.”

 

 

A galaxy of eminent speakers representing the Government, industry, auto retail trade and academia participated at the Vyapar Lucknow. The deliberations centred on the theme: “Opportunities Unlimited”.

 

Around 100-120 automobile dealers, including Council Members of F A D A from other States attended the half a day programme. Besides automobile dealers, the State authorities, representing various departments, graced the occasion. The representatives of OEMs, allied businesses and media were also be present in good numbers.

 

The highlights of the programme of Vyapar Lucknow were the two Panel Discussions: One Panel was on State RTO & Auto Retail- Jugalbandi and the other panel was on Auto – Next Decade.

 

 

In the Panel on State RTO & Auto Retail- Jugalbandi was the interaction with Mr P Guru Prasad IAS, Transport Commissioner, Department of Transport, Govt of Uttar Pradesh. The objective of the interaction was to bring forth suggestions and ideas, which would help improve traffic discipline, environment & road safety, and to simplify the vehicle registration and licensing procedures in the State of Uttar Pradesh.  It was also be an opportunity for the State Government to get an insight into the policies and practices followed in other States. Infact, on the pain points shared by the auto retail industry were not only well received by the senior officials but they also offered immediate on the spot solutions which the department decided to take to resolve the same.

 

The panel on Auto – Next Decade was moderated by Mr Mohit Arora, Partner at Mondriaan Group. The other panellists included Mr Arun Malhotra, Industry Veteran and Former MD, Nissan Motors; Mr. Nikunj Sanghi, Past President, F A D A and President ASDC and Mr Rajneesh Agarwal, Council Member, F A D A UP. The Panel discussed the way forward to the next generation.

 

 

The motivational session by Ms Arunima Sinha, First woman amputee to have climbed Mt. Everest, was really inspiring and encouraging. She shared that her determination, commitment and perseverance not only enabled her to achieve her goal but had given her a mission to use her experience to encourage the person in front of her to stand up and control their own destiny.

 

 

In view of the growing presence and influence of digitisation, Mr Kshitij Saxena, Co-Founder & CEO, Auto Ninja made a presentation on running a data driven dealership and improving the efficiency and bottom lines in dealership management.

 

The conference also gave an opportunity to F A D A UP Chapter to recognise and honour the stalwarts connected with automotive business. The Hon’ble Transport Minister (Ind. Charge), UP presented the plaques to Mr R C Rodrigues, Mr Bharat Chordia, Mr Vinay Nevatia, Mr Amit Manaktala, Mr Rajendra Prasad Agarwal and Mr Anil Jhunjhunala for their singular contribution to the growth and development of auto retail business.

 

The half a day programme concluding with cocktails and dinner was not only exciting but also enriching experience for the automobile dealers and others connected with automotive business.

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